We now live in a time wherein electricity plays a very important role in our life. Can you imagine living in a home without electricity? Electricity is almost a necessity. It’s not considered to be a luxury anymore. It’s a modern convenience that we can’t imagine living without.
This is why we live in a home that’s run by electricity – from the lights to appliances. It’s not a perfect system. Soon, you’ll run into problems. This is probably the reason why you’re reading this article.
By reading this article, you’ll find out the difference between hiring an electrician and doing things on your own. You might be tempted to DIY the project. Is this a good idea? You’ll soon find out.
Know the different services that you can take advantage of – from residential to commercial. You’ll also know compelling reasons why you should only hire a licensed electrician. Yes, there are a lot of unlicensed electricians peddling their services, often at attractive rates. You’ll also learn how to find cheap electricians that can still do a great job. These are the licensed contractors that can offer you their services at great value.
Best of all, you’ll learn of a service that can help you easily get quotes from electrical contractors. This service can help you find the best deals that you can choose from. The thing is these contractors are still operating a business and as such, they will try to earn as much money as they can from their clients. This means that you could be paying more if you don’t know where to look. Why pay more if you can take advantage of the same service at a way lower rate?
Electrician vs DIY
Since you’re interested in finding out more about cheap electricians near you, it seems that you’re leaning towards hiring one which is good because it’s really recommended that you hire one instead of doing things on your own. Unfortunately, some people may still decide later on to DIY the project in an effort to save money. While you can save money upfront, you may end up regretting it later on. While it’s true that there are some works around the house that can be done DIY, here are compelling reasons why you shouldn’t do it DIY:
- You can end up spending more if you commit a mistake.
Think of the electrical system of your home or place of business as a network. You could be under the impression that adding an electrical socket is just a small task, but commit a mistake and you could end up frying a big part of your electrical system. In the end, you didn’t save money. You ended up spending more.
What if you cut the wrong wire? It may sound like a simple mistake, but it can be a costly one.
You should also consider how much your time is worth. Let’s say that it takes you the whole weekend to do something that could have been done by a professional in half a day. That’s a whole weekend wasted. You could have used the time to spend quality time with your family or by working. That’s potential income lost right there. Time is valuable. Make sure to value it correctly when trying to decide if you can save money doing things DIY.
The point is, spend on a professional. The cost will end up irrelevant because the task will be done the right way. You’ll be happy that you did once you see the results.
- You can fail the inspection.
It’s very common for homeowners to sell their home so they can buy a new one. This is because a homeowner’s needs change. You could have a better work opportunity elsewhere. Maybe you have a growing family.
A home inspection will be conducted as part of the due diligence of the realtor and the potential home buyer. Guess what? You can fail the inspection when they see that the electrical system wasn’t done by a professional. Put yourself in the position of the home buyer. Are you going to buy a property that has an electrical system that failed the inspection?
That’s a missed sale that could prove to be problematic especially if you need to move out ASAP. At the very least, you could end up spending a lot of money to fix things that should have been done right in the first place. This will also take up a lot of time and as you know, the longer your listing sits, the lower its value becomes.
- It can be dangerous.
All it takes is a small spark and it can lead to a fire. Think about it. Just because you wanted to save a few hundred dollars, you could end up with a fire-damaged home. The cost could end up in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars when this happens.
With these risks, is it still worth it to try and save a few hundred dollars by doing things DIY? These risks show that it’s so much better to just hire a professional. Just by avoiding these risks alone, the cost of hiring a professional makes it worth it.
Importance of Hiring a Licensed Electrician
Now that you understand the importance of hiring a professional, you should next understand the importance of hiring a licensed electrician. Yes, there are unlicensed ones out there and it’s in your best interest to hire a licensed one.
Here are the reasons why:
- A license is proof of their competence.
An electrician has to be highly-skilled and experienced in order to get licensed. If not, they’re not going to pass the necessary trade exams. Most states are very strict when it comes to handing out licensing and for good reason. These professionals really spend a lot of time, effort and money to make sure that they build the necessary skillset and experience in order to pass.
By limiting your search to licensed professionals, you’re limiting your search to highly-skilled and experienced ones. You’re basically creating a shortlist of qualified professionals to choose from, weeding out potentially unqualified ones in the process. Sounds like a good way to get started on a search, right?
