Handy Tips for choosing your contractor

Check the License

Electrical Contractors must hold a current, valid license to work in Nova Scotia. Ask to see the electrician's pocket license and another form of identification. The name on the pocket license should be the same as the electrician (or the name of the business). Remember, it is illegal for an electrician to use another electrician's license, just as it is illegal for someone to use another's driver's license.

Check References

Ask the electrical contractor for local references. Call to see if they were satisfied with the work. A reputable electrical contractor will be proud to list their references. If possible, visit a job in progress to see how the contractor works. Talk to the customer about work habits, costs, and the contractor's level of cooperation. Find out if the electrical contractor has maintained the work schedule and honored the terms of the contract.

Is the Electrical Contractor Insured?

In Nova Scotia, the law requires workers compensation insurance coverage for licensed electrical contractors. Ask the contractor if his company is insured against property damage, and personal liability in case of accidents. Ask to see a copy of the certificate of insurance (or ask for the name of your electrical contractor's insurance carrier and agency) to verify that the contractor has insurance.

Get Competitive Bids

Do not automatically accept the electrical contractor with the lowest price.

First, make sure all bids are based on the same set of service and equipment specifications. Discuss the bids in detail with each contractor and make sure you understand the reasons for variations in price. A higher price may be your lowest overall cost if the materials used are of higher quality or the work is more complete.

Beware of a bid that is substantially lower than others. It indicates the electrical contractor has made a mistake or is not including all of the work (and/or material) quoted by competitors. You are sure to have a dispute with an electrical contractor if you accept a low bid based on an error or misunderstanding.