5 things to remember when hiring an electrician

Electrical work is tricky and dangerous to figure out on your own. The slightest error can lead to a short circuit or fire, so it’s a good idea to hire an electrician, even if it’s for the smallest of jobs.

Jonathan Steed, our tradesman of the month Jonathan Steed, our tradesman of the month

We checked in with our June tradesman of the month, Jonathan Steed, and the first tradesman to achieve 500 positive reviews on our site, Vin Patel. No matter how straightforward your job might seem, there are some things that are important to keep in mind when hiring an electrician. Here is what they suggested:

1. Are they able to self-certify their work?

Most electrical work in the home needs to be done in line with legal standards known in the trade as "Part P", which means it must be inspected and approved either by the Building Standards department of your local authority, or by the tradesman who carries out the work and is able to self-certify their work. In order to self-certify, the electrician must be registered with a competent persons scheme. These include BSI, ELECSA, NAPIT, NICEIC, STROMA, SELECT and TrustMark. You can check with the relevant bodies to see if they are registered, or look on the Registered Competent Person Electrical site.

2. Read previous, relevant reviews

Read through their MyBuilder reviews. Being positively reviewed is not enough in and of itself—you need to check if they are relevant to the job you need done. Read through previous reviews to confirm that your potential electrician has been well-reviewed for jobs similar to yours. Check also for reliability and punctuality. Customers often leave detailed comments and feedback—make use of these!

Vin Patel, the first tradesman to achieve 500 positive reviews on MyBuilder Vin Patel, the first tradesman to achieve 500 positive reviews on MyBuilder

3. Agree to a quote

Before you hire, make sure you are agreeing to a quote and not a rough estimate. The quote should include details about the job, concrete prices, and a payment schedule that outlines a deposit as well as a payment calendar. The schedule is particularly important, since it is what avoids misunderstandings down the line.

4. Don't pick the cheapest option

When considering different quotes from your shortlisted electricians, don't pick the cheapest one. Read through the quote carefully to ensure that you end up picking the best person for your job. Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is.

5. Get your certificate

Finally, once your job has been completed, get a certificate issued for it. If your electrician doesn't agree to this, that's a major red flag and you should reconsider hiring them. If you have any other queries, read our more in depth article on hiring an electrician.

Find an electrician in your area by posting a job today!

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  1. I would no longer rely on NICEIC qualified electricians after my last experience. The man was engaged on the basis of his NICEIC qualifications and had started work before telling me he couldn't certify his work under Part P ie the work was safe. This was especially worrying as the property was rented out to a tenant. For me only NAPIT will do.

  2. yeh I agree - very useful -
    I made a very rushed decision to hire an electrician via My Builder last year to change a fuse box
    Unfortunately , he was NOT one of the best - We didnt carry out any of those checks-We still have problems with the box he installed - we are unable to contact him -- He said I should receive a certificate in the post 30 days after the job has been done BUT this never happened after 15 months -I think My Builder should be vigilent regarding the tradesmen regsitered with the site

  3. If you make every electrician on my builder put there registered details of there electrical scheme ie niceic on there profile that would help customers and stop people who are not electricians or registered get jobs ie changing fuseboards without issuing a certificate after

  4. Thanks for sharing this article with us, Natasha! You're absolutely right: electrical work IS tricky and dangerous—that's why it's important to hire a professional! I have a bathroom project that I'll need electrical help on, so I'll be sure to follow your suggestions by reading relevant, previous reviews about the electrician I'll hire. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Alex Jennings

  5. The main concern I have is that the builders I am seeing will provide a electrician who is to be a sub-contractor for the builder the chap I am considering using has helped me out in an emergency so I would like to be able to hire him. I will let him know that I will need to check that his Electrician is registered with this governing body. Napit but how will I hire him separately from the builder ? I am using Chartered Surveyors so perhaps I should ask them to check his bonafides.

    Thanks very helpful and much appreciated.

  6. Thank you for this advice. The wiring in my house is very quirky, and I need to hire an electrician to fix it. I don't have much experience when it comes to hiring electricians, so I thought I should do some research on the subject. Your advice to ask for proof of qualification was most helpful. I'll be sure to do that.

  7. Reading review is the first thing I do before hiring a professional service. When looking for an electrician, checking for relevant jobs, like you suggested, is smart. That way you will be sure they can handle the job you have in mind.

  8. I really liked your fourth tip to agree to a quote and not an estimate. As you suggest, this will include details about the job, the prices, and the payment schedule. I think that doing this will make the project a lot more organized, and you are ensuring that you are involved in the process and understand everything that will go on and what you are paying for. I will definitely be sure to use this advice when I have to hire an electrician.

