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How to Choose an Electrical Contractor

Posted on: September 5, 2012

Some home improvement projects, such as light plumbing and remodeling, lend themselves to DIY pretty easily. Larger jobs usually require highly specialized training and should only be done by a professional. This is especially true of electrical work, which is both difficult and potentially very dangerous.

What this means, of course, is you have to find a contractor you can trust! To choose a reliable contractor, it’s essential to find someone who is:

  • Technically proficient
  • Reputable
  • Knowledgeable about your needs


We’ll go into more detail on these:

Technically Proficient

The two most important aspects of any electrical job are safety and electrical system reliability.

  • Make sure your electricians have a deep understanding of the National Electric Code (NEC). This is a working code that has been adopted by almost all building inspection authorities, state and local.
  • Shop local! You want to know the electricians you choose are licensed in the jurisdiction where your project is located, whether it’s at your home, a small business or a major facility.
  • The electricians you choose should be certified by the NECA. This certification requires an apprenticeship program wherein the electrician goes through 1,000 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.


Just as important as their technical skill is the electrician’s reputation. Search the internet for reviews, or ask friends and neighbors if the electrician you’re hiring does a good job and is fairly priced. It’s easy to be swindled by companies who offer rock bottom prices but deliver rock bottom service – you need to find a company that will do the job right for a reasonable budget.

Knowledgeable About Your Needs

Every electrical job is different, and if your electrician doesn’t know how to accommodate your particular needs, you could be in trouble. Make sure you find a contractor who has the experience and the know-how to do your specific job correctly the first time.

Other Things to Ask

Finally, ask about the contractor’s warranty and insurance – and make sure you get it in writing. Does the electrician guarantee the work will meet code requirements? Will the company correct work that does not meet applicable standards? Insist on getting a written estimate as well as a copy of the contractor’s insurance certificate. Make sure your proposal or contract specifies that the work to be performed will comply with the NEC and NEIS.

Need an electrical contractor in MD, DC or VA?

If you need electrical service in Maryland, DC or Northern Virginia, the choice is clear – Kolb Electric! We have been providing electrical service throughout the area since 1925 and are the experts in our field. Don’t wait – call today!

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