Everything You Need to Know Before You Hire an Electrician

Although it may be tempting to attempt your own electrical work, there are many reasons you should always consult a professional. You may see an opportunity to save a few dollars if you do the work yourself, plus you don’t need to wait around for someone to show up, but in the long run doing your own electrical work can end up costing you even more time and money than if you hired a professional to begin with. Even if you know a thing or two about electrical networks and you are able to perform basic maintenance tasks yourself, you might reach a point where you know it’s time to call in a professional. We’ve put together this guide to help you when you need to call an electrician.

Common Electrical Projects

We all need electrical services in our homes or businesses from time to time, whether it be basic maintenance or emergency repairs. Because there are potentially life threatening dangers involved, it’s not always wise to perform these tasks yourself. Electrical issues are not the area where you should be testing out your DIY skills as you could cause serious damage to your property, your belongings and also yourself.

A large part of an electricians job involves remodeling and construction projects, but they also do smaller scale electrical work and routine repairs including:

  • Installing a lighting or light fixtures
  • Installing ceiling fans
  • Installing or updating electrical outlets
  • Updating or replacing circuit breakers
  • Installing or updating electrical panels
  • Adding outdoor lighting and other outdoor electrical wiring

How to Hire an Electrician

Choosing an electrician isn’t always easy. You want to know you are getting the best service, the best deal and you want to know your property and your wiring are in good, capable hands. Here are some steps to follow before you choose who to call first:

  1. Read this entire article We’ve included a lot of helpful information and FAQs that you can look at to get a sense of what you should expect. Having the best information from the onset, arms you with the knowledge you need to find the right person for the job. Understanding the basics will help you better understand your problem and find someone who can help.
  2. Research the costs of the job You should get a general idea of what a job will cost you. Look at several sources for this information, not just this article. You should familiarize yourself with what to expect. Costs vary but having a ballpark idea will prevent you from being overcharged.
  3. Read the reviews When you’ve narrowed down the choices, read the reviews. This will help you choose between your initial selection of electrical companies. It’s a good idea to know what other customers have said and experienced so you know what you might be getting yourself into.
  4. Talk to others Talk to your family and friends about their experience with electrical problems. Maybe they’ve had a similar issue in the past and can give you some insight about how their electrician fixed the problem. If you can, talk to other professionals, perhaps they can tell you how they would solve the problem. Ask for ball park price quotes.
  5. Check experience and qualifications You want to ensure the person working on your home is experienced and trustworthy. In many cases an electrician will have to troubleshoot the problem, so the more experience they have the better. This makes them more capable of finding the best solution for your electrical issue.

What is the cost per hour of an electrician?

Generally speaking, the cost per hour of an electrician is -, but this will vary depending on location, the electrician you hire, and the complexity of the project. If you live in an area with a higher cost of living you will probably pay more. You will also probably pay more for the first hour as this usually includes travel time and travel expenses. If you require after hour or emergency services, you can also expect to pay emergency fees of up to in some cases, and a higher hourly rate.

Hiring an Electrician in 5 Quick Tips

If you own a home or property with electricity, you will eventually need an electrician. Whether it’s regular maintenance or repair work, or a larger job or project, the bill can add up and quickly become costly. Electricians aren’t cheap, but here are some tips on how to get the most for your money.

  1. Don’t Focus Too Much on The Hourly Rates
    The hourly rates might seem super pricey at -, but you shouldn’t fixate on those numbers. An electrician that has adequate training and a great skill set is a far better investment at an hour than someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. For one thing, an expert will get the job done quickly and for another, someone who is inexperienced can not only take several hours to complete a simple job they can also damage your wiring and property in the process, costing you more money in the long run.
  2. Compare The Cost of Travel
    You will want to choose a local electrician. This is because most electricians will charge you for travel rates and time. This can have a big impact on your final bill. Find someone close to you so you’re not forking over money for travel expenses.

    Travel charges can affect your bill in the following ways:

    • Higher first hour rate
    • A trip charge
    • Minimum charge for each visit
    • Higher hourly rate

    Ask your electrical company how they charge for travel time before you book your electrician. Then weight the pros and cons to decide if it’s worth it for the job you need done. For example, if you need an electrician for a big job, a trip charge and a low hourly rate might make more sense.

  3. Some electrical problems aren’t necessarily emergencies.
    If you can wait to get your repairs done all at once it will save you money in travel time and first visit costs. When you identify an electrical problem put it on a list, then when you have a few on your list you can call your electrician. Before your electrician arrives do a final sweep of your property for any non functioning light switches, etc. You’ll save money by having all your maintenance and small repairs done at once.

