Whether you’re doing a major home renovation, upgrading your home’s electrical services or suddenly find yourself in the dark, you’ll need to hire an electrician. But not all electricians are alike. Choosing the right one for your project can be a frustrating task. We spoke with Hanna Taylor of Hotwire Electric, a Toronto-based electrical company, to shine a light on the top questions to ask when selecting an electrical contractor.
What is the company’s reputation?
Search for company reviews online to see what others are saying about the company. Taylor advises looking at how the company advertises their services. “Are they on Kijiji and Craigslist offering to beat everyone’s pricing just to get the job, or are they standing by their work with warranties and guarantees?” she asks. Hotwire Electric, a company that specializes in custom homes, new construction and has crews available to service needs from pot lights to pools and panels and everything in between, offers a lifetime warranty on labour and workmanship, giving clients peace of mind.
Does the company have in-house designers?
“Anyone out there can pull wire and shove some pot lights in a ceiling,” says Taylor. Having a contractor who is knowledgeable about the latest in lighting trends can help you design a modern space.
Are the technicians up to date on electrical code standards?
Ask whether their electricians are licensed and registered with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), a regulatory body who administers and enforces the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and licenses electrical contractors. An ACP license is even better. This license is given to electrical contractors that have demonstrated a high level of proficiency with the code.
How big is the company?
Is this a one man shop or a company with a few crews able to meet your needs and deadlines? A smaller company may offer a cheaper price, but in the event of an emergency, they may not have anyone available to help when you call. Beware of companies who don’t have a website or a mailing address and who don’t provide written contracts, only verbal promises.
How much do they charge?
Taylor warns customers can’t always judge a company based on price alone. “Hotwire isn’t the cheapest company,” she says, however, she adds “the fly by night companies that are cheap and disappear tomorrow will cause homeowners more headaches in the long term.”
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