  9. I like your third point a lot. While I would always look at reviews, I wouldn't have thought to look for relevant reviews specifically. It's true that there are lots of different types of electrical services, so it makes sense that you'd want to find someone who is well-versed in the specific kind of work you need. Thanks for the great advice!

  10. Thanks for the tips for what to remember when hiring an electrician. I especially like your suggestion consider more than just the price when choosing. That way, like you said, you will choose the best person for the job, instead of merely the cheapest. I will be sure to do this when I am looking for an electrician in the future.

  11. I couldn't agree more with the tips given here of how to pick a good electrician. I really like that this focuses on the integrity and authenticity of the electrician. My husband and I have been looking for someone to do some electrical work in our home, and we will definitely be implementing these ideas so we can find a great experience. Thanks for the information!

  12. I like how you suggested, "Ask to see their Part P qualification...". This would ensure that they know what they're doing. I recently asked my friend about qualifications for electrical work. He said that I should look up info online. Is there a site that lists all of these?

  13. Great article! I'm glad that I stumbled upon it because I've been thinking about hiring an electrician. I think you're absolutely right: when hiring an electrician, it's important that you're asking for proof of their qualification. I'll be sure to ask for their licences when they come buy to look at my lights. Thanks for the great tips!

  14. I admire what you say about getting an electrician. Electrical work isn't a DIY project like many other jobs. You need to find someone that is certified and knows how to fix electrical issues. It can be really easy to find an electrician close to home by searching online. Finding a quality worker will be the key to getting your electrical work done right.

  15. I really appreciate this information on how to pick the best electrician to hire. My husband and I have recently started having some electrical problems in our home, and I agree with this article that is it going to be the safest to hire a professional to fix the problems. I appreciate as well that it tells the reader to look for a governing body. I wouldn't have thought to do that before reading this, thank you for this information!

  16. I have been looking to hire an electrician for a while now, but I wasn't sure on what kind of things I need to be looking for. So I really appreciate you talking about this, and letting me know about these 5 things I need to remember when I'm looking to hire someone. I'll definitely keep these in mind as I keep looking. Thanks for the help.

  17. I have been needing to hire an electrician. I agree that hiring the cheapest option may not be the best idea. I will need to keep this in mind as I search.

  18. These are some great things to remember. You're right, there can be a certain amount of danger when it comes to electrical work. That's why it's a good idea to remember these things when hiring an electrician. Thanks for sharing this.

  19. I really appreciate this information on how to hire an electrician. I like that it talks about not just finding reviews, but finding reviews that are recent and relevant. My husband and I are looking into redoing the electrical work in our home, and I think this will give us a great place to start. Thanks for the information!

  20. I hadn't thought of reading through reviews that were relevant to the job needed. For me it was about equating the quality of the company overall with its reviews. This article is convincing, and we're definitely going to start doing that.

  21. I was needing to hire an electrician but didn't quite know where to start. I hadn't heard of the Part P qualification. That will put me off to a great start, as is the case with the rest of this article. Thanks for sharing it!

  22. Thanks for the tips. I am about to need an electrician to add the wiring to a room we put into our house. I was definitely planning on simply finding the cheapest possible. I didn't realize how much thought I actually should put into it. I'll use this as the reference guide. Thanks again.

  23. My husband and I are going to be doing some remodeling in our home soon. We are going to need some electrical work done and we are thinking of hiring an electrician. The tip about making sure to ask if they have their Part P qualification seems like a good idea. We will have to keep that in mind!

  24. I really love the tip to make sure you research them before hiring them. There are a lot of people who just hire them on the spot, just to realize they aren't the best technicians around. Researching the company and other companies can really get your the best technicians for sure!

  25. Thanks for the advice. It's kind of a big subject when it comes to wiring ones house or fixing something previous in my case. It is always a good idea to read reviews before having any sort of service done and is a great habit to form to make the best calls. I'll be sure to use this the next time I have something come up and need an electrician!

  26. A lot of people don't know to follow these steps. In particular, they don't know that you can check to see if they are registered. Instead, they go for whatever electrician comes up first on Google, and who knows how qualified they are! Thanks for sharing these tips!

  27. Probably the most important question that you listed to ask when hiring an electrician would have to be asking for proof of their licensing. Then you will know that it is not a scam and they are there to help. I would not want to go with anyone that doesn't have the proper licensing for something like this. Doing that is just asking for trouble.

  28. My wife and I try to safe money as much as possible, but I agree that there are some instances where you shouldn't go with the cheapest option. So I really like your 5th thing to remember. In our experience with electricians, you get what you pay for. Thanks for the great tips, we will definitely keep these in mind next time we are in need to hire someone.

  29. You're right about reading reviews. A friend of mine recently had to hire an electrician for their house. He did a great job, but the work only lasted for a few months before it went bad again. They had to check the reviews before they hired the next person. Great article!

