Looking to save money when you are making home improvements or repairs? To assure your home is safe, don't skimp when it comes to electrical work. Hiring a licensed electrician is usually more costly than doing a job yourself or having a handyman do it, but here are a few reasons why it's worth the extra cost.
Seven Reasons Why It's Worth It to Hire A Licensed Electrician
- You are paying for general knowledge. When you buy the services of a licensed electrician, you are gaining access to a thorough base of knowledge. Every licensed electrician has studied the National Electrical Code (NEC), a set of standards published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). During his training and apprenticeship, he learned about local building codes. He is bound to follow these codes as a professional.
- You are paying for an accurate assessment of your home wiring. A licensed professional knows how even a simple job can impact your home wiring and will be able to tell you what is needed to make your system safe before making additions or modifications. If he finds that your outlets are not properly grounded or that you do not have the proper amperage of electrical service coming into your home, he will be able to make things right before performing the job at hand.
- You know he is qualified. If you want to verify that a licensed electrician has the training and experience to do electrical work in your home, you can check his credentials on file with the city or the state. Electricians have to pass rigorous tests to become licensed. With an unlicensed contractor or handyman, you have to depend on claims he makes about his ability to do the work and on references from clients, who are not always the best judge of whether he was qualified to do the job.
- You are paying for up-to-code work. Many DIYers and even handymen who do electrical work often think that some provisions in the electrical codes are "overkill" and unnecessarily rigid, so they take dangerous shortcuts. A licensed electrician is bound to follow current acceptable practices.
- You have a permit to verify that the job was done right. When a licensed electrician does a big job, he will pull a permit from the city, another step that less qualified people often skip. While this costs money and makes you subject to inspections, you have more assurance that the job will meet code.
- You are protecting yourself and your home. While a repair by an unqualified person can work out in the short run, the long-term consequences could result in a fire. If the causes were due to wiring, your insurance company might refuse to pay for damages when an unlicensed person made them. If a handyman had no business insurance to cover his work, you might be left in a serious bind. A licensed electrician is required to have insurance to protect you from the results of poor workmanship.
- You are better ready to sell your home. When you go to sell your home, you can give additional assurance to buyers that the work was done right. The work will pass inspections from the city (if this is required in your area) and private home inspectors, and save you from having to lay out money to have the work redone before closing.
Regardless of how small a repair you need, you can't go wrong hiring a licensed electrician. He (or she) has the know-how to do the job safely and in a way that passes current electrical codes.
Jillynn Stevens, Ph.D. is a writer with a vast array of subject matter expertise. Along with publishing articles for large and small businesses, she researches, writes and publishes reports on various public policy issues.
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