Are you a property owner or manager always on the lookout for good contractors? There are certain jobs around a house that will require the assistance of a professional, and electrical work is one of them. If the electrical work is part of a more complex renovation plan, make sure you do not forget to formulate a budget before making any big decisions.
Working with electricity can be extremely dangerous, and in no way should you take the DIY approach to repairs.In Australia, calling an electrician for repairs or renovations is a legal requirement.
Installing new wiring, connecting a new heating system, installing a powerpoint, are only some of the things that you might need an electrician for, so here are some the most important things that you need to know before hiring an electrical expert.
1. Regulations and Licensing
Practicing any unlicensed electrical work or hiring an unlicensed electrician is illegal in Australia and the financial penalties can be as high as $40.000, not to mention that it can also pose serious threats to the safety of your home and to your health.
Regulations vary from territory and state regarding electrical work, but what they all have in common is that an electrician must be licensed before being allowed to work in the field.
There are different license courses that a person can attend, that define the type of electrician that they will become. These details can be found on their physical license, where you can also find their name, number, address, and the license expiry date.
As a general rule, licenses usually expire after a maximum of five years. It is important to know that if an electrician that is currently training is working in your house, they must always work under the supervision of a fully licensed expert.
2. The Process of Choosing an Electrician
When it comes to choosing a qualified electrician, you will have to make sure that they are right for the job. Just as any other contractors, electrical workers have different specializations. Some are specialized in repairing and installing machinery and appliances, and others in telecommunications, medical equipment, audiovisual, or even repairing and installing military equipment.
Finding an appropriate electrician sounds simple. You ask a friend or maybe a neighbour if they know someone, but how do you know if they are good at their job?
The internet is a great source of information and finding experienced and good electricians just got easier. You can search the local forums, join online communities, or search on trade classified platforms that allow you to find and compare local contractors.
Before hiring anyone you want to make sure you ask them details about the following:
- If they are licensed.
- If they have insurance.
- If they can provide you with a written quote.
- If they have any references that you could follow up.
3. The Costs Associated with Hiring an Electrician
If you're going to hire an electrician then you’ll most certainly want to know how much they charge. Keep in mind that the exact amount of money an electrician will charge can only be estimated roughly, as the final payment will always depend on the job that needs to be done.
Let's say that you need to install a basic powerpoint which is far less time consuming and less complicated than installing a new heating system, so it will cost less. An electrician will charge you a call-out fee, which consists of a fixed rate that can range from $50 to $100, depending on where your property is located.
Additionally, he will also charge an hourly rate and a flat service fee. The flat service fee generally covers the first half an hour of work, while the hourly rate covers the rest and can range between $70 and $150.
In some cases, electricians can have fixed rates for certain common tasks, such as powerpoint installations (which might cost around $70 per powerpoint) or rewiring renovations (which can cost $4000 and up). In any case, you will want to get quotes from more electricians, in order to be able to compare offers and choose the best one.
Below is a list of average prices in Australia associated with some of the most common electrical jobs:
- Powerpoint installations are around $150.
- Smoke alarm installations are also around $150, but the costs can be higher depending on the difficulty of the job and the amount of time required to complete the job.
- Replacing halogen lights with LED lights can cost somewhere between $50 and $100.
- The cost of wiring installations for kitchen renovations can range between $400 and $800. If you are planning to renovate your kitchen, here is a list of four secrets to renovate your kitchen on a budget.
- The costs associated with installing a heating system in a home can be around $3500.
- A home automation system installation can cost up to $100.000.
If you need to find a good electrician in your area you can simply list your project or job on Bricks+Agent for free. Get at least three fully itemised quotes before you commit to hiring anyone (to compare price and level of service), and ask for references that you can follow up.