If you’re a property owner, it’s probable that you will need electrical work carrying out at some point. This might be replacing a fuse box, changing a circuit or installing a new one.

Sometimes, hiring an electrician can be a difficult process. Since many of us do not do it very often, it can be difficult to remember everything to ask and tell an electrician before you think about hiring them.

But if you need an electrician, don’t panic. To help you look for a contractor you trust to do a quality job, we’ve come up with 5 steps to hiring a reliable electrician.

1. Check their credentials

Any electrical work that’s performed in your home needs to adhere to safety and building regulations. The easiest way to make sure this happens is to hire an electrician registered with a competent person scheme. You can find a list of schemes here. Hiring an electrician registered with a competent person scheme means that any work they do will meet British safety (BS7671) and building regulations standards. They will provide you with an Electrical Installation Certificate to show this and a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate if required.

You could hire an electrician who is not registered with a competent person scheme if you want to. However, it would then be your responsibility to make sure that their work is up to standard. If they’re doing work that requires building regulations approval beforehand, you’ll have to notify a relevant person or body in advance and get your electrics inspected and approved afterwards. You can learn more about this process here.

2. Make sure they know what you want

For an electrician to do good work, they need to understand exactly what you want. If you don’t explain clearly then they may not get the job right, which could cost time and money.

You should also ask them to explain what they’re going to do. Good communication will mean that you and your electrician are on the same page and you’re both happy.

3. Ask questions

If an electrician says anything you’re not sure about, ask them. Don’t worry about this – it is their job to have specialist knowledge and they won’t expect you to have it too. Similarly, if you have any concerns, bring them up. You need to understand and be comfortable with the work being carried out.

This applies to after you have hired an electrician as well. Even if they are in the middle of the work, it’s always worth asking questions and mentioning concerns if you have any.

4. Confirm a work plan

Before you take on a professional, ask them to provide you with a timetable of work and an estimated completion date, ideally in writing. This means that you will be aware of when they need to get into your home and how long the work will take. You should also get them to inform you immediately if the estimated completion date changes. This will keep you informed and avoid work taking longer than necessary.

5. Agree payment terms

Before your electrician begins work, you need a detailed quote and payment plan from them. Some professionals ask for material costs in advance or staged payments for big jobs. They should tell you this before you take them on so you know what they need and when.

You should always get a quote in writing. This way there can’t be any confusion on the price that you and your electrician agree on before the work begins. If you need to get any revised quotes, these should also be in writing. It’s also a good idea to avoid using cash and get receipts for any payments you make, so you can keep an eye on them.

So next time you need an electrician, you’ll know the essential things to do before deciding whether to take them on. If you’re looking for an electrician, we can help. Fill in our online form and we’ll put you in contact with up to 4 local contractors.

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