Need to have some electrical work done in your home or business? Whether you’re installing a new well pump, adding lights to your storefront, creating the home theater room of your dreams, or installing a new security system to protect your business, you need the help of a true professional. It’s important to realize that there are both licensed and unlicensed electricians out there. And, while working with an unlicensed electrician might seem cheaper at first glance, it can actually cost you a great deal more in the long run. You should always work with a licensed electrician.

Not sold on that idea? Not sure why you should only work with a licensed electrician? It can make a difference to more than just your pocketbook. It can impact everything from quality of work to your safety and security, as well as your peace of mind. Let’s look at five reasons that you should only hire a licensed professional.

1. Safety While the Job Is Performed

One of the most important reasons that you should only work with a licensed electrician is to ensure safety while they are on the job. Obviously, the electrician must stay safe while working within your home or business, but it goes deeper than this. A licensed electrician knows the steps and precautions that must be taken to ensure that you and anyone else within the building also remain safe while the work is being conducted. Electricity can be incredibly dangerous, even deadly, and an unlicensed electrician may not know enough, or even care, about keeping the area safe and protected.

2. Safety After the Job Is Finished

Electrical safety is important not just while the job is ongoing, but afterward, as well. In fact, it can be argued that safety after job completion is as important, or even more, as ensuring that the electrician takes proper safety precautions while doing the work initially. This is because the safety of you and your family, or of you, your customers and your employees, hinges on the quality of the work performed. If an electrical job is not performed correctly, and the right steps followed, it can lead to a host of dangerous, deadly hazards, including the risk of short circuits, fires, electric shocks, and even death in some instances. A licensed electrician has the training, knowledge, and expertise to ensure that the job is done right the first time, and that there are no lingering safety problems that might compromise safety in the future.

3. Inspections and Code

Every municipality has important building and wiring codes that must be followed in order to ensure safety within the home or business. If you work with an unlicensed electrician, they may not know enough to adhere to those codes. This can cause serious problems both immediately, and down the road. For instance, suppose you were attempting to open a retail store, and, in a rush, you hired an electrician without a license to finish the wiring for you. They get the job done, wrap up and then leave. However, before you can open the store to the public, the entire thing must be inspected by a third-party inspector. That inspector finds code violations with the wiring, and it must be redone, or you cannot open your store. Not only are you now faced with the prospect of either having to hunt down the original electrician to make them fix their mistake, or hire a new electrician, but you’re delayed in opening your business, which can place immense financial strain on your company. The same concept can be applied to residential homes – they must pass inspection, as well.

4. Cost Savings

Superficially, it might seem that hiring an unlicensed electrician would be the most affordable option. After all, their hourly rates are usually lower than what you’d pay to a licensed electrician. However, the rate that you pay the electrician is only one part of the cost that you’ll incur, and you may find that going the unlicensed route costs you a great deal more. For instance, because they lack the expertise and knowledge, you may find that you run far over the estimate in terms of the cost of materials. An unlicensed electrician may use too much of one material or supply, or find that they ordered too little and must reorder more. Then there’s the possibility that you’ll face time overruns, as well. A licensed electrician has the experience to provide an accurate estimate of how long a particular type of job will take, which is the basis for the quote you receive. An unlicensed electrician may be guessing about how much time it will take, and you could end up paying a lot more in the end.

5. Insurance Protection

Finally, you’ll find that the insurance carried by licensed electricians is an important benefit. Why does insurance matter? What happens if an uninsured, unlicensed electrician sparks a fire and causes damage to your home or business? Who do you think will be on the hook for the repair costs? You will. Or, more accurately, your insurance will. That not only increases your costs out of pocket, but it bumps up your insurance rates for the future, as well. Now, take that example and extrapolate it for other potential scenarios. What if the electrician is hurt on the job, or someone else is hurt due to the electrician’s actions or decisions? You can begin to see just how important it is that the electrician you hire is insured and licensed.

In the end, the only smart decision here is to hire a licensed electrician with a great deal of experience working on projects similar to yours. If you find yourself in need, get in touch with your local electricians like Hilton Electrical. Whether you have a business project, a residential job, or something else, they can help.

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