Do you have electrical repairs to complete or are you building or renovating a house this year? Hiring reliable, experienced trades is an important task and none is more important than hiring a qualified, licensed, residential electrician. Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of house fires in Canada but there are steps you can take to avoid this preventable tragedy.
10 Tips For Hiring A Residential Electrician
1. Is your electrical contractor licensed with the Province of BC? Technical Safety BC is the licensing authority in our province. Your electrical contractor should have a current provincial license number and be in good standing with Technical Safety BC. Always check to confirm!
2. Is your residential electrician bonded? Bonding protects homeowners from shoddy workmanship and electrical work that doesn’t meet the current Canadian Electrical Code. Always check if your electrician is bonded to Technical Safety BC for your protection.
3. Is your electrician insured? A residential electrician should carry at least $2,000,000 in liability insurance and you have every right to ask to see the electrical contractor’s proof of insurance.
5. Does your Electrical Contractor hold a current business license to legally work in your community? Ask to see a business license and ensure that it is current.
6. Will your electrical contractor take out an electrical permit and call for inspection of the work performed? Before any electrical work begins ask for a copy of the electrical permit and be sure to receive a copy of the inspection report after the work is complete. View the inspection report to check that your electrical work has passed inspection BEFORE you pay the final balance of your bill.
7. Check your contractor’s Better Business Bureau rating and ask for current, local references. CALL them! Ask questions to see if your electrician’s previous clients were satisfied with all aspects of the electrical work completed. Ask if their electrical work was completed under a permit. Did it pass inspection? Was the electrician reliable and was the work completed on schedule?
8. Get a written quote. Ask your electrician for a quote outlining the specific work to be completed at the quoted price. If your electrician works by the hour (as is common for service calls and some renovation work), know ahead of time what hourly rate you will be charged for labour.
9. Discuss unexpected surprises ahead of time. Electricians sometimes discover illegal or damaged pre-existing wiring during a renovation (after drywall is removed). A licensed electrician will be legally required to repair damaged/faulty wiring in order for the quoted scope of work to pass inspection. Completing this mandatory extra work will add to the cost of the job so discuss this issue ahead of time and come to an agreement (in writing) as to how “surprise” extra work will be billed.
Remember – any changes you decide to make to the pre-agreed-upon scope of work will usually lead to additional charges. It’s best to submit your mid-project change orders in writing and find out how much extra you will have to pay before you commit to any changes in scope.
10. Agree on payment terms and methods. Make sure your electrical contractor is registered with Revenue Canada and has a GST number for legitimate tax collection purposes. Agree on payment terms and methods of payment. It’s common to pay a deposit on electrical work for a construction project and a payment totalling approximately 80% of the value of the electrical installation is made when the rough in electrical is complete (and has passed inspection). The final payment is made when the work is complete and has passed the final electrical inspection.
Building or renovating a home is an exiting time but it can also be stressful when you experience problems with trades. It is hoped our tips for hiring a residential electrician will help guide you in the process of selecting the right professional to wire your home or renovation project.
If you live in the Comox Valley or surrounding mid-island communities, we would be happy to provide a quote for the electrical portion of your project. As a family owned company, we LOVE helping our fellow community members turn their plans for a dream home into reality!
Our Residential Electrician Is:
- a BC Master Electrician with a perfect 30 year career safety record!
- Provincially Licensed with Technical Safety BC #LEL0206215
- Bonded to Technical Safety BC
- Insured for $3,000,000 liability
- an inter-community business license holder
- Worksafe BC registered #136490 (claims free)
- Accredited with the Better Business Bureau
- registered with Revenue Canada GST #797892916RT0001