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Tiger Electrical Contracting Co.

 

ELECTRICIANS AND ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS - HIRING TIPS


License

Electricians are proud of their licenses and carry them. A license is required in Illinois. Other trade professionals may not have received the proper training for electrical work. They may not have the proper testing equipment to find problems or to test completed work. When working “under the license”, a supervising electrician should be on-site supervising a helper or apprentice on your project.

Insurance

In addition to a license, liability insurance is required. For your protection the electrician should have a “Certificate of Insurance” available for you before working. An insurance claim for an uninsured worker could be against your homeowners insurance or commercial insurance policy. This might cause higher insurance rates for you. You can call their insurance company to confirm that the carpenter or handyman is insured for electrical work.

References

Your electrician should provide at least three references from past electrical projects. The references should be for the electrician who is actually performing the work on your project.

Better Business Bureau

The BBB provides a report of any complaints for the past 36 months. Beware of a company with complaints or a company with no report.

Experience

What is the experience of the electrician performing the work on your project? Are you interviewing the electrician who is performing the work or a salesperson? Is the electrician’s experience in industrial maintenance, new construction or residential remodeling? An industrial electrician may have experience installing conduit on a 20’ high ceiling. A residential remodeling electrician may have experience fishing wires into walls with minimal damage to the walls. New construction and industrial electricians might not use shoe covers and drop cloths.

Written Warranty

Will the electrician provide a written warranty with the work?

Written Quotes versus Estimates

Estimates are a “best-guess” of a price for a job. A written quote is a Contract Proposal with a specific price for a job. Often an electrician gives an estimate because of a lack of experience in calculating a firm price for your type of project.

Upfront Pricing versus Time and Materials Pricing

Typically with Time and Materials pricing you don’t know the cost of the job until the end of the job. You are required to approve the job without knowing the final price. The hourly rate is firm and the final cost is variable. You may feel like you need to supervise the electrician to be sure the electrician is being productive. You may have to pay more for a trip to the store because the electrician doesn’t have the materials for your job in the van. An electrician lacking experience may cost more as tasks take longer to complete.

Typically with Upfront Pricing you know the cost of the job before you approve it. The final cost is firm and the hourly rate is variable. You don’t need to supervise the electrician to be sure the electrician is being productive. You don’t have to pay more for a trip to the store. Often an electrician prefers to work on a Time and Materials basis because of a lack of experience in calculating a firm price for your type of project.

Don’t you just want to know the final cost of the repair or installation?

About the author:

Dave Pieplow was raised in Barrington, Illinois and is a graduate of an intensive trade program at Twin Lakes Vo-Tech in Harrison, Arkansas. He worked with machine power and control wiring until going into business in 1984. He had a residential remodeling business for 10 years and has been electrical contracting for 20 years.

Tiger Electrical Contracting Company is a residential and light commercial service company. It has received yearly “Complaint Free Awards” from the Better Business Bureau since joining in 2005.


Barrington 847-381-3333
Crystal Lake 815-444-7744
Email dave@tigerelectrical.com