While it’s often cost-efficient to know how to do things yourself, whether it’s home repair, electrical-related installations, or other things around your home, do it yourselfers should know when it’s time to defer to the professionals, such as the Entek Corporation. Certain things, if not done 100 percent correctly, could end up costing you more in the long run, especially if there’s faulty work done with wiring, infrastructure, or other aspects of the job that you yourself are not an expert in. It’s hard to admit help is needed for some, but you need to do the best thing for both you and your family.
Electrical jobs are especially important in this regard. Improper electrical work can lead to bad production from the electricity, can have problems working or having service go in and out, and even can lead to safety concerns in a home, such as a fire or other hazard. You want to have an electrical system that allows you to sleep easily. With a family and a home, you have other things to worry about, and your electrical system should not be a problem.
Common sense should come into play here. If there are many steps and many elements associated with the job in question, you shouldn’t be attempting it yourself. It may bruise your pride a bit, but it will save you heartache in the long run. Your electrical system should be a well-oiled machine, and if there are issues after a company does the work, you should have it in writing that they will come back and fix it, free of charge. That’s the least a professional electrician can do if their work leads to issues.
Also, doing these kinds of jobs can be extremely time consuming. When considering the value of hiring a professional versus doing it yourself, calculate the value of your time. When push comes to shove, you may not be saving that much money between your time, materials, and the work itself. If you are under a time crunch, make the call to the experts. Once again, it costs money, but is worth it to get the job done right.
According to Rodale’s Organic Life, minor electrical fixes, such as fixing a light fixture or changing a socket cover, can be done by an educated homeowner, but the more complex work should be outsourced to a seasoned professional.
“Most municipalities require you to hire a licensed electrician for anything involving rewiring or working with high-voltage lines,” according to the Rodale website. “If the city has to come out to cut off your power (a prerequisite for almost all complex electrical projects), they usually won’t turn it back on until you can prove a pro did the work.”
- Here are some examples of electrical work that you should definitely hire a professional contractor for, according to Angie’s List:
Circuit Breaker Updates: Since the electrical panel provides electricity to your entire home, it’s probably not the best place to experiment unless you absolutely know what you’re doing. As you upgrade appliances and conduct HVAC maintenance, sometimes the service panels need to be upgraded as well to adequately provide power. This job is extremely complicated, so leave it to the professionals.
- Adding Outlets, GFCI Receptacles, USB Ports: A professional electrician should be able to add outlets or convert them to ground fault circuit interrupters. If this is done incorrectly by an amateur, fire is a risk, as well as a loss of power. Don’t take any chances, and as stated before, leave it to those who know the craft.
- Outdoor Lighting: These days, a lot of people are into installing ambient or security lighting outdoors. If there was no wiring outdoors, a certified electrician can handle it. He or she can ensure the wiring is properly grounded, avoiding any complications that can arise due to improper work. It will also be able to withstand any kind of weather.
Another item that many homeowners do not consider outsourcing until after purchase is hot tub circuit additions. Hot tubs are a very common luxury item in the Pacific Northwest. It keeps us toasty while enjoying the great outdoors on cooler nights and easily fits on various lot sizes. However, depending on your current backyard electric setup, you may find yourself in need of a hot tub circuit board hookup, and this is definitely a project you should outsource to the professionals as even the slightest error can create costly errors and safety hazards.
Obviously, you should do your due diligence when searching for a certified electrician. Ask for references and call them. You can never be too safe with people you’re allowing into your home. Also, get everything in writing, and read the contract! You should know the scope of the job before you agree to it. For example, if the power is going to be out while work is done, you should know that ahead of time, so you and your family can make alternative arrangements.
The bottom line buckles down to safety with do it yourself work, especially when it comes to electricity. You do not have to worry about people getting shocked, appliances not working correctly, the power going out, fires breaking out, or even something much more devastating, all because you didn’t want to pay a few extra bucks. Do the right thing and hire the right professional for the right project. This will ensure you and your family will go to sleep knowing that everything with work fine and dandy when you need it.