Finding an electrician is not difficult, but finding a good electrician that completes work on time, does a high-quality job and charges a reasonable fee can be a little more challenging.
But don’t worry, once you know what to look for, finding a reliable, trustworthy electrician is easier than it seems. So, in this blog, we are going to look at 10 things to look for to ensure you find a good reliable electrician.
1. Do they come highly recommended?
Quality of reputation is the first thing to look for when choosing an electrician. Fortunately, today there are several ways you can check the reputation of any tradesman.
The first and most reliable method is to ask friends and family. You’ll be amazed how many people have been let down by tradesmen in the past, so anyone who does a good job will likely be remembered.
It’s also a good idea to check social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Customers often leave reviews on these sites both good and bad, so you’ll get a pretty good idea of how a tradesman performs from the reviews they have received from customers.
Alternatively, for an easy way to find reliable tradesmen, check the local listings on samedaytrade.com.au. Our team of licensed electricians offer a range of same-day electrical services in most major cities across Australia. We also offer transparent pricing, convenient bookings and a comprehensive workmanship guarantee.
2. Do they have the specializations you need?
Electrical engineering is a broad skill set, and not all electricians are skilled in each area. So, if you choose an electrician that doesn’t have the skills you need, it doesn’t matter how reliable they are, they won’t do a very good job.
So, think about your project and the type of skills you need before looking for an electrician. For example, are you working on a new build home or a complete rewiring? Answers to these questions will help you find an electrician with the skills you need.
3. Do they update their training regularly?
Building codes and safety regulations change regularly, so electricians must keep their skills updated. A good electrician should look to update their skills at least every five years.
So, always ask an electrician how often they keep their skills updated. This is a good sign they are professional, will complete work in line with the latest building regulations and that the work will be completed to the highest standard.
Always be wary of an electrician that has not updated their skills since the day they were qualified. Electrical standards have changed significantly in the past 10 years and you may end up with work that does not meet the latest building regulations.
4. Are they qualified and licensed to operate in your state?
To work in Australia, electricians need to hold a minimum of Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician or an offshore equivalent. This proves they have the required skills to complete most electrical tasks to the highest standards.
Electricians working in Australia who completed their training in another country must hold a valid Offshore Technical Skills Record (OSTR). This proves they have the same competencies as Australian qualified technicians.
Along with having the required qualifications, electricians must also be licensed to trade in each state. Individual states have their own licensing requirements for electricians, but at a minimum, they all require that the individual is suitably qualified and insured.
So, always check that any prospective electrician is both qualified and licensed to trade in your state because failure on either count means they will also not have the required insurance coverage.
5. Do they have adequate insurance cover?
You need to make sure your chosen electrical contractor has adequate insurance to cover repairs and legal costs in case something goes wrong. Don’t leave this to chance; in most cases, everything will go smoothly but you don’t want to take the risk.
At a minimum, electrical contractors should have Property Insurance, Contract Works Insurance, Employers Liability Insurance, Public Liability Insurance, Legal Expenses Insurance and Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance.
Most electrical contractors use packaged insurance deals that provide the comprehensive coverage they need, but you should always ask to see proof of insurance before agreeing to work with a contractor.
6. Do they provide a written quote before starting work?
A verbal authorisation to complete electrical work is a form of contract, but it gives you little room to manoeuvre should the contractor fail to complete the work to the required standard.
So, you should always obtain a written quote before giving the contractor approval to start work. At a minimum, the quote should include the cost of completing the job, including parts and labour.
But ideally, it should also include start and finish dates, a guarantee of quality, how the contractor will dispose of rubbish, the cost of ancillary items such as skips, when and how payment should be made and details about any warranty provided.
7. Can they provide references?
Any electrical contractor worth their salt should be able to provide you with references from previous satisfied customers. You should always ask to see these references and if possible visit homes personally to check the quality of work for yourself.
Never trust an electrical contractor that cannot provide detailed references from previous customers, even if they have respectable reviews online. This is a red flag that their work is not up to standard.
8. Do they carry out background checks on employees?
You need to be comfortable letting an electrician into your home, especially since there may be times when they are working unsupervised. So, it’s a good idea to make sure that the contractor has carried out background checks on all employees.
Background checks should prove that the person does not have a criminal record, has the right skills, experience and qualifications and has the right to work in Australia. This will give you complete peace of mind that you can trust the people you let into your home.
9. Do they charge by the hour or per job?
Electricians can charge in one of two ways; per hour or a fixed fee for the job. For larger jobs, it is always advisable to use an electrician that charges a fixed fee. This will give you a better idea of how much the job will cost before they start work.
A fixed fee also encourages them to work more efficiently. Electricians that charge by the hour have no motivation to finish jobs quickly. This often results in projects falling behind, which can be costly, especially if you have other tradesmen waiting for them to finish.
10. Attitude and communication
Finally, the attitude and professionalism of your chosen contractor can make the difference between having a good or bad experience. Good tradespeople should have a professional attitude and excellent communication skills.
This will ensure they always turn up on time and are committed to finishing the job to the required standards. They should also accept responsibility when something goes wrong and keep you updated on how work is progressing.
A professional attitude like this can make a world of difference to the success of your project. So, always personally meet any prospective contractor and assess their attitude and communication skills before you set them on.
Find the best electricians near you
At Same Day Trades, we have made it our mission to provide consumers across Australia with the very best tradespeople. All our electricians are fully licensed and insured, we offer transparent pricing, are committed to carrying out work to the highest standard and provide a comprehensive workmanship guarantee.
So, don’t risk using an untried, untested or unprofessional electrician. Look for trusted tradespeople in your neighbourhood today by searching on Same Day Trades. Alternatively, give us a call on 1300 632 094 and we’ll arrange for one of our electricians to visit you.