When your home requires a number of electrical amendments to be made, the majority of us avoid doing the electrical works ourselves… for good reason! Unless you are a qualified electrician, it is best to leave electrical works to the experts as it can be extremely dangerous to attempt it yourself. If you have any doubts, always read reviews of the best and most affordable service providers.
When choosing an electrician, we recommend that you tread carefully. If something sounds too good to be true, it often is. There are many unskilled electricians on the market and it would be very appealing to pay money to the electrician who provides the lowest cost. However, the damage that this person might do could end up with you forking out for a lot more money than it would cost to employ a reputable electrician in the first place. Not to mention the risk that you are putting yourself and everyone else in your household, by employing a disreputable electrician.
In order to find a reputable provider, you can check that the electrician you are considering employing is a member of the ‘National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting’ (NICEIC) or ‘Electrical Contractors Association’ (ECA). If you are after some general advice about electrical improvements or amendments, the NICEIC can provide you with this.
Electrical changes also need to be completed to the British safety standards and, after the work has been carried out, should be able to provide you with a BS 7671 certificate. If they are not able or unwilling to do this, it is recommended that you walk away from any agreement.
If you are having major works done on your home, you may well also be employing a building contractor or other form of contractor to do some work. A lot of contractors are happy to recommend electricians to carry out your work so it can be a good idea to seek their advice.
If you have asked a member of the ECA or NICEIC to carry out some work and you are unsatisfied with the end results, you can make a complaint to either organisation. There is usually an initial process to follow (such as writing to the electrician responsible), however, the ECA or NICEIC should be able to rectify any problems, free of charge. If you have any further issues about your electrician (such as budget, timescale or contractual issues), you should contact trading standards who can advise you on the necessary steps. In order to avoid issues, we recommend that you try and obtain agreements in writing so that you have something to fall back on should things go wrong.
Always ensure that your electrical wiring, plugs, sockets and panels are intact and up to date.
Compare prices and try to negotiate a good price with your electrical services provider – especially if you need a bulk of work done at once!
Ensure that you have the appropriate safety equipment handy if you are attempting installation yourself. Always use safety certified equipment only.