Hiring a Professional Electrician vs DIY: Key Factors to Consider

professional electrician

Electricians make an average of $59,190 a year. That’s a bit higher than the national salary of most professions.

If could make you hesitant to hire a professional electrician for your home improvement project or electrical repair. It’s understandable, but there are reasons why you need to hire a qualified electrician to do the work.

Should you DIY or hire an expert electrician?

Read on because we have the answer for you.

1. Personal Liability

Electrical issues cause about 20% of all property damage in the United States. When you decide to make an electrical repair on your home, you’re risking an electrical malfunction.

Not only that, but you’re risking your personal safety because you’re not fully educated about electrical wiring and circuits. Professional electricians have gone through rigorous training to get licensed, and they will limit your personal liability.

2. Building Code Violations

There are home wiring projects that only electricians can do because they know the building codes in your area. You’d have to talk to your municipality to get the proper permits and know how to perform the work legally. Qualified electricians know what the building codes are and how to get the proper permits.

If you should ever decide to sell your home, your DIY wiring projects could become a major issue if they’re not in line with building codes.

3. Higher Quality Work

Just because you watched a couple of videos on YouTube on how to fix an electrical issue doesn’t make you an expert. Your skills and knowledge of electrical issues can only take you so far.

Professionals will always deliver higher quality work as long as you do your homework before you hire an electrician.

4. You Can Make Expensive Mistakes

Let’s say that you’re trying to complete a project that requires you to make a connection to the main power grid. If you make a mistake, it can cost you big time.

You could cause significant damage to your property and the electric company’s property as well. It could end up costing your life, as well.

Don’t take the chance and hire a qualified expert to do the work.

Which Jobs Can You DIY?

There are some jobs that you can do yourself. These are usually minor jobs that almost anyone can do and do safely. Some of these jobs include installing a ceiling fan, replacing an outlet, installing or replacing a light fixture, or replacing an old light switch.

You’ll need to put safety first. Even though these are minor projects, you can still cause quite a bit of damage without the proper precautions.

You’ll want to turn off the circuit breaker to that area of your home to make sure power isn’t flowing while you’re working. For some jobs, you may need to shut down the main power breakers in your home.

You can check to makes sure it’s safe to work by using a voltage tester on the wires you need to work on.

How to Hire a Professional Electrician

Anything beyond these minor jobs will require a professional to handle. Hiring the right electrician for the job is going to ensure that your work is done right the first time.

Here are a few tips to hire an electrician.

Licensed and Insured

One of the top reasons to hire a professional is because electricians take on a lot of liability. You have to make sure the liability doesn’t fall on your shoulders by hiring someone that’s not licensed or insured.

If you do hire someone that’s not insured and they get injured working on your home, you can be responsible for their medical bills.

Services Match Your Needs

What is your electrical project? You want to hire an electrician that has experience with your project. Some electricians will specialize in new residence wiring, rewiring historic homes, or commercial electrical work.

Electricians are likely to have their full suite of services listed on their website. Read it carefully and if you don’t see the service you need, ask them if it’s something that they do.

Ask Who Performs the Work

Electrical contractors can get busy, which means they could have someone else do the job. If someone else is doing the work, ask if the person doing the work is an employee or a subcontractor.

The reason why this is important is because of liability. An employee will usually be covered by the electrical contractor’s insurance. That doesn’t usually apply to subcontractors. If a subcontractor is doing the work, make sure they’re insured.

You also want to make sure that the person that’s doing the work has gone through an extensive background check.

Cost to Hire an Electrician

Of course, you want to find an affordable electrician. You want to get a few estimates from electricians to compare the scope of work, the rates, and warranties on the work.

You don’t necessarily want to go to the bid that is the least expensive. You often get what you pay for, so make sure you’re going to get top quality work.

DIY or Hire an Electrician?

When you have problems that need to be repaired at home, you want to be able to take care of them yourself. It saves money and you get to apply your handy skills.

There are minor electrical issues that you can DIY. Most issues will require a professional electrician. Hiring a professional will limit your liability, protect you and your home, and make sure the work is done right.

When you hire a professional, you have to make sure you get someone who is qualified to do the work and is licensed and insured. Be sure to shop around before you decide.

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