  30. I didn't know that electricians had a governing body. I'll be sure to ask what they're a part of in the future. I know to ask to see their electrician certification of course. And yes, don't hire the cheapest option! I learned that the hard way when we moved into our first home.

  31. I couldn't agree more with your tip on not necessarily going with the cheapest option. I always say that I want a job done right and I feel like sometimes to get the best quality work done to ensure that also means putting some money down as well. This last summer I had an electrician come and replace some of the wiring in our home. He did a great job! The issues that we had had beforehand we no longer experience. I really feel the quality was great. However, what should a client do when they aren't satisfied? I have always been curious about that.

  32. Thanks for the tips on finding an electrician! I agree that it is essential to get a quote with prices and time frame. I'm looking for an electrician for my new business; do you have any tips for finding commercial electricians?

  33. Thanks for the information. I always get confused about which certification is best or what it means. I appreciate the information on each of the certifications. Now I know what to look for and something to ask the contractor.

  34. I agree that you should read reviews. Looking at other people's experiences can save you from choosing someone that's not reliable. I will remember to check reviews before choosing an electrician.

  35. I think reading reviews of the electrical contractors is really helpful. And like you said, it's important to read the reviews of the specific job you need done. It's nice to read other reviews too but it's good to know how a certain company does with the situation you are in. Doing this in the past has helped me make a good choice when deciding on a electrical contractor. Thanks for your advice on reading reviews.

  36. I think reading reviews of the electrical contractors is really helpful. And like you said, it's important to read the reviews of the specific job you need done. It's nice to read other reviews too but it's good to know how a certain company does with the situation you are in. Doing this in the past has helped me make a good choice when deciding on a electrical contractor. Thanks for your advice on reading reviews.

  37. I really like how you said that, "The slightest error can lead to a short circuit or fire, so it’s a good idea to hire an electrician, even if it’s for the smallest of jobs." It's always a good idea to try and save when you can, but you have to know when its safer to call the pros. I tried to finish my basement and attempted to do a little bit of wiring. I quickly figure out that it was not worth starting a fire. Thanks for sharing this article because it helped me out for sure.

  38. I like what this article mentions about checking with a governing body about the authenticity of the work that will be done. I think this could be very important for me to get the highest quality work. I will definitely be remembering these tips when in the market. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Thank you for the list of things to look out for when hiring an electrician. Number two and three are one that we will particularly be on the look out for. I feel like I should do a little bit more research on NAPIT and NICEIC though before. Thanks again for the informational article.

  40. I think it is important to find out more about the electrical company before you call them. Doing some sort of check on the company is going to help you avoid getting yourself in a bad situation. I think it would be really nice to also get a quote before so that you know how much to plan for. Then you know what all the fees and costs are for.

  41. We are planning to renovate our kitchen (something that will definitely involve hiring an electrician) so this is a great resource since I've never hired one before. I was unaware that they had to be registered with a governing body, and I've never heard of getting certificates issued after the job is done. I'll definitely ask all these questions and look into all these things. Out of curiosity, what is the certificate for? Does it just state what was done, etc.?

  42. I liked your tip to look for certified electricians who are registered with a governing body. Making sure that any electrician is certified and insured, but hiring someone that's registered with NAPIT or NICEIC seems like a smart thing to do. If this means that they're more qualified than other contractors who aren't registered with these governing bodies, then I'll definitely look into this to find out who would be the best contractor to hire.

  43. I would agree that when you are deciding on an electrician to maintenance your home you need to ask questions. Look at reviews and find an electrician you can trust. Being the cheapest option does not mean they often quality work. Thank you for sharing your tips on selecting an electrician!

  44. Getting a quote from multiple different electrician companies I would agree is a good way to make sure that you are getting a fair price. That is interesting that there are so many different factors to keep in mind when picking an electrician. That is smart to do your research on different companies to ensure that you will get quality service! Thank you for sharing how to select an electrician!

  45. I'm going to be remodeling my bathroom soon, and I know that I'm going to need some help with the electrical stuff. This being said, I really appreciate you giving me some insight on how I can best hire the right electrician for me. I'll make sure to ask for proof that they are qualified when I find someone. Thanks a ton for letting me know about this.

  46. I liked what you mentioned about how important it is to find a good residential electrician to work on your home. I've been trying to find a good electrician for a few days, and it can be difficult to know which one is the best! I liked your idea about reading some recent reviews about the company before deciding to work with them. I think that this is a great way for me to be able to know how well they work before hiring them. I'll make sure to do that, thank you for the help!

  47. Thank you for sharing these great tips! My husband and I have been having a lot of trouble with our electrical system lately. We will be sure to ask for proof of qualifications before we hire anyone.

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