- You’ll hire a professional with updated knowledge.
The industry is constantly changing. A licensed electrician constantly updates himself with new knowledge on codes, guidelines and best practices. This means that the work performed will be work based on the latest codes, guidelines and best practices.
- You will be protected.
First of all, you will be protected from bad workmanship. A lot of these unlicensed electricians don’t really care about workmanship. All they care about is to finish the job. As long as it works, it’s good enough for them. On the other hand, licensed professionals care about workmanship. It’s their signature.
In addition, insurance is required to get licensing. This serves as another layer of protection for you. In case something bad happens, and this is a possibility because no amount of care can guarantee 100% safety, the insurance will free you from any liability.
- Your satisfaction will be guaranteed.
First of all, you can easily do a background check on them. A lot of cities and states have a lookup tool that allows you to search for their licensing information including details about their business. You can use these details to conduct a more thorough search so you can really see if they’re the right person to hire for the job.
These professionals know this as well. They know that potential customers can easily do research on them. They can easily file a complaint and a licensed professional doesn’t want complaints filed against their name. They have a reputation to protect and this is why they’ll guarantee your satisfaction to protect it.
- You’ll end up saving money.
Because of their competence, updated skillset and quest to protect their reputation, licensed electrical contractors will do things right the first time, or at least do everything they can to correct their mistakes as part of their warranty coverage. On the other hand, an unlicensed handyman in general doesn’t offer a warranty. It may seem like they did the job, but it could haunt you later on when things start going bad. You’d end up hiring a licensed electrical contractor later on to fix the issue, doubling the amount you paid. You can avoid this by doing what you should have done in the first place – hire a professional with the right licensing.
How to Find Cheap Electricians
At this point, you already know that you should hire a licensed electrician. This is not to say that you should just go out and splurge. If you’re like a lot of people, you wouldn’t say no to a great deal. If you can find a cheap electrician that can do an amazing job, why not, right?
Here’s how to find cheap electricians to choose from:
- Limit your search to your local area.
There should be a lot of great licensed electrical contractors in your local area to choose from. There’s really no reason for you to start searching outside your local area. It’s just going to cost you more and rightfully so. A contractor would have to spend more money to provide services to clients outside of their service area and you shouldn’t expect them to shoulder the additional cost.
- Know the basics.
You can do research online to understand the basics. This understanding allows you to hire a cheap contractor because you’re protecting yourself from enterprising individuals who will take advantage of your naivete. This also helps you explain the problem better so you can get a better quote.
- Do research on how much it typically costs.
Understand the service that you need and do research on how much it typically costs. While information that you’ll get online is merely an estimate, it will give you a good understanding of what to expect. There will be a lot of factors that will determine the total cost but it’s good to have an idea as far as the cost is concerned. This way, red flags will be raised if you get quoted too high.
- Do what you can do.
When talking to a contractor, ask him what you can do on your part to save them time. Their time is literally money since they charge every hour. This is why you can save money if you can limit the hours that they’ll work.
For starters, you can clean the work area so they don’t have to do it themselves. It’s a menial task but will keep their rate rolling.
Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t do what you shouldn’t do. Leave the electrical tasks to the professionals.
It’s also important that you know what needs to be done. A lot of homeowners get too excited when the electrical contractor arrives and they start pointing at things they want done, racking up hours in the process. Think of it like shopping. The easiest way to save on money is to know what you need, get in, buy it, and get out. Looking around is a sure way to spend more money.
- Ask for their hourly and daily rate.
This is often overlooked. Ask the contractor how long it will take them to do the task and then ask them for their hourly rate. Do a simple computation. Maybe you will save a little bit of money by booking them for the day. While you’re at it, check around the house to see if there are more electrical works that can be done to maximize their time there.
Let’s say that you end up finding 2 tasks. Book them for the day to have the tasks done and save money as compared to booking them 2 different times at an hourly rate.
- Don’t wait for an emergency.
Have it fixed as soon as you find something wrong. Don’t wait for things to get worse up to the point wherein you have to call an electrician in the middle of the night. That will be considered as an emergency service and that will increase the rate.
