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Finding an Electrician

I have an electrical problem in my old home that is a little out of my league (wires leading to a former light fixture arc) and I need to hire an electrician to take a look at it. Does anyone know of a good way to find a reputable electrician? I know of Angie's List, but I'm not interested in paying a registration fee for a one-time contractor search. If anyone knows of any useful tips or websites I'd appreciate some feedback. Thank you.

A. Spruce
Re: Finding an Electrician

Your best leads will come from trusted friends and family, after that, if you've worked with other contractors in the past that you've liked, ask them for a referral. Beyond that, you'll have to let your fingers do the walking in the phone book.

Re: Finding an Electrician

You actually have a wealth of valuable resources right in your own backyard:
1. Go to the local hardware store/building supply place and ask who they recommend (or who they would avoid). If a local electrician doesn't pay their bills for materials, it's probably because homeowners don't pay them for their shoddy service.

2. Ask other people who work with electricians regularly like plumbers, heating techs, contractors, real estate agents, local building companies, etc.
They won't recommend anyone they wouldn't use themselves and can often give you years of examples where they've worked in partnership with the electrician.

3. Ask your friends, family, the neighbors, etc. for examples of who they used, how much they paid and what their experience was like.

4. Check out the grocery store. You can bet that when they have an electrical problem, they have someone on call 24/7 to make sure they don't lose any frozen veggies. The manager can probably refer you to someone really reliable.

5. Ask whomever you interview for references. At least three, and they can't be his brother Bob, his dad and his wife.

6. BEWARE of anyone who has no other work going on. If they tell you to shut down the breaker and they will be there in a few days, that means they are busy (which is a good thing). If they say "I've been playing solataire all day so I'll come over now" be very wary. A good electrician is hard to find and should be very busy all year long.

Finally, do some research on the web to find out what is required to fix the problem. Even if you aren't going to do it yourself, at least know what should be done.
For example, should one outlet/wire be replaced or do you need to re-wire the whole house?

Good luck!

Re: Finding an Electrician

When seeking tradesmen or contractors of any ilk, I always check the local trade and builders' associations for references. Someone who is active and a leader in such an organization, probably got there on a well earned reputation. And they'll have more to lose by doing subpar work.

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