Electricity and our electrical systems are something that most of us are guilty of taking for granted. So many businesses only really pay the electrical systems in their business any attention when it is absolutely necessary. That is when there is an emergency.
However, choosing only to call out an electrical contractor when you have a problem with the electricity in your business premises is not the most cost-effective or even productive way to handle things. It is much better to establish a regular maintenance programme. After all, preventative measures are less expensive than emergency callouts, repairs and replacements.
When it comes to choosing an electrical contractor, though, you need to be careful or you could spend good money on a poorly qualified individual or team who is going to cost you more money in the long run.
To help you avoid making mistakes, therefore, we have outlined in the following post, the most important things you should be considering when choosing the best electrical contractor.
Not All Electricians Are Created Equal
The first thing you need to realise when looking at the different electrical contractors who operate in your local area is that they are not all equal. Just because they share the same job titles and seem to offer the same services, it doesn’t automatically mean you are going to have the same experience regardless of who you choose. If that was the case, there wouldn’t be any need for competition between different firms and individuals.
That is why you need to pay close attention to what your hard-earned money will be investing in. There is a world of difference between an electrician who has had basic domestic electrical training and one who has had commercial or even industrial training.
Consider this startling fact – you can gain a qualification in domestic electrical work that allows you to perform tasks on residential properties by just completing an 18-day course. We don’t know about you, but if you run a business, would you really want to trust a contractor who has only in theory trained for 18 days?
We rather think you wouldn’t, especially when you also consider all electrical contractors who work in the commercial and industrial sector need to have at least 4 years’ worth of training to complete their apprenticeship.
So, rather than rushing to hire the first electrician you come across, dig a little deeper.
Are They Registered with Any Approved Bodies Like NICEIC?
It’s also important that their skills and experience are verifiable and one way this is possible if they are registered with an approved body like the NICEIC. The NICEIC is the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting and it is their responsibility, in their capacity as a purely voluntary but industry-recognised body, to regulate the work and training of British electrical enterprises.
What does it mean for you if you hire someone or a company that is not NICEIC approved? You will have no way to make a complaint if anything goes wrong with the installation of your electrical systems or any other work they carry out and no guarantee which is covered by the NICEIC.
Make Sure the Products They Use Are High Quality
In addition to paying close attention to their credentials, qualifications and ability to do the job, you should have a keen interest in the quality of the products they use. Just as not all electricians are made equal, some cut corners with the products they use.
Look for mention of CE and BS standards in relation to the products they use, as this is an indication that they have passed industry-recognised rigorous safety and quality checks. If there is no mention of those standards, then you could be getting anything. Some electricians and electrical contractors like to cut corners where they can, which includes importing in Chinese-made products that don’t have the same standards.
Would you rather your business had electrical installations or repairs completed using sub-par, ineffective and even potentially dangerous components?
Don’t Just Go with The Contractor That Is the Lowest in Price
It’s crucial that whatever contractor you decide to hire isn’t based on their price alone. You will undoubtedly have an available budget, but you need to be careful not to just pick the lowest price you are quoted. Price is not a great indicator of quality, and if a firm or individual is offering their services for a fraction of the price that others are, it is usually a bad sign.
You need to ask yourself how and why they would be able to do that. Often, you get what you pay for, so if you want a good quality of service, you need to be willing to at least pay more than the lowest offer you are quoted.
Are They Fully Insured?
This could easily have been the first thing we could have listed in this post. It really is that important. You should not even contemplate hiring any company or individual that doesn’t have the relevant insurance coverage. It doesn’t matter how good they claim to be or even how great their reviews are. You are not only putting your business property at risk but the people who use it too.
If anything bad happens, you may be liable to pay. Therefore, always make sure that the electrical contractor you choose is covered by public liability, employment liability and professional indemnity insurance.
How Long Have They Been in Business?
Last, but by no means least, you need to consider how long a contractor has been trading. Just as we suggested that you avoid one that has not been adequately trained, it’s not a good idea to choose an especially young business. The length of time they have been in business should be noted on their website. If it isn’t, don’t be afraid to ask.
If they just set up the business last week, they are not going to have as much practical experience as a business that has been operating for 10 years or more. It’s also important to look at the reviews and testimonials that have been published by previous clients and customers. Read positive and negative reviews to get a full picture of what hiring them may be like.
It can be stressful trying to pick the best electrical contractor for your business, but with the suggestions and tips above, we hope we have made it a little easier.