Not all electricians are created equal! Here are some questions to ask them to make sure that you get the best experience possible.
10 Questions to Ask Your Electrician
- Who is your governing body?
Most registered electricians will make it very clear that they are registered, and who they are registered with. This is a shame that is it like this, it is because it cannot just be assumed that all electricians are registered, there are unregistered electricians operating in this area and they undercut those that do things by the book.
We are registered with the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) who is the UKs largest governing body. They are also the strictest (and the most expensive) which means that if you ever have a problem with an electrician registered with the NICEIC, they are able to step in and help you resolve any complaints you may have.
- What are you registered for?
There are different types of registration, and what people may not realise, is that somebody that is registered as a domestic installer, is not actually registered to carry out EICR’s. The domestic installer scheme is a basic entry level scheme that was designed for plumbers and/or kitchen fitters that may do some electrical work, but that they do very little and they need to notify it.
To have full scope of electrical work, your electrician would need to be registered as an Approved Contractor, as we are, this covers us for both domestic and commercial work.
- What level of insurance do you have?
The only insurance that is required by law, is employers liability insurance. Paying insurance is like making a bet, will I need this insurance this year?
Not paying for insurance that we have never had to use costs us £1000’s, but not having business insurance is not a gamble that we are willing to make. Are you?
Don’t be afraid to ask your electrician what level of cover they have and what insurances they have. We have £5Million public liability insurance, and £1Million Professional indemnity insurance.
Don’t be afraid to ask to see your electricians insurance documents, if they have nothing to hide, they will be only happy to show you.
- Do you have any references?
If you are having a large job carried out by somebody, do you want to just leave it to chance that they will be one of the good/honest trades people? We see cowboy builders on the television all the time.
Ask your electrician for references, we are always happy to provide a selection of willing referees to anybody that asks, some have even been willing to show people around their home or business.
- What is included?
We list the tasks that are to be carried out, this so you can see what is included in your quotation and is to prevent any lines being blurred. If there is something not on there that you would like adding, you are able to bring this up and discuss it and any costs relating to it before any work commences.
Something that I often hear is that somebody has had some work carried out and it was only once the work was already underway that they found out that something wasn’t included in the original quote, meaning that they received additional charges that they had not budgeted for.
- Can you explain your quotation?
Don’t be afraid to ask your electrician for a breakdown of their costs and know exactly what you are paying for.
Many quotes that we have seen have only had a lump sum and no clear way to identify how those costs have been worked out, we believe in making our quotes transparent, and itemise all the materials and costs so you can make no mistake as to how we have created your quotation. Creating our quotations in this way means we can tailor our prices to your needs, rather than quoting a lump sum that covers any costs that may arise, saving you money.
- Who will be working in my home?
I know I would like to know who may be going in to my home, especially if I was going to be out of the house when the work is carried out. Trades people often sub contract to other companies and invite these people in without letting you know it is happening.
If we use any subcontractors, we tell you that they will be coming, what job it is that they are going to be doing, and their contact details in case you would like to carry out your own checks. But also rest assured that we carry out our own checks on anybody that does work for us, and never instruct or recommend anybody without checking them out and making sure that we are happy with their work and the way they conduct their business.
- When can the work be carried out?
Because most of the work that we do is quoted work, we are able to fairly accurately manage the diary. Of course sometimes jobs over run or emergancies pop up, but we keep communication going with you so you know exactly when we will turn up, usually within an hours window for work, and a 4 hour window for quotations.
A lot of people leave their electrical work until the last minute to plan and get booked in, and whilst we always try to cater for our customers, sometimes it may only be possible at an inconvenient time, by booking ahead you can ensure you get the contractor, and the time slot that you want.
- What sort of warranty do you offer?
It is important to for peace of mind to know how long your installation is covered for, what is included and if anything goes wrong, will your electrician rectify it without a quibble?
We offer a 6 year insurance backed warranty, with 100% satisfaction guaranteed. We never finish a job until we know that our clients are happy with the work and the service that they have received.
- What experience do you have of this type of work?
Using an electrician that doesn’t have the relevant experience of the type of work you are asking for, can sometimes be as bad as using someone that is not registered and able to sign your work off.
Using somebody that does not understand the care and attention needed to carry out work on listed buildings can have disastrous consequences, and can be expensive to rectify. And if the electrician is not insured, then you will need to go through laborious and costly measures to reclaim your money.
We have decades of experience working on listed buildings and take great care when working on each and every project, treating it as if it were our own.