When you are making home improvements, renovating, or just need repairs done, how do you know who to call. When you do call an electrician, and when do you contact a general contractor? It really depends on what kind of work you are having done, and what is involved.
What does a general contractor do?
A general contractor is someone who is hired to oversee or manage a project, in this case likely to do with construction or renovations. A general contractor can have different specialties and licenses, and he or she can have people that work directly under them, also called sub-contractors. A general contractor typically has a contract with the client regarding the overall expectations of the project, and is directly responsible for the outcome of the project.
A general contractor is usually not an electrician, but some general contractors are also licensed electricians. Some general contractors, even if they are not electricians, might be approved to do minor electrical work during a project.
What does an electrician do?
An electrician is a specialty contractor. He or she is a person that specializes in the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment. There are different levels of knowledge for electricians. Some electricians only do minor jobs such as changing or installing light fixtures, outlets, and switches. Others, usually licensed electricians, can do just about anything to do with the electrical systems in your house or business.
There are varying levels of licensing for electricians, starting at Trainee all the way up to Master Electrician. Electricians that do work in your home or business should have an Electrical Contractor license at the very minimum.
How do I know which one I need?
When you are completing a project involving the construction or destruction of a part of your home, you will likely seek the services of a general contractor. A general contractor is the one with the knowledge of construction, and likely has at least some knowledge of plumbing and electrical to make small changes or repairs during the project. If during the project the general contractor needs actual electrical work done that can only be done by an electrician, he or she will recommend someone to bring on to the project. Usually the electrician is only called when they are needed.
If your project only involves wiring or other electrical issues, you likely need just an electrician. He or she will tell you if you need the expertise of any other professionals when you are explaining the project or when they come out for an estimate or to do the work.
As always, when hiring any professional contractors of any type, make sure that you are hiring a reputable professional that has good references, and is licensed and insured. These guidelines keep you, your home, and the contractor safe in the event of an accident. Contractors of all types, general contractors and electricians included, should be licensed and insured in your state without exception.
When your project calls for an electrician, call Florence Electrician Pros for a free estimate.
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