There are certain jobs that need a professional, and that includes many of the electrical ones in the home. Plenty of people can connect up a plug, but for bigger jobs, like a new consumer unit or perhaps a complete rewire, getting in a professional is often a better, not to mention safer option.
It’s easy to just say get an electrician in, but how exactly do you know who to hire? There’s a couple of common challenges people face in choosing a sparky, which are how to know who is reputable and competent, and also how to explain the required work clearly, as few of us have much more than a simple understanding of what needs to be done.
Let’s use a couple of recent examples to illustrate the point – garden lighting options are incredibly popular and actually quite functional solutions to enjoying time in the garden after dark, but how exactly to you get the power to the light fittings? You might actually be relieved to know that even as an experienced and qualified electrician, I can’t give you the answer without coming to take a look. Some wiring can be concealed inside walls, whereas others will need to be run along the walls, enclosed in plastic channels or use some other route. The same goes with other wiring jobs like connecting up the cameras for home security systems, we can give you advice on the technology itself over the phone, but the implementation in or around your home will take a visit at the very least.
So, that addresses the second point, but what about the first? How exactly do you know who to put your trust in? A good place to start is always with personal recommendation. Find out if local friends or family have had a good experience with an electrician, as that will give you somewhere to start. Different tradesmen have different specialities, so if a recommendation doesn’t do the kind of work that you need, see if they can pass you on to someone else. Generally speaking, a good electrician will work with other good companies, so it might be that you can find someone worth working with by association.
If you’re not on track with a personal recommendation, you can try turning to sites like Rated People, who are the ones that advertise on TV with Phil Spencer from Location Location Location. They will allow you to either get a quote from a vetted network of electricians, or just view comments about their previous work on their website, collated by Rated People themselves away from the influence of the tradesmen themselves.
Once you’ve extinguished these routes, you’re left with the traditional routes like the Yellow Pages, who list anyone and everyone that takes out an ad. There’s no real way to tell who’s genuine and who’s out to take you for a ride, other than the fact that they might have shelled out for an ad, so that’s probably slightly more reliable than just picking up a flyer that someone’s printed at home and shoved through your letter box.
All in all, there’s no single way to guarantee a tradesmen is reputable unless they have a long and strong track record, which is why we always recommend a personal endorsement in the first instance.