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.
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.
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
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.
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 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!
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.
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.