I need to hire an electrician. What should I consider during the process?
In Missouri, a state license is not required for electricians. The permit for electrical work is issued by the county or municipality in which the work will occur. With this in mind, consider asking the following questions before hiring a contractor:
- Does the electrician belong to any trade associations?
- Will the person being interviewed be doing the work?
- Can the electrician provide several verifiable references for jobs of the same scope?
- Has the Better Business Bureau or Missouri Attorney General received any complaints about the electrician and/or his company? If so were they resolved to the consumer’s satisfaction?
- Does the electrician have insurance?
- If the electrician is not licensed or certified, will your homeowner’s insurance cover any resulting problems from that work?
For larger jobs be sure to get written estimates from at least three electricians. When you have selected a contractor, make sure the written contract includes such items as dates for completion, dates and percentages of payments, how change orders will be handled, and a stipulation that final payment will be withheld until a lien waiver has been provided. This assures that you will not be liable for your electrician’s bills from suppliers in the event they are not paid.
Lisa Hamilton, Architectural Studies Student Assistant, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Monday, May 18, 2009