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.
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!
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.
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