How Do I Choose The Right Electrician?
There are so many electricians out there that you may be wondering “How Do I Choose The Right Electrician?”
As a customer, it can feel bewildering with the number of online sites offering to compare one tradesman to another, how can you ensure you are conparing equal? Apples with apples, so to speak?
When comparing a quote from one electrician to another, whilst we appreciate cost is always a concern, it is important to remember that there is far more to a quote than just the £££ on the end
Choosing The Best Electrician For The Job
The first thing that you need to ensure with EVERY electrician is that they are registered. This is the best thing you can do to ensure that your electrician has the required qualifications and has to answer to a trade body.
Whilst unfortunately this is no cast iron guarantee that your electrician will do a good job, it’s a great start to ensure you have at least some back-up should the worst happen.
In order to join any of the electrical trade bodies, an electrician must:
- Be covered by a minimum £2 million Public Liability Insurance
- Possess the correct testing equipment, calibrated at specified intervals
- Have some form of contracts in place
- Have a complaints procedure (this is a government requirement to join an electrical body)
- Be qualified (also that they must be up to date with the current edition of the wiring regulations)
- Possess copies of the required technical literature (BS7671, EAWR, etc…)
- The “qualified supervisor” for a registered electrician must be competent to test an installation. Each year we get assessed and have to complete a series of tests on an installation.
As you can see, that’s a lot of stuff that you would probably would have just taken for granted was a requirement to be an electrician.
But ask yourself this: When was the last time you thought to ask an electrician if they have any of the above in place?
Obviously no-one does, but by checking their registration you can make sure that your electrician has all the required insurances, qualifications and competencies without any of the awkward questions.
Checking Whether An Electrician is Registered
Checking that your electrician is registered is the first thing you should do when getting a quote!
Even if the contractor says they are, or that their advert says they are, or your uncle recommended them because he works for the council so he must be OK………. CHECK FOR YOURSELF! We have come across many instances where electricians in the local area have simply lied about this. The NICEIC even have a “wall of shame” on their website detailing electricians who have been caught out! Even if you end up hiring us, I insist that you check our registration out BEFORE working with us!
It is super simple – just visit ONE website to check no matter which governing body they may be registered with.
The above website, the “Competent Person Register“, lists all registered electricians, their contact details and the scheme they are registered with.
NEVER hire an electrician without checking this first! You wouldn’t hire a gas engineer without checking their credentials, but many hire unregistered, often unqualified electricians without a second thought.
What After That? – Recommended Electrician!
There are plenty of electricians though, how do you choose between them? If you need more convincing other than the “Competent Person Register”, there are other ways to assess your potential new electrician
One great way to get a feel for an electrician is their presence online. Again, yes there are probably some good electricians who have no online presence. Yet you are online, quite probably on your phone, reading this without a second thought. It’s not difficult to get a Facebook page, Google My Business Listing or some other listings page.
If they aren’t online in some form or another in 2019, why not? Are they qualified? Perhaps. Registered? Insured? Maybe not… It’s easy for customers to leave their own thoughts online. Avoiding having any online presence at all makes it easier for under qualified and under experienced ‘tradesman’, working as electricians, to slip under the radar.
The electrical governing body that an approved electrician is with will have a website with their details online. Again, if searches for your supposed ‘electrician’ online come up blank, ask yourself “why is that?“
Social Status – Looking For The Right Electrician….
The rise of modern ‘social’ sites has enabled nearly every man and his dog to have an online presence. I don’t just mean Facebook & Twitter, but Google My Business is the particular leader here. However what ALL of these sort of sites enable, is customer interaction.
Online reviews are a GREAT way for you to engage with other previous customers and check their experiences before you choose the right electrician for you.
Look for an electrician who isn’t afraid to interact with their previous customers, replying to reviews and such like. The same goes for any of their online presence: if they are not engaging or have no pictures of themselves, for example, what are they afraid of? Ultimately when you are choosing an electrician to work for you, it’s more than just choosing some words on a screen. You are hiring that electrician as a ‘person’ – and to my mind, that starts from the moment you come across us online.
Even better if they have videos, you can meet them BEFORE they even come round to quote!
What About The Right Priced Electrician?
Price is always a thorny subject. Cost does not always equal quality. Many people compare on cost alone simply because they do not want to pay over the odds for a poor quality job.
The alternative is, do you want to pay the going rate for a poor quality job? Or possibly worse?? If you are comparing the cost of:
- A qualified, Registered, Part P approved electrician with all the right equipment, testing equipment, calibrated and checked, keeps up to date with the latest regulations and has the required insurances as a backup should the unforeseen occur. You will receive an Electrical Installation Certificate, Part P paperwork (where appropriate) and an ongoing warranty in case of issue with workmanship or parts failure
- A Part-time handyman/kitchen fitter/plumber who likes to dabble in consumer units on a weekend. Testing extends as far as “turning it on and seeing if it goes bang” No certificate, no warranty and no aftercare if you have a problem
It’s not apples with apples….
Who will still be around for ongoing aftercare long after the cheque has cleared? Who do you think will leave your installation in a safe condition after it has been altered?
…….There is always someone willing to do it cheaper still by cutting corners.
Always look further than just the cheapest price before deciding which quote to go for. This applies to ALL trades, not just electricians…
Doing Your Own Homework Before It’s Too Late!
Make sure you do some homework before hiring an electrician, a plumber, or any homecare professional. There are so many under qualified people with next to no experience who are masquerading as professional tradespeople. Finding this out when then have made a mess of your property is too late…
For further tips on choosing the right electrician (or indeed any tradesperson!), keep your eyes on our blog for more…