Choosing an Electrician
The thought of having electrical work carried out in your home can be daunting, especially if you have to put your trust in an electrician you have never used before.
The Electrical Safety Council suggests that before employing an electrician you consider the following:
Contact at least 3 electricians - Find the details for at least 3 electricians listed in your area who carry out the type of electrical work you need carried out.
Know what you want - Be clear about the work you want done and, unless the work is minor, obtain at least three written quotations.
Use a registered electrician - Check the electrician is approved by a reputable body or registered with a government-approved scheme such as ELECSA, NAPIT or NICEIC.
Check them out - Ask for references and follow them up. Also check that the electrician has public liability insurance of at least £2 million.
Get a written quotation and agree terms - You can download a template quotation request form from the Electrical Safety Council’s website at http://www.esc.org.uk/find-an-electrician/consumer-guides/ordering-electrical-work.html .10 rogue electrician warning signs The rogue electrician:
- Avoids giving references.
- Only supplies a mobile no. and gives no address on their letterhead/business card.
- Will do the job ’cheaper for cash’ on the grounds that the customer avoids paying the VAT.
- Says they can start tomorrow – a registered electrician is usually booked up well in advance.
- Will not confirm anything in writing.
- Tells the customer they are approved by an organisation when they are not.
- Tells the customer not to worry about the details of the job.
- Confuses the customer with jargon and complicated explanations.
- Cannot give a specific cost for materials or labour but asks for money upfront.
- Provides a quote that is surprisingly low – if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
For more advice visit www.esc.org.uk or call the Electrical Safety Council advice line 0870 040 0561.