13 Questions to Ask Your Ann Arbor Electrician

ann arbor experienced electrician

Maybe you're looking to add electrical wiring to a new room in your home? Perhaps you're having trouble with power surges? In any case, you're looking to hire an Ann Arbor electrician.

Before you do, however, you want to make sure you're making the right choice. So, you're wondering: What kinds of questions should you ask when hiring an electrician in Ann Arbor?

There are many things you should ask your local electrician, and we will discuss them below. Without further ado, here are 13 questions to ask an electrical contractor when you need electrical services or repairs.

1. How Long Have You Been Doing Electrical Work Professionally?

First and foremost, you'll want to find out how long your electrician has been doing electrical work professionally. You don't want to hire a rookie electrician.

While they may well be able to get the job done, their lack of experience is too big a risk for you to take. After all, improper electrical work isn't just wasted money on your end. It also has the potential to be dangerous.

There's also the matter of their business operations. Generally speaking, new electrical contractors are lacking in this area. Yes, they can perform electrical work, but they can struggle with payment processing and customer service.

Experienced electricians are a much safer bet. Not only have they encountered every problem there is to encounter, but they've also had time to perfect their business processes. As such, they tend to offer the customer a much better experience overall.

We advise choosing an electrician with a minimum of 2 years of professional electrical work. This doesn't count apprenticeships and the like. They should be in business for at least 2 years before you give them a legitimate shot.

2. Do You Have Referrals from Past Customers?

Just as important as the electrician's experience is the electrician's reputation. If their reputation is poor, they're, in all likelihood, not going to provide you with quality service. On the other hand, if they have a positive reputation, they likely provide top-notch service on a regular basis.

There are several ways to assess an electrician's reputation. An easy way is to look up reviews from past customers. You can find these on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and such.

Apart from this, you can ask electricians for referrals from past customers. These are essentially notes recommending the electrician for the purposes of electrical work.

Many electricians post these on their websites. However, they also tend to keep them on file. Regardless, make sure to see some positive referrals before hiring any electrician.

3. How Much Do You Charge?

One of the most important things to ask is how much your prospective electrician charges. After all, you're not made of money. You need to be able to pay the fees for the electrical work you receive.

Now, how do you learn about a specific electrician's rates? You simply call them up and ask them for an estimate. Explain the type of work you need to have done and request a quote.

If the electrician is reputable, they'll gladly give you an estimate for the services requested. They'll even itemize it so that you understand what exactly you are paying for.

Note that it's wise to obtain estimates from several different electricians. This way, you can compare them against one another and find out what the average cost is in your area. Once you've done this, you can make a more informed choice.

4. What Services Do You Provide?

Next, you should ask what services your prospective electrician provides. See, not all electricians provide all services. While one electrician might provide every single electrical service in existence, another might only provide, for example, wire installation.

It's important to ask this question, as you want to be sure that your chosen electrician is capable of meeting all your needs. You don't want to have to call up several electricians in order to have your needs accommodated. To do so is not only inconvenient but likely will cost you more money as well.

Note that you can generally find an electrician's services on their website. If they're not listed there, you'll simply have to call the electrician up and ask.

When speaking to your prospective electrician about their services, you'll want to make sure that they have ample experience in supplying each. Just because an electrician has ample experience in repairing electrical wires doesn't mean they're well-versed in the installation of power surge protectors, for example.

5. Do You Have Insurance?

When you hire an electrician to work on your property, you leave your property open to damage. No, your electrician isn't going to damage your property deliberately. However, accidents happen and could easily result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

This is why, when choosing your electrician, you need to ask them whether they have insurance or not. If they do, their insurance policy will cover the cost of damages. If they don't, they'll have to pay for repairs out of pocket and will be more inclined to avoid paying them.

Of course, you could always opt to sue an electrician who doesn't pay to repair the damage they create. But that's going to cost you money in and of itself, not to mention time and stress. This is why it's always ideal to choose a fully insured electrician.

There's also the issue of the electrician's employees getting injured on your property. Should that occur, you could be held liable for their injuries. This could cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees and medical bills. Fortunately, there's an insurance policy that covers that issue as well.

In particular, you need to ask whether your prospective electrician has both general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. The former policy covers damages to properties; the latter covers injuries to employees. Make sure to see proof of both before signing any contracts.

6. Are You Licensed?

Not only should your chosen electrician have insurance, but they should also be licensed. The vast majority of states require electricians to have specialized licenses. Michigan is no exception to this.

