Even if you’re very handy around the house, if you don’t feel confident about the wiring jobs that may need to be done as part of your home improvement project, don’t hesitate to hire a licensed electrician. In fact, some wiring jobs may require that a licensed electrician do the work so be sure and check with local authorities regarding building codes that are in place before you start any large electrical jobs.
There are many small electrical jobs around the home that most people who are handy can easily tackle. Running wiring for home security systems is a relatively easy job, for example and most people who prefer to install their own home security systems can easily accomplish this. Installing a ceiling fan into a ceiling where a light fixture already exists is another relatively easy project for do-it-yourselfers as is installing light fixtures. Even replacing an electrical outlet isn’t near as intimidating as it might seem. Besides, there are countless websites online that offer guidance and videos to help the do-it-yourselfer with all kinds of home improvement projects, including wiring.
The first thing you’re going to learn if this is your first experience with electrical work is safety practices. Any time you are working with electricity it is imperative that you turn off the electricity regardless of how small the job might seem. The next thing you’ll learn is different ways you can ensure the electricity is off once you believe you have turned it off. That’s how important it is to be absolutely sure that there is no live electricity going to the source of your project.
For example, if you’re working on an electrical outlet, you would want to turn off the breaker that services that particular outlet. However, no matter how sure you are that you have indeed turned off the right breaker, you still need to test before you start touching wires and such. If you’re working on an electrical outlet receptacle, you can easily ensure that you can turned off the right breaker switch by plugging a small appliance, such as a lamp or a radio into the outlet before you start messing with the wires. That way, there will be no guesswork involved and you will stay safe while you are working with the electrical wires.
Even if building codes don’t dictate that you must hire a licensed electrician for certain jobs, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so, even for small jobs. It is far better to be safe than worry about your pride and take on a job for which you really aren’t qualified. If you do hire an electrician, ensure their license is up to date and ask for referrals from friends and neighbors who have hired electricians before.
Any professional should be glad to provide you with their license number and information and most will be glad to provide you with local references from satisfied customers. Check out an electrician just as you would a contractor by verifying their license information, asking for references, and looking for any complaints made against them. Once you are satisfied you have found the right person, spell out in writing exactly what it is you want and name the agreed upon price in the contract.