Hiring residential electricians runs the gamut from urgent maintenance repairs, to installation of high-quality fixtures or outlets, to massive home improvement construction projects.
There are many different electrical contractors in Louisville KY and the surrounding area, each offering a range of prices and services, but how do you know who you should hire?
What questions should you be asking them?
The following guide is nowhere near exhaustive but will give you some good jumping-off questions to ensure you’re hiring the best electricians in Louisville KY and Southern Indiana for your electrical needs.
The good news is that a phone call to any business is free!
#1: “Is your company insured?”
You should request proof of insurance from any professional electrician who works on your home wiring systems or is providing an estimate.
If you call an unlicensed or uninsured contractor team, you risk financial loss due to damage or future issues and possibly even personal injury, not to mention the likelihood of a low-quality result.
Your homeowner’s insurance may not cover accidents that happen on your property if the person performing maintenance services or installation is not licensed or insured.
Knowing the electrical contractors working in your home are covered under a Worker’s Compensation policy is also an important marker of a quality company.
#2: “Are you a licensed electrician?”
A licensed residential electrician is a professional who has requisite years of experience and has passed a state-approved examination in order to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field of electrical service, installation, repair, and construction.
Contractors providing electrical services in Louisville and throughout Kentucky must not only pass and maintain certifications exams but also must keep at least $500,000 in general liability coverage as well as worker’s compensation insurance.
The good news is that verifying your Louisville KY electrical service provider is licensed tells you that they’re also insured!
Unlike Kentucky, Indiana’s licensure requirements vary by city or municipality, so you’ll want to do a little bit of Google-Fu review prior to asking this question so you know what licensed and insured means to a provider in your area if you live in Indiana.
If the answer to either question #1 or #2 is NO, you’re likely talking to the electrical contractor we somewhat jokingly call “Chuck in a Truck”.
Chuck is somebody who has some tools and probably some experience and generally quotes you a significantly cheaper cost than professional contractors, often at the expense of quality and accountability.
But without being licensed and insured…Chuck presents a significant risk to your sanity and bank account.
Saving a few bucks upfront is rarely going to end up saving you anything in the long run.
In the words of Red Adair, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”
#3: “Do you offer a guarantee?”
Though most states do not require contractors to provide written guarantees for their work, it’s still good practice for all businesses to offer this service because it gives people peace of mind when spending money on home improvements.
If your electrical service provider offers a guarantee, ensure you review the details:
How long does the guarantee last (typically 1 year)?
What’s covered in the guarantee? Parts? Repairs? Labor Hours?
How do you make a claim if repair is required?
Does the guarantee come in writing?
You want this information so you know if the company will stand by its work if something goes wrong after the warranty expires.
#4: “Will my project require a permit?”
Any reputable professional electrical contractor giving you a quote should be confident in telling you up-front if your project is going to require a permit from the local government that oversees construction projects.
If you get conflicting information from two different electricians, you might want a third opinion…but it’s probably a safer bet to err on the side of the service provider that tells you a permit is needed when providing estimates.
If you’re getting an inspection for significant electrical systems repairs, electric construction, or remodeling, you can expect that permits will need to be applied for.
If your project does require a residential construction permit, your electrical services provider should definitely be the one taking charge of securing it.
#5: “How long have you been in business?”
Though by itself this piece of information isn’t a guarantee of good or bad service, an electrical services provider who exhibits a track record of quality work is naturally going to be around longer than one whose quality or customer service isn’t quite up to par.
In the unfortunate instance of an electrical emergency, you don’t want to take any chances and opting for a less seasoned team may not be worth any cost savings you may enjoy in the short term.
Choosing an professional electrical company that has been serving customers in Louisville KY for several years can help ensure peace of mind that you’ve made the right call.
Beyond the questions
As mentioned earlier, doing a little of your own research can also help you make the best decision for your family home’s electrical services. Here are a few items worth looking at:
Does the provider offer both residential and commercial electrical services in Louisville? If so they likely have more buying power to keep prices down on parts and a more season team of technicians. This also might indicate how ready your provider is to handle jobs that grow in scope.
Do they offer free estimates? We don’t know of any legitimate electricians in Louisville that charge for a job review but you never know, Chuck may need gas money.
What’s the average customer rating on their Google Business Listing? If you just search the company name and area (Louisville KY in our case) you’re considering you should see their Google reviews pop up in the map. From there you can see how past customers have experienced their services.
Do they offer a regular maintenance plan? Staying connected with customers after the job is important to companies who know their quality is top-notch and you’re more than a number to them.
Are they a family-owned and operated business? That may not seem pertinent right off the bat, but a locally owned, family business also reduces the likelihood that you’ll be treated as a number. They’re often much more involved in their community than national providers.
#6 (BONUS): What are some red flags to be aware of?
This article is about helping you make the best decisions when you need to hire electrical contractors in Louisville KY. Part of that review includes knowing what to watch out for.
The following are some red flags that you should be on the lookout for when hiring electrical services contractors:
When they don’t offer a contract or agreement.
They won’t offer a solid price quote for repair.
If they ask for upfront payment.
If they provide little information about their work history.
If they have no reviews or ratings on their website.
If they have a poor reputation or rating (aka a lot of negative reviews).
Hopefully, we’ve illustrated many of the factors to consider when hiring a professional for your electrical work.
To Recap (what’s the opposite of TL;DR?):
#1 – Is your company insured?
#2 – Are you a licensed electrician?
#3 – Do you offer a guarantee?
#4 – Will my project require a permit?
#5 – How long have you been in business?
Until next time
We appreciate your time and are truly dedicated to bringing value, if you have any thoughts or would like to see any specific information in the future, please comment below.
Laswell Electric is a family-owned, commercial and residential electrical services provider based in Louisville KY that has been serving Kentuckiana since 1995.
We hope you’ll keep us in mind for your residential electrical projects, and are always available in an emergency.
You can check our Google reviews to get an idea of the quality our team is dedicated to if we haven’t already done work for you in the past.
Until next time, thanks and we’ll be seeing you around Louisville and Southern Indiana, if you see one of our team out on an install say hi!