Choosing an electrician to carry out work in your home or office can feel like negotiating a minefield.  There are lots of electricians out there so how do you choose the right one? You can simplify things by asking for recommendations from your family and friends, but that isn’t always possible. It’s important that you get the right information to make an informed decision.  That’s why we’ve come up with these questions to help you choose the right electrician for your project.

Who will be doing the work?

Unless the electrician you contact works alone, the person who comes to prepare a quote may not be the one doing the work.  There are various different levels of qualifications and certification that an electrician can have.  It’s important to check whether the person carrying out the work is properly qualified.

If your project is large or complex you may also want to ask for details of their experience. Have they ever worked on a project like yours before?

Can I see some references?

In the absence of a personal recommendation, good references can offer you peace of mind.  Of course, you may not need to ask your electrician for references.  If they have a presence on social media you might be able to check their reviews for yourself.  A Google search can also provide you with reviews depending on the way the company is listed.

If you do need to ask for references, make sure they are for the same type of project as yours so you can compare like with like.

What insurance do you have?

All reputable electricians should have proper insurance.  Checking this is key to ensuring you choose the right electrician.  You should be looking for public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance as a minimum as these cover the kinds of risks that your home or buildings insurance might not.

Public liability insurance provides cover for any accidents that might happen whilst the electrician is at your home or office.  For example, if they leave a trailing cable and someone gets hurt falling over it, their insurance should cover any compensation that’s owed. Professional indemnity cover is there for any errors that cause damage to your property, for example, if there’s a fire.

What warranties are available?

There are potentially two different types of warranty available.  There may be a warranty on workmanship and also warranties on any parts used to carry out the work.  A workmanship guarantee will be provided by the electrician direct. The manufacturers or suppliers of parts may also offer their own warranties which allow you or your electrician to request free replacements if any of the parts are faulty.

How long is the quote valid for?

Choosing the right electrician will often involve comparing different companies before you make your choice.  Each electrician will have their own validity period depending on how they work.  Having a quote that’s valid for a reasonable amount of time allows you to obtain other quotes and have time to make your decision.

We think that this is also a good way of testing whether you’re dealing with someone reputable.  If an electrician asks you to make a decision within a couple of days or chases you after a very short interval, we think alarm bells should ring.  This could be a sign that they’re cutting corners or don’t want you to make a fair comparison.

If you are in Edinburgh and have an electrical project you need help with, then get in touch with us.  At Keith Gunn Electrical Solutions, we are NICEIC electrical contractors with many years of experience and lots of 5 star reviews.  We have an established business in Edinburgh and have completed a wide variety of projects.