  4. You can also save money by ensuring your electrician doesn’t have to deal with inconveniences.
    This means having a good idea of what the problem is and preparing the area where you need the work done.

  5. Get Several Repairs Done at The Same Time
    What You Should Do & Know Before Your Electrician Arrives

    • Give a thorough and clear description of your problem. Even if you don’t know what it is, you can quickly tell the electrician in layman terms what the issue is.
    • Have your list of repairs handy, and make sure you inform them of the repairs you require when you call them, many times they do not have time for additional (unexpected) work on site.
    • Clear any furniture or clutter that is blocking your electrical panel box.
    • Clear anything that is near or around the areas they will be working in.
    • Ask your questions before they start working.
    • When they are finished ask follow up questions to find up if there are any potential hazards or problems that might occur.
    • You may lose power while they work so be prepared for limited or no power.
    • Find out the accepted payment methods before they arrive so you are ready with your preferred payment method upon completion.

What Does an Average Visit From an Electrician Involve

  1. Accessing the area where you need work done.
  2. Troubleshooting and assessing the problem.
  3. Shutting off the power.
  4. Repairing the issue, or installing fixtures.
  5. Cleaning up.

Why You Should Be Smart About Electrical Fixtures

  • If you switch from regular light fixtures or bulbs to LED ones, you can reduce the energy consumption in your home which will save you money.
  • Installing motion detector lighting outside can save you money by automatically turning off lights when they aren’t being used. These lights are also great for security.
  • Accent lighting inside and outside your home can make your home look great and increase its market value.

What Should You Ask Your Electrician?

Before you decide on an electrician, be sure to ask questions. Hiring an electrician is an investment so you want to be sure you get someone qualified and experienced to get the most for your money. Here are some questions you can ask your electrician:

  • What is your experience with this kind of job? What are your qualifications?
  • Do you have prior work references?
  • What are your rates? Always ask for rates up front.
  • Will you be doing the actual work? Or will you be sending an apprentice or someone else? This is common practice for electricians, so don’t worry if they are sending someone else.
  • Are you usually on time? What kind of delays can I expect? Some leeway should be given to your electrician, but you may want to find out if they can offer you a ballpark time frame.

FAQs

Generally speaking, electricians work on electrical networks like outlets, electrical panels, wiring, and lights. This includes installation, repairs and maintenance.

Yes, there are 3 kinds of electricians: Master, Journeyman and Apprentice. All these certifications require formal training and a minimum amount of experience.

  • Spend 4 years learning the trade
  • During that time they work on all sorts of projects in an effort to graduate to “Journeyman.”
  • Apprentice electricians do basic electrical work like fixture installation, replacing outlets, and assisting wiring projects.
  • They are always supervised by either a Journeyman or Master electrician.

Journeyman:

  • Work without supervision
  • They can do all sorts of electrical work from completely wiring a property to repairing a light.
  • Generally speaking, a journeyman can do everything except designing new systems.

Master electricians:

  • Design new electrical systems
  • Supervise and/or mentor Journeyman and Apprentices.
  • They are usually about 25% more expensive and they generally work on larger projects.

You’re not required to tip your electrician, but you can if you want. You can also offer them refreshments, like coffee or donuts.

Usually they make about per hour but that estimate varies depending on things like experience, education and certifications. An apprentice might make half of that, while a Master could make up to per hour. This number represents how much they take home, not how much they bill you. They also have additional costs to account for, like taxes, insurance, equipment, overhead, and other expenses.

There are many risks in becoming an electrician, and the risks greatly depend on what kind of electrician you are. There are obvious risks like electrocution, but there is also the risk of falling if you are working on a ceiling fixture or if your work involves working on electrical poles.

There are many risks in becoming an electrician, and the risks greatly depend on what kind of electrician you are. There are obvious risks like electrocution, but there is also the risk of falling if you are working on a ceiling fixture or if your work involves working on electrical poles.

You might be tempted to try to do your own electrical work in order to save a few bucks. We strongly advise you leave electrical work to the professionals. Electrical networks are complex and they can be extremely dangerous. If you install something wrong, or you make a mistake you can seriously damage your property, or worse. It takes a lot of training and education to become an electrician and it’s not easy. If you insist on doing repairs yourself we strongly recommend you completely understand electrical safety before you begin. Even the simplest projects can be hazardous.