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How do I Choose the Best Commercial Electrical Contractor?

Article Details
  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A commercial electrical contractor is hired by a business or organization to perform work on a building's electrical system. Unlike residential contractors, who work mostly in homes, a commercial contractor works on projects such as schools, medical facilities, and office buildings. For many business owners or representatives, it can be difficult to select a commercial electrical contractor. Some may not know how to evaluate a contractor, while others don't understand electrical systems well enough to communicate their exact needs. Fortunately, once you understand the right questions to ask, it can be fairly simple to choose the best company for the job.

To begin, define the type of project you are looking to complete. Commercial electrical contractors may focus on new buildings or renovation work, and some may even focus on specific types of structures, like schools or high-rises. Other companies may offer service or maintenance contracts for existing buildings. This could include scheduled and emergency repairs as well as requested upgrades. By defining your needs, you can begin to look for a contractor that is well suited to the project.

Next, determine whether your project has any special requirements. When it comes to electrical work, basic services like wiring, lighting, and power are performed by almost every company. If your job requires special skills however, you'll need to look for a commercial electrical contractor that is qualified to perform that work. This may include security and alarm systems, audio-visual wiring, communications networks, and any underground or high-voltage wiring.

Once you've found contractors who can perform the tasks you need, it's time to determine whether they can perform the job safely, and whether the work they do will be reliable. To improve the chances of safe, quality work, look for a company with licensed electricians. Those that are performing the actual work on your project should have a Journeyman's License, or should be under direct supervision of a licensed Journeyman. The commercial electrical contractor you choose must also have at least one Master Electrician on staff to secure the permits for the job. An electrical license certifies that the individual has several years of experience and training, and that he or she is familiar with electrical systems and the National Electrical Code.

Before making your final selection, try to get a feel for the company's reliability and reputation. Ask each commercial electrical contractor you are considering for a list of testimonials and references, and call those references whose projects were similar to yours. Require a written estimate that details exactly what materials and work will be performed. Request copies of the company's certificate of insurance and standard warranty. Finally, talk to the contractor to make sure they agree to your scheduling needs for the project, and ask that this schedule is included in the final contract.

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