Home improvement projects large and small involve electrical work. Moving light fixtures, rewiring for audio/visual equipment and installing appliances require working with the electrical system in your home. Although many of the smaller things can be handled by homeowners with only a little knowledge, the more involved work should be left to a trained electrician.
You might assume that electricians are expensive and consider DIY the only route to save money. But if your handiwork presents a fire hazard, blows fuses and disrupts the systems your family has come to count on, the cost of DIY electrical work can sky rocket. Calling in the pros is the best idea.
So how can you save money when hiring an electrician for those common home improvement projects?
Compare Hourly Charges
An electrician often charges by the hour. When comparing the services of a few reputable, recommended electricians be sure to ask what their hourly rate is. This will allow you to compare them side by side.
Even if they are willing to quote you on the full project, ask them to break that down into labor and material charges.
Choose a Local Electrician
Since they do bill by the hour electricians will often charge you for travel time. Choose one located nearby to cut back on unnecessary costs. If you live in a rural location this may not be possible, but take the idea into account and factor travel costs into your comparisons.
Make the Most of Their Time
An emergency call to the electrician will carry a premium price tag. If you can wait until their schedule permits (not on the weekends and outside of office hours, for example), the cost will generally fall. But to save even more money you should try and schedule your electrical projects together.
What that means is having your electrician complete more than one project while he is at your house. This cuts down on travel time and should reduce the cost significantly when compared to having each job done individually.
When one project comes up it helps to have a walk around your home and make a note of any other electrical issues that could be looked at. Consider future needs as well as current ones and find out how much it would cost to add wiring for appliances and electrical equipment you plan to have later on.
Jot down any questions that you have and any electrical issues or situations that you feel may be dangerous. Have the electrician perform a quick inspection to answer your questions or allay your fears while he is at the house performing other work.
Remember To Pay For Quality
Electricians are highly trained to handle potentially dangerous situations and to create a safe, efficient electrical system in your home. This isn't a job you want to leave to an inexperienced contractor just because he has the lowest hourly rate. Having an expert electrician come back to your home and repair an amateur's work will cost you much more. Opt for the best electrician who is the most qualified for the job. Look for a fair hourly rate, but don't skimp on quality for the sake of cost.
You can save money when hiring an electrician by making a few comparisons including hourly rate and proximity to your home. Try to group together all of the electrical projects in your home and have the contractor look after them during the same visit. Opt for the electrician with the right qualifications instead of just hiring the cheapest and paying more to have mistakes fixed. Simple steps will help you make it through these essential home improvements with more money in your pocket.Posted by: TrustedPros