There are a lot of things that you have to consider when choosing an electrical contractor for your construction project. An electrical contractor is key to determining the overall electrical functionality of your project, for one thing. For another, these contractors are the ones that you may have to refer back to if you need something changed about the project or if simply need to check up on things that were done within the project.

There are a lot of aspects that we don’t necessarily think about once a building is constructed, but the way that the electricity was initially wired can really affect the overall functionality of both commercial and residential buildings. While more generalized contractors can help you create the structure that you need, only electrical contractors can help design and install the electrical system itself. With that being said, let’s look into what you need to consider as you move forward with selecting electrical contractors.

1. Ask For Recommendations

If you work in construction or are commissioning the construction of a building, chances are that you know somebody who has also commissioned a construction project or has otherwise had to select electrical contractors. Therefore, you should ask for personal recommendations. The closer an electrical project is to the exact type of project that you need to work on, the more likely it will be that the recommendations from those that commissioned that project will fit. But in general, it’s a good idea to get recommendations from those you trust — and if you don’t know anyone who can give you recommendations, ask the contractors you’re considering for references. Online reviews are important as well, but they aren’t always as authentic as we might like them to be. They can be an excellent place to start, though.

2. Assess Their Licensing And Insurance

This may seem basic, but you would be surprised by how often people commission electrical design services without confirming that the electricians they’re considering are actually licensed and insured. You’ll receive bids for your project, which will essentially comprise of electricians vying for the project itself, and making offers in terms of how much they may charge you. If one contractor offers a bid significantly lower than all the others, it may be tempting to take them up on it. But you would be right to second-guess that bid. Why is it so low? It could be because the contractor lacks the proper credentials to work on your project and therefore could leave you with improperly installed electrical systems that will take a lot of time and money to make right. You should also ask to see a copy of their insurance coverage. A proper electrician will have workers’ compensation and liability insurance to protect their employees; if the electrician you’re considering lacks this, don’t move forward with them.

3. Explore Their Experience

One reason why one electrical contractor may offer a bid significantly lower than those of other contractors is that they lack experience. Now, everyone does have to start somewhere, and an inexperienced contractor is not an inherently bad contractor. But if you’re considering industrial electrical services, in particular, you need to be careful before signing on with someone inexperienced. A contractor’s past projects will be highly reflective of their ability to provide good work. Being able to see what they’ve done in the past will greatly inform your overall decision. For example, you might want to see if they offer energy-efficient electrical systems. Right now, 2.2 million Americans have jobs in that sector. While a lack of energy efficiency doesn’t necessarily indicate a low level of experience, it may be worth considering whether the electrician in question is up on the latest developments in the sector. You could also reach out to your local building department for information about what a contractor has done, as they obviously will likely keep their resume somewhat trim for you and not go into every project they’ve covered. If you’re not sure about where to go next, consider the Better Business Bureau for a more complete history.

Choosing electrical engineering services for a new project can be intimidating. But remember, it’s your project. Ask questions. Make sure that you’re getting the truth from those you’re interviewing. And consider all bids carefully before making a final decision.