Electrical service companies – How to choose the right one

So you type electrical services near me and what do you get, a long list of ads maps and some websites. So how do you know your going to call the right electrical contractor? And what should you expect from your electrical service contractor, these questions and more will be answered in our helpful guide. Electrical is one of the most important systems of your house and should only be worked on by a contractor you can trust.

The oldest trick in the book

Most people believe that honesty is the best policy, I myself am one of them. The problem is people who don’t believe that are giving us an unfair advantage. How so? you might ask, what we have noticed from experiences and customer complaints is this: “cheaper is never better” and cheaper might actually cost you more.

First lets set the scenario, you the customer has a problem in your house you only have power in what seems to be random places and none of your major appliances work especially the all important AC unit. Now anyone will do about the same thing call FPL to notify them of the problem, they confirm there are no reported outages in your area but will send a crew to verify the problem. A few hours later they arrive and notify you that your meter socket is in bad shape but that needs to be addressed by an electrician because that is your property and not their equipment.

OK, easy enough right? Well lets hope so, normally it’s recommended you get 2 or 3 estimates as they are free ( or should be, if not call someone else) now that you have your 3 estimates it’s easy to go for the cheapest one. Hey who does not like to save money right? But often times what happens is the cheapest electrician will get the job, get a deposit and then start showing their true colors, showing up late or not at all, making mistakes and charging you for them, adding more items that were not discussed prior to starting and making your 4 day job 4 weeks. All the while the other electrician that was a few buck higher could have finished your job in 3 days and honored his price. Not only that but the cheaper electrician with all the changes is now more expensive than the quotes you turned down.

The sad truth is this. The dishonest electricians will tell you that it’s an easy job and you only have to do this and that now come inspection and the inspector informs you that now that you pulled a permit anything not up to code even though it was not part of the original scope of work needs to be updated to current codes, at your expense of course. What do you do now? Well Sadley there is no way around it if the inspector came by he made note and possibly took pics of what needs to be corrected before they will close your permit and the expenses add up quickly and the end result is a final bill that could even be double the estimate that you turned down plus all the headaches and delays.

A few things to remember is take price into consideration but do not make it the deciding factor when selecting your electrical contractor. Select your pic based on how they performed your estimate, always get a written estimate with the company info on it and make sure it matches the company that pulled the permit, next is how did they explain the situation to you did they seem too good to be true? or were they informative? An honest electrical contractor will let you know that although you called them for a certain problem, more work might be required in order to pass inspection, and breakdown the time line and let you know how it will all play out so there are no surprises in the future. We know how it is to have a sudden problem that gets expensive quickly but wouldn’t you rather have the truth from the begging rather than learning the hard way and perhaps paying double?

What to expect when pulling a permit

Pulling a permit can be a headache filled with delays and added cost, it helps to have a contractor that knows the permitting process well to expedite this process. First it starts with the quote and selected electrical contractor, once this is completed the contractor will provide you will a permit application corresponding to the city in which you live in. Next you need to sign and notarize it and return it to the electrical contractor, which will then sign and notarize his portion of the application fill in the scope of work, value of work, and any other info required for submittal. Along with the application you will need drawings 2 sets of the to be exact, these drawings must show the layout of your residence, what work is to be performed and a load calculation showing that your house has an electrical system that can handle your connected load. In some cases you need an architect or electrical engineer to draw these for you but your electrician can take care of the drawings provided your service is 600 amps or fewer in most jurisdictions.Now that you have the application and drawings it’s time to visit the building department and drop them off for review, some cities can have your permit ready in as little as 1 day but others can take up to 2 weeks or more.

What can go wrong when pulling a permit

There are a few things to look out for to avoid delays in the permitting process, first and most importantly is: is your contractor registered with the city and are all his credentials up to date, by credential we mean license, insurance, work mans comp, business tax receipt, if they are then you can move forward with application review and hopefully it’s filled out correctly, once that is cleared then you go to plan review where based on the scope of work it needs to be approves by the electrical inspector and possibly zoning department and others. After all this now you get to pay the permit fee which is based on the scope of work and can be anywhere from 125.00 to a few thousand depending on job size.

You got your permit, now what?

Now you can start your work, depending on the size of your project you might need 1 or more inspections, it is very important to keep the permit card visible at all times and at the job site especially at time of inspection, also the drawings need to be available for the inspector to review them when he is on site. Remember if your job cost is over 2,500.00 you need to file a notice of commencement otherwise this will add to more delays. Once you have your Final inspection passed you are good to go, the process is now over and you can move on with your life. Permits are sometimes a headache but are required to assure the work is completed by a licensed electrician with insurance just in case. In the end you will be glad you pulled the permit, it’s a form of piece of mind and not to mention getting caught working without one, then all the cost get doubled. Remember when ever you alter replace or extend a circuit or wiring you need a permit, not pulling one might cost you more in the future.

Extras needed when permit is pulled

A few things you might need to add to the scope when you pull a permit is smoke detectors, current codes require 1 in each bedroom and adjoing hallway, but if you have gas appliances or an attached garage then you need a co2 detector as well at each level of the house. Next is a proper grounding system, older homes have insufficient grounding systems and grounding systems are the safety part of your electrical system. Your panels and meters, if these are not up to code you will be required to make corrections or replace them depending on the problem, There are many things the inspectors look at during an inspection and an experienced electrician can point these out to you so you know what to expect rather than waiting for the invoice shock.

Now that we have covered the many reasons it is important to hire not the cheapest but rather the most professional electrical contractor, it should give you piece of mind that you know your getting great service at a great (not cheapest) price. Power Pro Electrical provides free estimates and hopes you get the best electrical service for the best price. Call us for a free estimate. 786-617-7436

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Electrical service companies – How to choose the right one”

  1. Kenia R

    January 17, 2018

    Why do you have to correct things that were not part of the job? And what happens if you refuse to do it?

    Reply
    • admin

      January 17, 2018

      Hello Kenia, the reason inspectors require you to make corrections even though they were not part of the job is to protect the jurisdiction from getting sued, lets say you pulled a permit for installing a new outlets in your kitchen and during the inspection the inspector noticed that you have an electrical panel that has been discontinued due to to being a fire hazard, now he lets it go and a few months later you have a fire, the insurance company will see that an electrical inspector and an electrical contractor were there and did nothing about the problem, now the liability is on the contractor and the inspector. Now if you refuse to due the work it becomes a problem as you will not be able to final the permit and it will eventually expire costing you more time and money, in the end it helps to have an electrician that will inform you of what an inspector might have a problem with so you can ad it to your cost and avoid the stress in the future. We hope this answers your question, if there is anything else we can help you with please respond below and we will get back to you asap. Thank You.

      Reply

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