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Electricians and Electricial Contractors

Jeffrey Anderson | Improvement Center Columnist | July 25, 2011

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Whether it's due to the current state of the economy or the popularity of the numerous home remodeling shows on television, many homeowners are discovering how rewarding it can be to do their own improvements around the house. Any completed project seems more enjoyable when your sweat and hard work made it possible, and thinking about all the money you saved by not hiring a contractor can be a great feeling, too. However, regardless of how many skills you've developed as a DIYer, there's one type of home project you should always leave for the professionals--working with electrical wiring.

Keep your home and family safe by hiring electrical contractors

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that there are about 28,600 residential electrical fires in this country each year, and they may cause around $1.1 billion in property damage annually. They believe that approximately 53 percent of those fires can be directly attributed to faulty electrical wiring. Doing your own electrical work without proper training can cause damage to your home and more importantly--may create an extreme safety hazard for you and your family. Just a few of the home projects where the expertise of a professional electrician is recommended:

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  1. adding or moving electrical outlets
  2. wiring for ceiling fans
  3. kitchen remodeling
  4. finishing an unfinished space in an attic or basement
  5. upgrading the wiring in an older home

A good rule of thumb for DIYers is that if you have to remove a cover plate to get to the wiring behind it, a trained electrician should be involved.

Working with electrical contractors

Most electrical contractors are more than happy to give you an estimate for your planned project. Depending on the job they may give you a total cost or give you a price for working at an hourly labor rate plus material costs. The labor rates for electricians can vary quite a bit based on their level of training and the part of the country where your home is located.

Professional electricians can be found in your local phone book, on Internet sites that provide lists of qualified regional contractors, or by asking friends and neighbors who may have had recent electrical work done on their homes. You can also find good electrical contractors through local building inspection offices or electrical supply distributors, or by filling out the form on this page.

Make sure whichever electrician you choose to do work in your home is properly licensed as an electrical contractor in your state and has liability insurance coverage that meets state and local minimums.