Whether it’s fixing wiring, installing a solar panel or getting power-saving tips, you want the right electrician for the job. A good electrician should be qualified and licensed, reliable, and do good-quality work for a good price. But how do you go about finding the right electrician for the job?
Why you need a good electrician
A safe and reliable flow of electricity is an absolute necessity for any home. Any problems with your electricity supply can effectively make a home unlivable since you could be without light, heating and cooling, hot water and essential appliances. Electrical problems can also present major safety hazards for you and your family.
There are also strict regulations regarding your home electrical systems including Australian Standards, building code guidelines and the use of circuit breakers and safety switches. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in code violations and fines.
For these reasons, you need an experienced, knowledgeable and reliable electrician to be able to handle any electrical problems quickly and safely.
So how do you go about finding a good local electrician?
- Speak with friends and family
Talk to friends, family or work colleagues to see if they can recommend a local electrician that they’ve worked with in the past. Don’t just ask for general recommendations though. Find out what work they had done, how they found the electrician in terms of service and price, and whether there were any issues with the work.
A lot of local tradies rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations, so this is always a great place to start to find a trusted and reliable electrician.
- Check online reviews
You can try looking online for reviews of local electricians. However, remember to take any online review with a grain of salt. Check out online forums, Google reviews and specific trade network sites like Hipages.
- Speak with trusted contractors
If you’re looking for an electrical contractor, a good place to start is to ask other contractors you’re working with or have worked with in the past. Other trade professionals will have first-hand experience with a range of electrical contractors and should be able to recommend someone suitable for you.
Make sure you explain what sort of work you’re looking to complete. For instance, you may need an electrical specialist for a particular project and a general electrician may not be appropriately qualified or experienced. It’s also worth bearing in mind that contractors will often recommend their mates, so you may not be getting an independent recommendation.
- Confirm licences and registration
You should only use the services of a properly licensed and registered electrician. Using an unqualified tradie, especially an electrician, could put your family’s safety at risk, and you could end up with subpar work or damage to your home.
For any work completed, ensure that the electrician can also provide a certificate of electrical safety. This certificate states that all electrical work completed in your home is compliant with current safety standards. Only registered and licensed electricians can provide these. If they cannot provide a certificate, do not use or trust their services.
Showing a certificate of electrical safety may also be necessary if you need to make a related insurance claim.
- Check for insurance
In general, an electrician must have public liability insurance in order to be licensed. Public liability insurance will cover the tradesperson for any damage that they cause to your property, or any injury cause as a result of their work. If your electrician is uninsured, you may not be able to recover costs associated with injury or damage and have to pay for these out of your own pocket.
- Check references
Treat finding the right electrical contractor like hiring someone for a job. You should ask for references and check any that are provided. Most good tradies will be happy to put you in contact with previous clients and provide examples of their work. Ask about the timeliness and the quality of the work completed, as well as the cost.
Of course, the references provided are likely to only say positive things about the contractor. Therefore, you need to do some extra legwork to see if you can find any evidence of complaints about their service. Have another look online for reviews and compare these with what the references have said.
- Get quotes
As you start to narrow down your options, you can ask for quotes. You should expect these quotes to all fall within a similar range. Be suspicious of any that do not. Quotes that are dramatically less or more than others can indicate that the electrician cuts corners or overcharges.
Look for quotes that include plenty of detail and thoroughly break down labour and material costs, and also include a timeline for completion.
Finding a quality local electrician isn’t easy. But putting in the effort now means that you will always receive a quality service whenever you need repairs or work done to your home’s electrics.