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How To Choose an Electrician

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Your home's electrical system is complicated and can be hazardous with improperly handled renovations.

  1. Evaluate what you need to have done. Are you renovating, adding a room or repairing existing wiring.
  2. Interview several contractors. Also consult friends and neighbours.
  3. Give the contractor access to the site. Give written specifications. Get the contractor to obtain any necessary statutory approvals before commencing.
  4. Get fixed price quotes from the contractors and compare them, making sure that they each quote on the same items.
  5. Ask all the contractors quoting for current licenses, Home Owners Warranty Insurance (if required), Contract works insurance, Workers compensation Insurance and Public Liability insurance. Monitor the expiry dates of the insurance polices and ask you contractor to provide you with renewed policies once old ones have expired.
  6. Ask for references - particularly previous customers - from each party. Check the references. Be sure to speak with them when the builder is not present. Look at some of the houses the builder has constructed.
  7. Be sure that the payment schedule for the contractor is clear and understandable.
  8. Make sure that the contract specifies the start and completion dates. Insist on some type of late fee or penalty if the completion is delayed past a certain period (notwithstanding circumstances beyond the builder's control, such as inclement weather).
  9. Execute the approved contract. You can obtain a plain English Contract from the department of fair-trading.
  10. ALWAYS only pay for work that has BEEN done. Do not pay for materials that have been delivered to your site but yet installed.
  11. Make sure the contractor provides you with all the necessary certification prior you making the final payment.

Tips:

a. Check with the department of fair-trading for any complaints against the contractor.

b. Remember that you'll be working closely with the contractor - be sure to select someone with whom you can establish a comfortable relationship.

c. Don't assume that the most expensive contractor is the best, or the least expensive the worst.

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