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18 February 2016, in Electrical Advice, by Lewis Delicata

How to Choose an Electrician

Choosing the right electrician can be a challenge.

You have probably heard the common complaints of your friends and family about the poor quality of work and the general lack of professionalism of electricians, leaving behind a trail of headaches. Electrical problems that are not yet solved and structural problems that appear that were not there before.

Then you have the "rogue traders". Although they are justly demonised in the media, the Ombudsman Services report that six out of ten owners still can not verify their credentials before approving any work.

So what can you do?

Usually, getting the personal recommendation of a friend or relative is the most reliable way to find a trusted tradesperson. But if this fails, what will you do next?

Regulatory body for the electrical industry, the NICEIC, provides a register of all verified electricians, who have passed their qualifications. You can search by location to find a local, qualified electrician or by company name to see if an electrician are who they say they are. You can also find a naughty list, which names and shames electricians who claim to be NICEIC, but are not.

What steps should you take?

Know the right questions to ask

It can be tricky to assess if your electrician is legitimate without the right questions. But the good news is this doesn’t have to be complex. Start by checking that the individual is qualified and whether they choose to be a registered member of one of the Government approved schemes. Choosing a registered electrician means you will get additional protections should something go wrong. Contact the scheme directly if you want to check the individual’s registration

Don't be embarrassed - ask to see the paperwork

Some people feel embarrassed about checking qualifications of the person they are employing but if you are working with a tradesperson who is unwilling to show you evidence of their qualification and registration status this could be a warning sign.

Don't just take their word for it - get a reference

If you are uncertain about an individual ask them to provide references of previous happy customers. Ask these referees to explain the work they had done and how satisfied they were with the job done.

Get more than one quote

Get a few quotes so that you can compare options.The cheapest quote may not be the best deal - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Know everyone working in your home - don't rely on the contractor to make the choices

We are seeing a growing problem with contractors such as builders or kitchen fitters making poor or cheap choices of the electricians they employ or work with on a job. It’s easy to assume the tradesman in charge will check qualification and registration. But don’t leave it to chance – ask to see proof of everyone’s ability yourself.

If it doesn't feel right - get advice

Don’t feel pressured to make a decision quickly. If an electrician makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, then seek advice before you contract them to do work for you. The guidance on these pages will help you.

Five reasons to choose Lewis Delicata

  • All work carried out is guaranteed to give you peace of mind
  • All Part P registered electrical works are insurance backed
  • Free no-obligation quotations for every job. We tell you how much a job will cost up front so there are never any nasty surprises
  • We match any like for like quotation
  • fully qualified and competent electrician