Should I Hire A Handyman For My Electrical Project?

Should I Hire A Handyman For My Electrical Project?

We’ve all been there. We have a laundry list of to-do’s in our home and trying to find a plumber, electrician, and HVAC company to do each job can be a chore.  So, here you are asking yourself, “Should I hire a handyman for my electrical project?” Hiring an unlicensed handyman or remodeling contractor will probably cost your more money in the long run.

should i hire a handyman for my electrical project

What is a handyman? According to Dirk Hoerr, president of Budget Right Kitchens in Illinois, “A remodeling contractor and a handyman are essentially the same thing in terms of ability.”  In this article, we’ll use remodeling contractor and handyman interchangeably. A skilled handyman is great to call when you do have a laundry list of small jobs that do not require a licensed technician.  Some handymen may be licensed and able to do your electrical projects.  Just check their licensing to make sure they are qualified to handle your electrical project.  We recommend checking license credentials with any licensed tradesmen.    So let’s address the real question – should you hire an unlicensed handyman or remodeling contractor for your electrical project?  No.  You should never hire anyone without a license to work on your electrical.  Keep reading to find out why… 

Licensing

To perform electrical work in the state of Georgia, you must have an electrical license. To become licensed, there is a process you have to go through. You must have at least 4 years work experience, provide references, and pass the electrical contractor exam.  Here is the application to complete for the exam.  There are two classes of electrical contractors in the state of Georgia – restricted and unrestricted.   

Electrical Code 

Licensed electricians are required to make any repairs or installs up to current electrical code.  Unlicensed handymen and remodeling contractors are not going to know electrical code – they aren’t required to take continuing education classes to stay up to date on current electrical code.  SAFETY is the main concern here. When you hire a licensed electrician, you can rest easier knowing their work is up to current electrical code.  

Inspections & Permits

A licensed electrical contractor must be listed on your electrical permit.  Many times, the electrician will pull the permits for the customer.  If you have someone that is not licensed doing electrical work that requires a permit and inspection, the homeowner is the one left responsible.  According to Succeed with Contractors, penalties for not having a permit could be as simple as doubling the permit fee or as extreme as tearing out completed work for inspections. Inspections are there for your safety – to make sure your business and home are wired correctly and are up to code.   

Our Experience

A customer had their kitchen updated with new cabinets and had a new 6-burner cooktop installed. A kitchen remodeling contractor in this case completed the work, which included installing the cooktop. The customer found that her new cooktop would turn on but wouldn’t heat to a boil. The customer thought it was an issue with the cooktop but eventually found this was not true.

Realizing they needed a licensed electrician, we were called out and found that the kitchen remodeling contractor failed to sub out for an electrician to install a 60 amp 240V dedicated circuit that the cooktop required.  Instead, they hooked it up to a 20 amp 120V circuit.  Thankfully, we were able to install the right circuit without having to remove any of the completed work.  In order to run the correct circuit without removing any of the completed kitchen ended up costing the customer much more than if we had been called out at the beginning of their remodel. 

Electrical Safety 

Angie’s List shared a story of a plumber becoming a victim of electrical work performed by an unlicensed contractor. “A plumber friend of Charlie Fischer’s was nearly electrocuted after bumping against an ungrounded fluorescent light fixture while holding a copper pipe…And it happened because of shoddy electrical work performed by an unlicensed electrician…”

Your safety comes first. Shoddy electrical work CAN result in electrical fire and/or electrical shock. Not understanding and/or taking electrical load calculations into account can result in electrical malfunctions. Ungrounded electrical fixtures can result in electrocutions. Hiring a licensed electrician may cost a little extra but you are paying for their knowledge of electrical code, their expertise, and with most licensed electricians, their workmanship warranty. Electrical work is not something you want to DIY or hire out to an unlicensed contractor. 

Do your research and make sure the electrician you hire is a reputable, licensed electrician. Be Safe – Not Sorry.  

Related: Finding The Best Electrician

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