Waiting can also make things worse which will lead to a higher cost.
- Make them compete with one another.
If the contractor knows that they’re not competing with another contractor, they may send a quote that’s too favorable for them. They’ll know that you don’t have any options.
On the other hand, asking for quotes from several contractors and letting them know that they’re competing with other contractors will encourage them to send in their best deal. This is because they know that their rate will be considered so it’s in their best interest not to jack up their rates or else, they’ll be disregarded.
Send a request for quotes to around 4 local contractors.
At the end of the day, don’t focus too much on the rate. You’re not after the cheapest rate. You should be after the best value. This is why it’s important that you ask for quotes so you can compare.
Services Provided by Electricians
You’d be surprised at how varied the services provided by electricians are. They’re not limited to cutting wires. This list of services that they offer will show you how important they really are:
A general contractor will hire an electrical contractor to take care of the installation of the electrical system. The contractor will work hand in hand with the other contractors so they can effectively and efficiently install the system.
This task includes the installation of lighting fixtures, wiring, and the likes.
It’s a good idea to regularly maintain the wirings in your property. This is to check if ever there are safety issues that need to be addressed. These are issues that you need to spot ASAP before they cause a more serious issue like a fire.
Regular maintenance also helps you spot repair needs. This allows you to take care of them before they become worse.
Speaking of repair, a good electrical contractor can also be trusted to repair what needs to be repaired in your system. An experienced contractor would have encountered most issues and should know what to do in order to solve them.
This also includes repairing code violations. These violations usually happen if you hired an unlicensed professional or you DIYed the project. A trusted professional can also help you work on issues highlighted after a home inspection for the purpose of a sale.
Your needs now may have upgraded from your needs when you first moved in the property. Your home is probably consuming more electricity now. Maybe you need half a dozen more sockets. A licensed electrician can help you upgrade the system.
There are also new technologies that are currently out in the market. If you want to take advantage of them, you need the help of a professional to perform the necessary upgrades.
This service is usually needed if the property owner decides to renovate the property. Things will be moved around and understandably, there’s a need to rewire the fixtures.
This service is usually for historical or old properties. These projects were done decades ago. In a lot of cases, they were constructed more than a century ago. Understandably, their system has to be restored.
Residential vs Commercial Electrical Projects
In theory, residential and commercial electrical projects are the same. Whatever’s done in a residential setting is also done in a commercial setting, albeit at a bigger scale. So the services listed above can be provided for both residential and commercial projects
Since commercial projects are done at a bigger scale, here are the things that differentiate them from residential ones:
- Wiring type used
Thin and narrow wires are often used in residential settings. These wires are wrapped in plastic sheathing that serves as adequate protection since they’re often hidden in crawl spaces and attics. On the other hand, commercial wiring is often thicker and wider and is protected by tubes so they can be lined exposed to the elements.
- Power phases
Power phases are important to prevent overloading. This is especially true in a commercial setting since these establishments draw more power. Residences utilize single phase power while commercial properties utilize a three phase one. This means that they can deliver up to 448 volts.
In addition, there are services that are more for commercial settings like the following:
- Grounding of buildings
- Installation of generators
- Data wiring
- Communications wiring
- Installation of an energy management system
- Electrical system security
With these differences, it’s a good idea to hire a residential electrical contractor for a residential project and a commercial electrical contractor for a commercial one.
Using the Form to Easily Get Quotes from Contractors
If there’s one thing that you should learn from this article, it’s that you should hire the best licensed electrician for your electrical needs. It also helps if you can find cheap electricians near you, and we have a free service that allows you to do these things.
You can see a form on this website. It’s a very basic form that packs in a lot of power because it gives you access to our database of the best licensed electrical contractors in the country. By entering your basic details, they will be forwarded to the best ones nearest you. They’ll use these details so they can come up with the best quotes for you.
One of the best things about this service is the contractors know that they’re competing with other contractors for your business. This is why they’ll send in their best quote. Just by spending a couple of minutes filling up the basic form, the best electricians with the best quotes will get in touch with you.
Wait for them to get in touch with you and you should receive itemized quotes. Make sure to compare them so you can find the best one for you!