Hiring the right electrician can be a bit of a minefield. Where do you find one? How do you know they’re any good and what do you do if you hire a bad one? This blog will hopefully help you find the right electrician for you and avoid hiring a rogue trader in the first place!
Industry Governing Bodies
The best place to start your search for an experienced and qualified electrician is to use one of the great governing bodies out there. Here are a couple of the best ones to use:
TrustMark – The only Government endorsed scheme for trades in and around the home. They not only cover competence but also customer service and good trading practices. https://www.trustmark.org.uk/aboutus/what-is-trustmark
NICEIC – A well known regulatory scheme where contractors are assessed before being approved - http://www.niceic.com/find-a-contractor/why-choose-us
Here are a few others:
Another way to go about your search is to try an online directory of tradespeople.
Trust a Trader – A great resource for anyone looking for a tradesperson. Not a governing body but more of a digital word of mouth really. It features reviews from people who have used tradesmen, all listed tradesmen have public liability insurance and are qualified. Trust a Trader state that if a trader falls below their high standards, they will lose their place on TrustATrader.com https://www.trustatrader.com
Check a Trade – Similar to Trust a Trader but they run strict background checks on tradespeople before they can become members. Once they join, members agree to have feedback from their customers put online for all to see. They ‘make sure that you can find someone outstanding to get the job done.’ http://www.checkatrade.com/Consumer/
You can also use The Registered Competent Person Electrical website which lists electricians registered to work for householders in England and Wales - www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk
Do your own groundwork
You can, of course, do your own research using Google reviews or Facebook reviews. Simply search for the tradesperson you have in mind and the good, bad and ugly reviews will soon pop up!
Once you’ve narrowed it down to 2 or 3 potential tradespeople, it is standard practice to get a quote from each of them. There are a few things that will help you narrow it down to one:
• Are they nice? – Sounds silly but if they have an appalling telephone manner then they might not be bothered about customer service at all.
• Do they know their stuff? – Ask them about their experience and qualifications. If they offer up the information without hesitation then that will put your mind at rest. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for paperwork to back it up either!
• Get references from previous clients, reviews can usually be found online and this is your digital word of mouth.
• Don’t be pressured into anything. Speak to all of your potentials, get a feel for each one, come away and think about it for a while before making your final decision.
Not just price!
Whatever you do, don’t just go for the cheapest! You may end up paying more in the long run if anything goes wrong and you have to get it fixed. Your decision should be based on a combination of the above advice, if the final choice turns out to be the best value, then that’s a bonus!
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