Picking the Right Pro
Electricians tend to specialize. Some concentrate on new construction, some just in commercial work and some go only on service calls to fix dead outlets or faulty fixtures. Those who specialize in remodeling have mastered techniques for wiring existing homes and additions, such as snaking wires through finished walls, assessing the capacity of existing circuits and evaluating whether to install an additional service panel (where the circuit breakers are) to handle increased power demands.
Most general contractors have a short list of dependable electricians, but if your contractor can't recommend one, check with the local home- builders' association or an electrical- supply house in the area for a recommendation. Be sure to tell them the type of work you are doing so they can properly match the pro to the job.
When interviewing an electrician, ask to see a copy of his state license as well as proof of insurance. Make sure both are current. An electrician working on a typical residential -remodeling job should carry a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage for himself and his crew. If everything seems up to snuff, check references and look over a previous job.
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