Choosing An Electrician

Hiring a tradesman can be a daunting task. Especially when it comes to hiring an electrician.

You hear of so many horror stories about people hiring electrical contractors (or other tradesman for that matter) to complete work but communication breaks down, things go wrong an the whole project basically turns into a nightmare.

Common problems can be that a client is hiring a builder who uses all of his own tradesman. (We will use an electrician in this example)

The client is putting his trust & faith into the builder making sure he is using certified electrician but the electrician turns out to be unreliable or just don’t complete the work to a high standard.

There could be many reasons for this such as:

  • The builder couldn’t use his own, regular electrician so he is using another replacement instead
  • The electrician he does use is just not very good
  • The electrician he is using works for a company in the day but does extra (private) work on the side. This means his availability will be reduced limiting his visits to evenings and weekends.

There are of course many other examples which could be listed out but here are just a few ideas to check that the electrician being used for your project are competent, qualified and good to work with.


Making Sure the Electrician is registered with an Electrical Scheme:

One of the first things to check is that the electrician is registered with an approved scheme. This means that he is asessed at least once a year and his work is checked. A good place to start would be to see if he is registered with the NICIEC. If you go to there website using the link then you can see all of the NICEIC registered contractors in your area. There are other schemes such as Napit, Stroma, Elecsa. If they are registered with one of these schemes then that means that they are able to issue certificates and sign of the work which they have completed. When they sign the work off they notify the local authority and also issue you a Building Control Notification. Checking that the electrician is registered with a scheme is a good place to start.

Is the project Domestic, Commercial or Industrial?

You need to determine what type of electrical work that the electrician does regulary. Meaning is the electrician an Domestic, Industrial or Commercial Electrician?

Some electricians are very versatile and can cater for all types of electrics. You just don’t want a domestic electrician who has never taken on any Commercial electrical or Industrial work designing the electrical installation in your commercial premesis and at the same time you don’t want a Solely Commercial Electrician working on a Domestic electrical project.

It is worth checking that the proposes electrician has the appropriate (Dometsic, Commercial or Industrial) experience for your chosen project


Is the electrician from a Big Company or a Local Independent Electrician?

Is the electrician that come out to look at the job actually the one doing the work?? Or is he sub contracting the work out to another electrician or using a couple of his employees?

This might not be true for all companies but in my experience if a electrical company uses some sub contractors or a couple of his employees then their heart is not always in the job and they are just more concerned about getting paid there weekly wage and getting home on time. Of course this is not true on every occasion but in my experience when working for a company (especially if they don’t like their boss) or the company is using agency electricians it can turn out to be a nightmare. Especially if the company sends different electricians at different stages of the job to do different things then thats when things go wrong.

If on the other hand the electrician who viewed the work is actually there doing the work and over seeing the electrics on the project then he will know everything that has been done and should limit the chances of any problems ie cables getting run into the wrong place, spot light holes being cut in the wrong place etc.

Also if it is a local independent electrician then he will want to complete the work to they highest standard to maintain his good reputation.

As i mentioned earlier of course what I just mentioned above can differ a lot but this is just from my experience.


Getting Reviews From Previous Client.

Was the builder recommended to you from a friend or family?? Or do you know anyone the builder has previously worked for?

If so that is a great opportunity to ask them what the project was like. Even better maybe arrange a time to pop round there to view the work and ask a few questions. You should also check that the previous clients received all of the appropriate certification ok.


Dont Always Go For The Cheapest Price

When obtaining quotes for your project it can be tempting to just go for the cheapest quote without reading what is included. Also when you go through the project, write down your requirements, print it out / send an e-mail and send the same document to all the builders. Otherwise all of the builders will be pricing for different jobs which is also a recepie for disaster.

Once you receive the quotes back then start checking the tradesman and looking for reviews etc. If you just go for the cheapest quote then it could end up costing you more in the long run.


Does The Builder / Electrician Have a Website?

This is not the be all an end all. I’ve know brilliant tradesman who do not have a website and get by on just word of mouth alone. But if they do have a website then it is worth having a quick look to see if they have any photos of previous projects and it is also good to get a feel for the company and ccheck if they have the correct accrediatations for their trade.

Final Thoughts

Well thats enough from me. I hope this article has helped a little bit if you are about to start a project. We wish you all the best be sure to check our other Blog posts which are aimed to help clients when it comes to their projects and electrics.

You can also check out this article 9 Tips for Hiring the Best Contractor for the Job we came across which is a really good read when thinking about hiring a contractor for a job. Enjoy!