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Do-It-Yourself Vs. Professional Electrician: What’s the Difference?

by Antonio Chau on November 21, 2016

When it comes to completing electrical work in your home or at your business, is it better to choose a qualified electrician or can you recruit a friend or handyman to do your electrical troubleshooting and repairs? Is it possible to simply look up online how to install new electrics or complete a repair and just do it yourself? Many homeowners and business owners consider inviting a friend or unqualified handyman to do electrical work, or even do it themselves because of the cost savings when compared to hiring a fully qualified, licensed and insured electrician. But is it really worth it? While it may cost significantly more to call a fully licensed and insured electrician out for your job, do you get value for your investment?

Here we look at some of the ways DIY and unqualified electrical work can go wrong, and establish the advantages of choosing a fully qualified electrician, even for the smaller jobs.

Experience and Knowledge

Hire an experienced, professional electrician to ensure the efficacy of your electrical repairsJust because your friend or an unqualified handyman has completed electrical work in the past, it does not necessarily mean they have the knowledge and experience to understand, diagnose and correct the issue you are experiencing at the moment. Unqualified electrical tinkerers often have limited practical experience or knowledge, as their experience is based on the few repairs they have completed. They may even derive their knowledge of electrical repairs and installation from second hand information or online guides. This limited or misguided information can result in work that is incorrect, dangerous or that leads to greater costs in the long run.

Qualified and expertly trained electricians have been thoroughly educated in a range of different electrical systems, repairs and installations, and have the relevant practical experience to complete the job in a safe and successful way the first time around. The knowledge of a qualified electrician is not based on anecdotal evidence and internet forums, but on the most up-to-date electrical study and practice, verified by local licensing authorities.

Licensing, Insurance and Liability

having an insured and bonded electrician is vitalIf you use an unlicensed electrical contractor for work on your property, you can be legally liable for any injury or accident that occurs while they work in your home. Furthermore, an independent unlicensed contractor can be legally considered an ‘employee’ if you pay them to complete work on your property, and this can give them the right to claim worker’s compensation from you in the event they are injured or disabled on the job. You will be responsible for paying for any errors, accidents or mishaps that occur while an uninsured electrical contractor works in your home, or face the long and onerous task of suing a contractor for incorrect or incomplete work.

With a fully licensed, bonded and insured electrical contractor you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that whatever happens, your electrical work is fully covered by insurance and completed by a qualified and licensed professional.

Quality and Safety

While an unqualified electrical contractor may seem appealing based on the low price, when it comes to completing electrical work, you don’t want to take the cheaper option. So many homeowners and business owners see electrical work as an expense instead of seeing it for what it really is – an investment in the safety, comfort and quality of your home. While unlicensed electrical work might seem okay or function well enough to start with, cutting corners and diminishing quality can lead to major safety risks which might not become obvious until further down the track or until disaster strikes.

A fully qualified and licensed electrician can guarantee the quality and safety of your repairs and installations, with premium contractors offering warranties on their work. This means that if any issues arise with the work completed within a specified timeframe, a warranty crew will come and correct the problem for no extra charge. A good electrical company will be confident enough in their products and workmanship to be able to assure you of lasting quality and safety with relevant warranties on their services.

Better Value

While you might pay less for an unqualified electrical contractor or friend to work on your electrics in the short term, these unprofessional or unsafe repairs and installations could end up costing you more in the long run when you need to repair or correct them again.

Working with a qualified electrician means you get the right solution the first time, and high quality work is covered by warranties which ensure you won’t be out of pocket for more if anything goes wrong, allowing you to save money on repairing recurrent issues.

Covered By Relevant Permits

gathering the proper permits for an electrical repair jobWhile unlicensed electrical work might go unnoticed by local authorities within your own home, this undocumented work could present an issue if you try to lease or sell your home down the track. When you decide to lease or sell, potential home buyers or city officials may ask to see permits for any work or remodels performed in the home. If permits cannot be produced for the work done, the house may not be able to be sold or leased because unlicensed work in a home can prevent the home from being eligible for insurance.

If you complete all electrical installations and repairs with a professional electrician from a good quality electrical company, you can be assured that all work will be covered by the relevant permits and adhere to local codes for the ongoing safety, quality and integrity of your home.

Saves Time and Stress

Completing extensive electrical repairs, rewiring a home or installing electrics in a remodel can be a stressful process. But having your electrical contractor leave the project halfway through, add on extra costs or draw out the timeframe of the project can be even more stressful. Unlicensed contractors may promise incredible results at low prices, but these promises may not ring true when they change the budget as they go along, take much longer to complete the work, perform low quality work, or simply fail to complete the job.

Choosing a high-quality electrical contractor means you can rely on their positive reviews and testimonials and be assured that they will communicate clearly, and work hard to meet and exceed all your expectations for your project.

While doing your own electrical work or recruiting a cheaper handyman or friend for the job might seem like an appealing option based on price and promises, the reality can mean disappointment, danger and extra costs in the long run. Choose a reputable, licensed electrical company for your project and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from investing in quality electrical work.