Should you insist on a professional electrician or builder?
Does it really matter? If they say they can do it...
And what should they give you when your project is finished?
You MUST read this to find out - it’s not just a bill
We all have works done from time to time on our home, whether it be a new socket behind the TV or an extension. These works improve our home life and our property’s value.
With so many Britain’s deciding to get the builders in it’s no wonder that good quality, honest and trustworthy builders can be a bit of a job to get hold of. Furthermore, you will never really know whether your builder is any good until they start or until they have finished which could leave you out of pocket and with a bad taste in your mouth
Being a Professional Electrician with over 10 years in construction I have seen some really great building works, met some amazing tradesmen that produce some really beautiful work as professionals, but there are non professionals out there too
We can understand these non professionals in this way
Your electrical system is like an iceberg. There is no water involved, but with an iceberg it does hide 90% of itself below the surface and it’s for this reason your electrical system is like an iceberg.
What does that mean?
Well, all of your wiring, your connections, your terminations and occasionally your consumer unit (formerly your fusebox) are almost certainly concealed in the building fabric. You don’t see them, you can’t touch them, in fact without being told that they are actually there you would be forgiven for not knowing they exist at all.
A professional Electrician will consider the whole installation, making sure to comply with all the wiring you don't see, as well as the 10% that you do. A non professional will rarely be able to deal with any or all of the numerous issues that could arise when a simple job becomes more complex.
A profession is defined as:
‘A paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification’
- Would you fly with a pilot that has no licence or have a tooth removed from someone who is not a dentist?
- What about getting someone to change the wiring in your home who holds no qualification?
It’s actually a really easy concept to grasp. If they are not a professional then why would we trust them to do the job of a professional?
A professional electrician or builder should issue you the following:
Minor works certificate:
If you have had an ADDITIONAL accessory installed (light, socket, fan etc) this doesn't include simply changing like for like
Electrical installation certificate:
If you have had a new circuit installed, if you have changed or installed a consumer unit, if you have had an extension where multiple accessories have been installed across multiple circuits even if the circuit are not new
Part P compliance certificate (Notification to building control) “getting it signed off”
If you have had a new circuit, a consumer unit change, if you have put more lights or a fan in your bathroom.
The descriptions are a minimum. If you have had a rewire then you will have had at least one new circuit and therefore you would receive an electrical installation certificate and the notification of Part P
If you are having building works, your builder will almost always have an electrician. But there are some things you should know
- The electrician may be the builder or a labourer
- The electrician used to ‘sign off’ may have had no input to the design or installation of your wiring
- The ‘sign off’ may not be completed if there are non compliances with the builders work leaving you with no certification
- The electrician will almost certainly NOT be employed by the builder and as such may not have the insurance or protection that the builder has. When things occasionally go wrong, you could be given details to the electrician whilst the builder denies responsibility
- Your builder may not be aware of the requirements for electrical installations at time of design and quote, which could mean you miss a trick that a professional electrician could otherwise advise you of
If you are unsure if your electrician or your builders electrician is not a professional then ask. It’s your right as a customer, a consumer and a home owner that you know who is carrying out these works on arguably the most expensive item you are ever going to own.
Let’s get it right first time every time with your local Professional Electrician