Let’s say you know a really great general contractor who has offered to help you with an electrical project you’ve been wanting to get done. Or maybe you have someone in your family who’s dabbled in electrical engineering, and they’re sure they can help you finish that incomplete project for cheap.
Is there any reason you shouldn’t go with those options? A circuit’s a circuit, right? Surely there are tutorials online they can follow.
Obviously, I’m going to take some kind of issue with that, simply because of the work we do at Baxter. But regardless of that, I would still counsel a friend against cutting corners in that way, and there are several reasons for that.
For one, it’s dangerous. Electricity, managed improperly, can harm you or your contractor, and could create a fire in your home that your homeowners insurance won’t cover (more on that in a bit).
In addition to the fact that they simply haven’t gone through the work to become licensed—and therefore are probably not as skilled in electrical work as they are in their chosen field—there are some significant (and costly) considerations for you as a homeowner.
Often, someone who isn’t a licensed electrician will choose to do your project for a significantly lower quote than a licensed electrician. But if something goes wrong, the cost of that project could increase exponentially.
Homeowners insurance won’t cover damage
Having a contractor who doesn’t have an electrician’s license work on your electrical project requires you to take a risk. If there’s a fire caused by their project, your homeowners insurance won’t cover the damage.
Not only is a fire a significant hazard to your home and your family, but saving a few thousand dollars by having an unlicensed contractor execute your project could end up costing you far more than that financially if things don’t go exactly right.
What happens if they’re injured while working on your project?
If you hire someone who isn’t a licensed electrician to do electrical work on your home, you’ll want to consider who will cover their workman’s comp. If they’re uninsured for electrical work, you’ll be responsible for paying if they end up hurting themselves on your project.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how you spend your budget for home improvement projects. But hiring someone who isn’t a licensed electrician to do your electrical work could end up costing you more money than you save—and could even be dangerous for your family.