With all of the home renovations that people do yearly (especially thanks to a certain tax break that was introduced in the United States of America) one thing that most home owners do not want to tackle is electrical issues - and for good reason! Electricity is all around us; it powers our homes, our computers, even our water heaters to bring us hot showers and baths. But we all know just how lethal this force can be if mishandled. That is why, when undergoing any sort of renovation project that requires a change in electrical wiring, an electrical contractor should be contacted.
If you are in doubt as to whether you actually NEED a new panel box, here are some things to consider:
- Have you added another room or more space to your home? Your panel box needs to be checked.
- Are your major appliances malfunctioning, though there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance itself?
- Do you have to continually reset the breakers on your panel box?
- Do you still have old fashioned fuses?
- Was your home constructed more than 20 years ago?
- Are any other major renovations happening to the home that may affect your electricity (i.e. having a heated pool installed)?
Once you contact an electrical contractor, one of the first things that he or she will do is check out your electrical panel and see if it needs an upgrade. An upgrade is needed if the panel will not be able to handle the excess of energy that will be required to power and/or heat that other room.
So let us back this up for a moment. Just how do you find a good, dependable electrician? First, you want to be sure that they are certified and licensed to be providing electrical services in your area. You will want to ensure that they have the right kind of training, as well as years of experience under their belt, before they touch your home. They should be insured against any sort of damages and injuries, be a member of the electricians union and/or a professional guild, and they should have good professional references.
Once you have that cleared up and some of the electricians you found scratched off of your list, it's now time to move on to some other standard questions, such as:
- How much do you charge per hour?
- Do you provide written estimates?
- Do you provide a written guarantee on your work?
- How long do you estimate this project will take to finish?
Many home owners cringe when they hear the hourly rates for an electrician, but again, think of doing it yourself. You have no idea what you are doing, and if you neglect to take care of any faulty wiring or a panel box that is not performing correctly, you are putting yourself and your family in great danger. Either someone will become electrocuted, or a fire will spark. Your appliances can easily be damaged beyond repair because of an improper amount of voltage being carried throughout the home. Imagine replacing all of your appliances, or imagine someone losing their life. Now doesn't hiring an electrical contractor seem worth it?