Did you know that the legal regulations for electrical installations in Scotland and Northern Ireland are not the same to those in England and Wales? If electricians are completing installations in England and Wales, they have to abide by the Building Regulations, whereas Scotland have to keep to the Building Standards system and Northern Ireland has no legal requirement that is similar. Homeowners sometimes find it difficult to work out if an electrician is genuine, not always knowing the right questions to ask and how to research whether they are professional and of a good standard.
Steve Evans from SE Electrical Services Ltd reassures us that there is in fact a few things you can check before you agree to letting a local electrician to start work in your home. Steve suggests; “Choosing a registered electrician will safeguard you because protections are in place. You can check names with the scheme if you want to make sure they are registered. Homeowners should also never be worried about asking electricians for their paperwork, certificates and qualifications. If the electrician is a professional, he will willingly hand them over. If they get tricky, it may be wise to look for someone else.”
Ask for References
If you’re still unsure or want to get additional peace of mind, then it’s perfectly okay to ask for a reference from a previous customer. Steve Evans says this is standard procedure and homeowners should not be nervous of asking for references. Ask the referees to describe the work involved and check if they were satisfied with the end result. Don’t necessarily settle on the first quote, get more than one and compare them all before you make a decision. Always bear in mind that the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best!
Contractors & Tradesmen
Contractors sometimes use cheap tradesman to save them money and get the job done quickly. Be aware of who is in your home, ask to see the qualifications and registrations of the tradesmen and don’t rely on contractors to be thorough in checking themselves. Whether you’re having a kitchen or bathroom replaced or a minor bit of work done, don’t leave it to chance and always check.
An electrician or any other tradesman should not ever make you feel under pressure to select them for the job. If you feel uncomfortable in their presence or they seem pushy, then get advice before you make any decisions. Trading Standards, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and various other associations and industry bodies can give you excellent advice if you have any questions.