10 Ways to Save Money When Hiring an Electrician
Engaging a professional electrician will avoid expensive and dangerous mistakes often made by amateurs. The cost of DIY electrical work in the home can soar as a result of blunders that also pose the risk of electric shocks or an outbreak of fire.
Finding a skilled electrical contractor eliminates these problems, and it’s still possible to save money when hiring an electrician.
Here are 10 tips to minimise the cost of your electrical project.
1. Try to Avoid Emergency Call-Outs & Book a Regular Business Hours Visit
If you suspect a problem with your electrical system, don’t wait until it develops into a hazardous situation requiring urgent attention.
Scheduling a safety assessment by an electrical contractor will cost far less than an emergency call-out.
Besides saving money when hiring an electrician, a routine electrical safety inspection will also give you peace of mind by enabling timely repairs to fix any problems before they become a danger to your family and your property.
In some instances — such as if there is a spark and you consider your home might be at risk of an electrical fire — it is worth it to bring in an emergency electrician to come out to your house.
However, besides those tricky situations, most works don’t have to be performed right away, consider waiting until a weekday to have the job completed during typical work hours so that you don’t get charged for after-hours rate.
2. Get a Fixed-Price Quote
Asking for a fixed-price quote for the entire job will avoid the possibility of hidden costs.
For instance, if you get a quote based purely on hourly rates, complications may increase the duration and cost of the work. It may also turn out that extra parts and/or materials are needed.
A further problem with a quote based on hours worked is that it may tempt an unscrupulous tradesman to stretch out the job.
Search for an electrician who offers upfront, fixed pricing. This way, the full cost is confirmed in writing before any work begins.
3. Do not be Misguided by Electricians’ Hourly Rates.
Don’t use the hourly electrician charge-out price as the sole way of comparison. An experienced, licensed, insured, good-equipped electrician with a fully stocked vehicle that charges a fixed price can be a better alternative than a cheaper, inexperienced electrician who does not has the right tools and with no solid warranty.
A knowledgeable electrician can usually do the work quicker and more effectively, billing you less at the end for the work than an unskilled electrician. Asking for an hourly rate is only relevant when it is taking into account along with the electrician’s experience, work quality and proper insurance & equipment.
4. Set a Realistic Budget
Prioritising your goals when it comes to electrical jobs will help you to draw up a practical budget.
If you get a quote for electrical work, that’s higher than you anticipated, address the problem before you end up struggling financially. A good electrician will be able to help you with this by suggesting modifications to your original plans to keep the work affordable.
Having a list of Needs vs Optional Wants is very helpful.
5. Avoid Internet Middlemen
The Internet abounds with platforms offering to help homeowners find professionals like electrical contractors.
Some of these middlemen websites will charge you a referral commission. In other cases, participating electricians may pay a fee for each lead generation, which they may pass on to the customer.
You can cut out the middleman by going straight to an electrician’s website.
6. Be Wary of Low Estimates
Don’t be guided on price alone – the quality of workmanship and materials should be a higher priority.
If an estimate looks too good to be true, it probably is. An unrealistically low price may mean a contractor will be cutting corners or you’ll see costs rise once your electrical job starts.
To avoid this issue, make sure you get a firm quote – not just an estimate – and find out exactly what is and what isn’t included in the price.
7. Ensure You Get a Good Warranty
A warranty reflects your electrician’s commitment to you, giving you the reassurance that you won’t have to pay to fix any problems arising from faulty workmanship or materials.
Most electricians guarantee their work for 12 months but the best may offer a lifetime warranty on their work.
If you find a reputable electrician, you’re unlikely to need your warranty – but it’s good to know it’s there.
8. Make it Easy for Your Electrician to Get Started
Another way to save money when hiring an electrician is to reduce the amount of time they have to spend on preparation for the job, particularly if it’s part of an overall home renovation.
Basic measures such as ensuring they have room to work, covering furniture, removing items from walls, and ensuring the electrical panel is accessible will mean your electrician can get on with the actual job rather than becoming a very expensive house cleaner.
9. Combine Jobs
You can also make the most of your electrician’s time by arranging for them to complete more than one job at your house at a time. Think about your future potential electrical needs as well as existing ones.
This can significantly reduce your costs by saving money on your electrician’s travel time.
10. Consider Money-Saving Upgrades
Investing in electrical upgrades can save you money in the long run.
Switching to LED (light-emitting diode) lightbulbs, for instance, can substantially reduce energy consumption.
And installing motion detector switches will help to cut costs of your outdoor lighting while improving your home’s security.
Why You Need a Licensed Electrician
Whatever electrical work you need doing in your home, in most cases it’s in your best interests to engage a qualified electrician.
This will protect your property and your family from the risk of a substandard job that could result in fire and/or electric shock hazards.
It will also avoid the possibility of having to spend more money on getting a licensed electrical contractor to sort out problems caused by the shoddy workmanship of others.
Electrical contractor services can be expensive because of the high level of training necessary to become qualified in a profession in which safety is a paramount concern, but you should still be able to save money when hiring an electrician if you follow our 10-point guide.