How to Choose a Good Electrician - a Step by Step Guide

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Some people worry when it comes down to hiring an electrician or plumber. It shouldn't be a time for people to worry. If you do a little research and collect the necessary information, you can have the electrician in, out, and paid in no time. Electrical work is dangerous and so the big issue when hiring an electrician is whether or not they're competent. This becomes a major problem in the suburbs of major cities like Bristol, or Sheffield, where it becomes easier to rip-off someone or for a person to settle for a below-par electrician.


A good idea is to check the Electrical Safety Register for your location. This differs depending on location. There are three different ones: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. So make sure you find someone in your country that is registered on the Electrical Safety Register. In England and Wales electricians have to comply with Part P of the Building Registrations. In Scotland electricians comply with the Building Standards System. Make sure you check that this is the case. (Northern Ireland doesn't have an equivalent body.)

Once you've found someone - find two more. It's advisable to have a minimum of three electricians. This way you can make a more informed decision instead of simply going for the first person you find. This decreases your chances of receiving shoddy work from an incompetent tradesman.

The Steps

1. Meet with the electrician in person or at least talk to them on the phone. This isn't necessary; however, it is advised as it's a lot easier to get a sense of someone by talking with them.

2. Spell out exactly what work is to be completed first and then get them to draw up a quote.

3. Get any quote in writing – and stick to it. This stops the electrician from changing the prices at a later date.

4. Check they are approved by a recognised organisation or are government-approved. (If you followed the advice above and went through the Electrical Safety Register then this step isn't necessary.)

5. Ask for references. A good electrician will have no problem with this.

6. Get a timetable for work to be agreed upon, this should include completion dates.

7. Pay by cheque - cash is easy to lose track of and you may end up paying more than you should. Also, get a receipt.

8. Request an electrical installation certificate. This will ensure that the work carried out meets the UK safety standards. (This will also help when selling your house.)

Extra Advice

• If you have any concerns, or questions, then speak to your electrician straight away, they can then resolve any issues with speed. If you can't resolve a dispute, contact the organisation that approved them, as they will then be able to advise and will work with both parties to sort the issue out.

• If something doesn't feel right, then don't be pressured into anything. It's your house and it's your money. You do what you want.

Don't fret over this, whether you need an electrician in Bristol or a plumber in Sheffield, it shouldn't become an issue. With a bit of research you can have the work completed with ease. While there may be some bad tradesman out there, the flip side is that there are also many more good, qualified, and competent tradesman ready to help you out.