As a homeowner, you’re going to occasionally need professional repairs made at your house. For many jobs a cousin, a friend’s brother, or a great handyman recommended by a neighbor may be able to do a great job for a low price and it would be foolish not to accept those people to make light repairs or upgrades. However, when it comes to electrical work such a solution just doesn’t fly. First, it’s not legal for anyone who is not licensed to conduct electric work to your house. Second, there are safety issues involved if electric work isn’t conducted properly and third, if those safety issues come into play your insurance coverage is going to be void when their inspector determines unlicensed repairs have been made.
Typical Electric Repairs
Typical electric repairs can be as simple as replacing a lighting fixture or adding a GFCI (ground fault circuit interruption) outlet in the bathroom, or as intricate as converting an outdated fuse box to a circuit breaker board or even installing a generator or solar panels as a backup and supplemental power source. Most repairs fall somewhere in between, jobs such as adding additional electric outlets to an office space, or perhaps changing a light to a dual switch system so you can turn it on from either side of a room with two entrances, or adding a 220-volt outlet to a basement or garage space.
The Difference between General Contractors and Licensed Electricians
A point of confusion for the layman who works outside of the construction industry is that a general contractor is not the same as a licensed electrical contractor. The general contractor, by law, has to sub-contract an electrician to do the electrical portions of the contract job. The general contractor license proves an understanding of building design and structure along with procedure and techniques to finish a building. The electrician’s license shows a demonstrable understanding of how electricity flows through your house’s systems to power you appliances. Such an understanding is an absolute necessity when conducting electric work for the homeowner.
When hiring for an electrical project you want to hire a licensed professional electrician with proven experience and verifiable references. You’ll further want to make sure the electrician runs a legitimate business which has workers comp to cover any injuries his employees may suffer on the job and insurance to cover the work he provides and covers with a warranty.