Licensure is important, as it indicates an electrician's skill and knowledge level. It shows that the electrician has what it takes to get the job done both safely and functionally.

In the state of Michigan, electricians need to be licensed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You can check whether an electrician is licensed with this department by using the Michigan license lookup tool.

Type in the name of the electrician you're considering and see what pops up. If a state electrical license appears, they're good to go.

You should also ask your electrician if you can see a copy of their license. This way, there will be no doubt about whether or not they're licensed.

7. Does My Project Require Any Permits?

A good many electrical projects require you to obtain permits. If you commence a project without obtaining these permits, you could have fines levied against you.

So, before hiring an electrician, you should discuss your project with them and ask them whether or not it requires a permit. Any reputable electrician will be forthright with you on this subject. Many electricians will even help you obtain necessary permits, as the process of obtaining them can be grueling.

This question will also help you assess an electrician's knowledge. If they're highly knowledgeable about the permitting process, there's a good chance that they know what they're doing.

8. Do You Make Repairs After Electrical Work Is Done?

When installing and repairing electrical work, electricians often need to tear through drywall and other construction materials. What you might not realize, though, is that not all electricians will repair these materials after they've been torn apart.

This is why, before hiring an electrician, you need to ask them whether they'll make repairs. Ideally, they will. Otherwise, you'll either have to make the repairs yourself or call in another contractor to facilitate them for you.

Of course, the choice is up to you. Note, though, that it will be much more cost-effective if the electrician completes repairs on their own. Plus, you won't have to spend as much time on the project. Your home will be available sooner than it would be otherwise.

9. Will My Electrical Service Be Down During the Project?

Another question you'll want to ask is whether your electrical service will be down during the project. In many cases, the electricity will, indeed, need to be shut off while work is being done.

There's not much you can do to stop this from happening. It's just wise to have a full understanding of how your home will be impacted before the project begins. This way, you can plan and prepare and thus not run into any problems along the way.

10. Do You Offer a Warranty?

Whenever you pay for work to be done on something in your home, you should ensure that it comes with a warranty. This way, if the work was done incorrectly, you won't have to pay additional money to have it corrected. If there's no warranty present, you might very well have to pay additional funds.

Fortunately, the vast majority of electricians offer labor warranties. That said, the length and specifics of their warranties differ. So, before signing any contracts, make sure that the warranty included is up to your standards.

We advise choosing a warranty with at least 6 months of coverage. The longer the warranty, the better off you'll be.

11. Will You Inspect My System for Safety After You've Finished the Work?

New electrical work alters an electrical system as a whole. As such, whenever an installation or repair is made, there's a chance that it could create safety issues.

This is why it's imperative for your electrician to perform an electrical inspection after work has been done. An electrical inspection ensures that there are no trouble areas and confirms that your home is safe to live in.

Unfortunately, not all electricians provide inspections after they've performed electrical work on a property. For this reason, before hiring an electrician, you need to ask them whether an electrical inspection will be included.

12. Do You Mind If I Get a Second Opinion?

Let's say you've got an electric problem, and you're turning to a professional for a solution. You might have them come to your home and visually inspect your electrical system. Or, you might get a consultation over the phone.

Regardless, this shouldn't have to be the only professional consultation you receive. You should be able to get second opinions without feeling rushed, pressured, or guilted.

So, before hiring an electrician, ask them if they mind you getting a second opinion on the problem. Any reputable electrician will have no issue with this, as they'll want you to feel as comfortable as possible about the services you receive.

13. How Do You Accept Payment?

Not only should you get estimates for the services you're seeking, but you should also determine how your chosen electrician accepts payment. Not all electricians accept payment in the same way.

While some will charge half of the price and allow you to pay the rest later, others will charge all of the price upfront. Some might even wait to charge you until after the work has been done.

We advise choosing an electrician who doesn't require full payment upfront. Some unscrupulous electricians will charge the full price, do poor work, and then ghost you before completing the project. You want to make sure not to be taken advantage of in this way.

Looking for a Reputable Ann Arbor Electrician?

Are you in need of a reputable Ann Arbor electrician? If so, look no further. We here at Streamline Electric & Solar have you covered.

We provide all sorts of electrical services, from electrical repairs and installation to electrical inspections and solar panel installation. Regardless of your electrical needs, our team of seasoned electricians can help you. Contact us today to discuss your electrical needs!

Share To: