Electrical issues are one of only a few problems that you should never attempt to fix on your own. Most people know this, and when electrical problems occur, they go into a panic over how much it will cost to resolve it. I cannot promise you that you can get out of the situation without feeling the sting of a repair bill, but I may be able to help you keep these costs to a minimum, and prevent you from falling prey to a scam. There are several questions that you must ask before any work is performed in your home.
The first thing an electrician will do, after introducing themselves of course, it diagnose the problem. This should not take long, as home electrical issues are typically not all that complicated. As soon as he or she is done, they should be able to tell you very clearly what the problem is. Watch out for answers such as, “Oh, I really won’t know until I am able to do so and so.” This could mean that the person is either not educated enough to solve this issue for you, or this is a trick to avoid giving you an estimate before work begins. Either way, this is not a good sign.
A reputable electrician will be able to give you a clear and easy to understand estimate of what this work is going to cost you. This estimate will include labor and parts. Labor is either charged for by the hour, or charged for in one flat rate. Never choose an electrician that charges by the hour. This leaves you completely open to him or her fiddling around you house of as long as they wish, all the while the bill getting higher. Flat rate is the way to go, as it will not matter how long it takes them to finish the job – your bill stays the same.
There are actual instances of electricians encountering more problems once they start work. These additional problems will cause your bill to go higher. A reputable electrician will tell you about additional problems, and additional costs, before he or she does anything about it. Scam artists will “fix” the problem, and then shock you with the additional cost at the end of the work. This allows you very little recourse, and is one of the reasons it is vital to properly screen your electrician beforehand.
Any Type of Guarantee?
A great electrician, or electrical company, will already have a guarantee plan in place. You should ask if there is a guarantee in place, and what it covers. Never trust someone that only verbally tells you that they guarantee their work. Get it in writing. If you have done your job of choosing a trustworthy electrician to do your work, you likely will not need to use the guarantee. However, even the best people make mistakes from time to time, and you do not want these mistakes to cost you even more money.
Absolutely no one wants to have to pay for home repairs. These are one of the dreaded parts of home ownership. Problems will happen from time to time, and it will be up to you to carefully screen and hire only the best people for the job. Ask as many questions as you wish. If your candidate is on the up and up, he or she will have no problem giving you all the information that you need to know.