The 6 ½ secret questions to know and ask every electrician before letting them do any work OR paying them money.
First, check your electrician Make sure they’re registered, approved and have all the official paper work. How do I know my electrician knows his onions? Search the TRUSTMARK Register for your area at www.trustmark.org.uk/ They should be Government Approved By NAPIT, ELECSA or NICEIC English and Welsh Electricians comply with Part P of the Building Regulations, Scottish electricians with the Building Standards System, Northern Ireland doesn’t have a statutory requirement. So make sure the registered electrician operates in your country. 02477 674749
How do I Know the price is right? Get quotes from at least three electricians capable of completing your electrical work, if it’s a minor repair, one will do. Remember to be clear about what you want, and always ask for a written specification and quotation. 02477 674749
Have you seen their reference?
If you haven’t you should. A good electrician will be happy to provide a reference, and other official papers.
Check your electrician is government-approved or approved by a recognised organisation. If you found them
on the Electrical Safety Register then you don’t need to do this check.
If you tracked down your electrician independently we strongly recommend you contact the organisation they
say they are a member of or affiliated with.
Ask for a copy of your electrician’s Public Liability Insurance, complaints procedure and ask if they offer an
If your electrician is employed by a third party such as a builder or contractor, we still recommend you check
their credentials. A verbal assurance is insufficient as you’ll have no recourse if the electrician is incompetent.
So you’re happy with your new electrician and they’re ready to go. Here’s your next three and a half questions...
What should I do before the work starts? Agree a timetable of work and get confirmation of an expected completion date in writing. For larger jobs, request regular updates and for immediate confirmation if the completion date won’t be met. Agree payment terms so you’re certain you have the funds available. Some electricians may ask for material costs up-front and in the case of larger jobs, staged payments. Avoid dealing in cash as it’s easy to lose track of what you have paid. Pay by cheque or card and always ask for a receipt or statement of account. How many sugars in their tea or coffee? Keep your electrician sweet - hopefully they’ll do a better job for you!
How do I deal with changes to the job and disputes Avoid changing or adding new work to the job halfway through. It will cost more and cause delays. If you do need to make any changes, confirm in writing (email is fine). If you have any concerns or questions talk to your electrician straight away. If you’re dealing with a larger company speak to the person in charge, usually a supervisor or manager. Make your concerns clear, explain what you want done and give your electrician a chance to put things right. If you can’t resolve the problems get in touch with the approved organisation (from Q3) they’ll advise you, and work with you to reach a solution. You could also get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0854 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
What should I do once the job’s done?
So you’ve paid your electrician, but the job’s not over yet.
No matter how big or small the job, your electrician should provide an electrical installation
certificate confirming the work meets the UK Safety Standard, BS 7671.
If the electrical work is covered under Building Regulations you’ll also get a certificate visit
http://electrical.theiet.org/buildingregulations/index.cfm for more information about the
electrical safety aspect of Building Regulations.
Keep the electrical certificate(s) safe as they are proof that the electrical work was carried out
safely. You may need them if you decide to sell the property.
Hope this helps, if you do need any more advice feel free to give me a call