Does the thought of engaging a tradesperson fill you with fear? Are you going to be ripped off? How do you know he is good at his job and not a cowboy?
If you need an electrician, ask your friends, family, and work colleagues if they can recommend someone. Get three quotes, and the cheapest is not always the best. Electricians are professionals and will not rip you off. However, you need to be clear on the scope of work and not ask for add-ons to keep the agreed payment in place.
*Use our find an electrician button to get three quotes.
How can you tell a good electrician?
It’s quite easy, he will look professional, he will have his van liveried with his contact details. He should arrive looking smart ( don’t expect too much if he comes to your home on his way home from a job).
Your electrician will sound knowledgeable and explain what’s needed. He may not give a breakdown of the price there and then because he will need to check prices for fitting and fixtures.
Here are some pointers to help:
- The electrician will look relatively smart given he is a tradesman. They should always treat you with respect and courteously.
- Hopefully, they have turned up at your home within an agreed time frame that allows for traffic and any other problems he could encounter.
- The electrician has a van with their logo, and contact details that are clear to see. If an electrician turns up in a car, it’s not always a bad sign. He may be starting out, or his van is off the road.
- The electrician can offer references and phone numbers of previous costumes for you to check.
- The electrician has the relevant qualifications and accreditations that he is willing to show you. He could send a scanned copy with his quote.
- He should give you a verbal quote followed by a written quote, so there is nothing ambiguous.
- The electrician should be able to give you a guarantee for his work and a certificate of completion when finished.
Should electricians be registered?
There is nothing in the law that states an electrician must be registered with an accreditation body.
However, most electricians are accredited, so they can work as competent electricians and sign off on their own work.
Many electricians are accredited with NICEIC, and you may see this logo on their van and or business cards.
It is perfectly reasonable for the homeowner to ask for a copy of the accreditation certificate from the electrician. If you have any doubts, you can report the electrician to NICEIC, which will be detrimental to his business.
What is a certified electrician in the UK?
It is the person who has undergone academic training for 4 years and practical application of their knowledge for the same amount of time.
Becoming an electrician in the UK is no mean feat, and they have undergone rigorous training and know the job inside out.
When an electrician has completed 4 years of official training, they will need to complete another 2 years of working supervised on-site before they can apply to become accredited or registered.
What happens if an electrician does not provide a certificate?
First, do not trust their work and withhold payment until the work is certified by a competent accredited electrician.
The electricity in your home comes under the building regulations, and as such, you can go to your local council offices and report the electrician and be advised of the next steps you should take.
This situation rarely arises, but it’s worth noting not to proceed with your quotation until you are delighted with the information from the electrician.
Does an electrician have to provide a certificate in the UK?
Yes. Regardless of the size of the job the electrician is obliged to issue a certificate to the homeowner when the work is completed.
The certificate will confirm that the work carried out complies with British Standard electrical safety BS7671. Any electrical work carried out within a dwelling is covered under the building’s regulations.
When should an electrician issue a certificate?
When the work has been completed, and you are satisfied, you may withhold payment until you have everything in place to your satisfaction.
The consequences of not having the certificate may cost you again if you decide to sell your property.
Without the certification, the conveyancing process could be delayed and even stall the sale of your property.
Can you sell a house without an electrical certificate?
You must be able to validate that your home meets the standards set out in the building regulations.
You could find yourself in hot water and possibly in criminal proceedings against the homeowner.
What should I look for when employing an electrician?
It is imperative you only hire a qualified electrician for obvious reasons. There can be some clear telltale signs that should ring alarm bells, like the electrician not having all the tools for the job. Or the electrician smelling of alcohol. These are signs that something is not quite as it seems.
It’s a good idea to check:
- Is the electrician able to self certify their work?
- That you agree to the quote before the work commences.
- You have 3 quotes that are quoting like for like. They should all be similarly priced.
- That the electrician can give you a certificate upon completion of the work.
How much should electricians charge per hour in the UK?
It really depends where you are in the country. You will pay more for an electrician if you are in and around London.
An hourly rate of between 60 and 100 pounds is average, and occasionally, you can find cheaper as the electrician may quote low for a job that will only take a few minutes to complete.
Cheap is not always best as something somewhere down the line is not as good as it should be.