We all depend on our electrical systems in our homes to operate everything from kitchen appliances to the computer and the entertainment center. Any problem that affects the electrical system and wiring in a home, however, is nothing for the average homeowner to attempt to correct.

The strong electrical current running through our homes that offers such great benefits is also capable of causing injury or death, as well as fires, if it is not repaired properly. For that reason, a professional licensed electrician must be hired when an electrical repair is needed.

For the safety of your family, yourself and your home, you will need to know that you are hiring a reputable, experienced electrician. A few simple tips, if followed, will help to ensure that you find the right person for this important work.

1. Do not wait until there is a disaster or emergency to seek an electrician, because at that time you may make a hasty decision which would not be in your best interest.

2. If the electrician you are considering cannot provide you with references and a current license, do not hire that person. Contractors are required by every state to keep their license valid and current, so make sure the one you contact is up to date in that area.

3. Contact at least three electricians for estimates. That way, you can compare rates to check on overcharging or serious undercutting, either of which is not a good sign.

4. Be sure to get all estimates in writing. In order to avoid nasty surprises at the end of a job, do not sign a contract or agreement of any kind until all your questions are answered and you know exactly how much it will cost and what it will cover. Ask about a guarantee for the work to be done and how long it will take.

5. Even though you may be working with a budget, do not let the price alone decide on who you will hire. Sometimes the person offering the lowest price is the least experienced, or worse yet, a “fly-by-night” who will do a shoddy job and disappear.

6. If you have a small job you can request, it is good to try a potential electrician with perhaps replacing a dead outlet or repairing a porch light. That way you will know if the person will start on time, do a good job and stick to the estimate.

Following these simple steps will help ensure that you have the satisfactory transaction you deserve.

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