Do you need to have some electrical work done in your Baltimore, MD home? If so, you should search for local electrical contractors that can get the job done.
The good news is that you shouldn’t have too much trouble tracking down local electrical contractors that can lend a hand. There are more than 70,000 electrical contracting firms in this country, including quite a few in the Baltimore area.
But you shouldn’t hire just any local electrical contractors. You should look high and low for the very best local electrical contractors you can find.
You should also try to steer clear of any bad local electrical contractors. You can do this by keeping an eye out for red flags that will indicate that you shouldn’t work with electrical contractors under any circumstances.
Here are nine red flags to avoid in local electrical contractors.
1. Lack of a Website and/or Social Media Presence
When people were trying to hire local electrical contractors a decade or two ago, they didn’t have to worry about whether or not they had websites and/or social media pages. But in this day and age, there is really no excuse for electrical contractors not to have these things.
So if local electrical contractors don’t have websites and/or social media pages set up, it should concern you at least a little bit. It might mean that you’re dealing with a fly-by-night operation that might disappear on you at some point.
You should only give your business to local electrical contractors in Baltimore, MD that have established websites and social media pages. It’ll give you an opportunity to learn more about them before you hire an electrician that you like.
You can spend just a few minutes poking around on an electrical contractor’s website and/or social media pages to get a much better feel for what they’re all about.
2. Bad Online Reviews From Past Customers
In addition to looking for websites and social media pages for local electrical contractors, you should also see if they have online reviews from customers they’ve worked with in the past.
If they don’t have any online reviews at all, it might mean that they don’t have much experience yet. That alone should serve as a red flag.
And if they do have online reviews but most of them aren’t good, that’s another thing that should be a cause for concern. You don’t ever want to get stuck working with local electrical contractors that have racked up pretty much nothing but negative reviews from people.
In a perfect world, you want to enlist the services of local electrical contractors that have a plethora of positive reviews from people. It’ll let you know that you’re going to be in good hands while working with them. They’ll be capable of extending the best electrical services to you at all times.
3. Unable to Provide References From Former Clients
Regardless of whether or not you’re able to find online reviews for local electrical contractors, you should always ask any contractors that you contact for references. This will give you a chance to speak directly with some people who have worked with contractors in recent weeks.
At least some of the online reviews that you’re going to find for local electrical contractors will be on the older side. There is also no telling if some of the reviews were commissioned by the contractors themselves.
But you can rest assured knowing that Baltimore, MD electrical contractors who provide you with references can be trusted. You’ll feel a lot more confident in them after talking to people who have worked with them recently.
You should raise an eyebrow at any local electrical contractors who can’t provide you with references for one reason or another. This is almost never a good sign since it’ll suggest that they don’t have anyone who can vouch for them.
4. Inability to Show Proof of License and/or Insurance
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when working with any kind of contractor is relying on a contractor that isn’t licensed and/or insured. Doing this can turn into a huge headache if you aren’t careful.
If you work with a local electrical contractor that doesn’t have a license, it’ll indicate that they probably haven’t taken the right steps to legitimize their business. And it’s going to put you into a tough spot if they do shoddy work and you want to complain about it.
If you work with a local electrical contractor that doesn’t have insurance, on the other hand, you could end up losing a whole lot of money if they make a mistake while on the job. You could be on the hook for any medical bills stemming from electrical accidents. You could also be responsible for paying to make repairs to things that might get damaged in your home while electrical work is being done.
You should always ask local electrical contractors to show you proof of both their license and their insurance. If they balk at your request, you should take your business elsewhere and refuse to let them do any work in your home.
5. Poor Communication Skills From the Start
Communication will be key when you’re having electrical work done in your home. You and your local electrical contractors will need to be on the same page in order for your next electrical project to be a success.
There are, however, some local electrical contractors that just aren’t very good about maintaining open lines of communication with their clients. They’ll either send mixed messages to them about the work that they’ll be doing or fail to communicate with them at all.
You should see to it that the local electrical contractors in Baltimore, MD you hire communicate clearly with you from the start. If they don’t return your calls quickly, ignore your emails, etc., this is going to be a big red flag for you.
You want local electrical contractors on your side that are going to go above and beyond to communicate with you every step of the way while doing work in your home. Otherwise, your electrical project is going to turn into an absolute nightmare before long.
6. Little to No Attention Paid to Permits
If you’re looking to hire local electrical contractors to pull off a very minor electrical repair in your home, they might not need to get permits to do this. But if you’re going to be asking them to install any new electrical components in your home, it’ll be a different story.
More often than not, local electrical contractors are going to need to get their hands on the proper permits to do work in your home. You should not agree to work with them if they don’t know how to get permits, refuse to get permits, or ask you to get permits on their behalf.
You could actually get into a lot of trouble if you have electrical work done in your home without having the right permits in place. You may need to hire someone else to come in and redo everything with permits before your home can be inspected.
7. Unwilling to Provide Free Estimates
Before you have local electrical contractors do any work in your home, you should invite them to come out to your house to walk through it. They can take a closer look at your home to see what you want to have done so that they can set you up with a free estimate for the work.
If local electrical contractors in Baltimore, MD pass on the opportunity to provide you with a free estimate, this is usually going to mean that they won’t be worth your time. You shouldn’t ever let an electrical contractor do work in your home without knowing what they’re going to charge you for it in the end.
There is, of course, a chance that local electrical contractors might have to charge you more than they originally thought back at the beginning. There might be things that they’ll have to do when working in your home that they didn’t originally anticipate.
But all of this should be clearly communicated to you throughout the course of your electrical project. Your electrical contractor should also have an original estimate that they can build on so that you don’t experience any sticker shock when they send you a final bill for their electrical services.
8. Only Accept Cash Payments From Customers
When a local electrical contractor is finished working in your home, you’ll obviously need to pay them. They should give you a variety of options to choose from as far as payment methods are concerned.
If you would like to pay a local electrical contractor in cash, they’ll usually be more than happy to accept it from you. But that should not be the only payment method that they have to offer.
If local electrical contractors only accept cash or if they strongly suggest that you pay them in cash, this might be a red flag. This kind of contractor might not be fulfilling all of their business tax obligations. They might also be cutting corners in other areas of their work if they’re engaging in this kind of activity.
Rather than working with a local electrical contractor like this, you should try to find one that’s going to accept cash as well as checks and credit cards. Ideally, they should also have some financing options that you can choose from if you would like.
But whatever you do, you shouldn’t agree to pay cash just because that’s the only form of payment that an electrical contractor accepts. You should also be very wary of any electrical contractors that insist on you giving them a large downpayment at the start of a project. This could lead to problems down the line if they disappear on you without providing you with the proper services.
9. Lack of Professionalism on the Job Site
From the second that a local electrical contractor starts doing work in your home, they should be as professional as they can possibly be. They should show up at your home when they say they will, and they should take steps to keep your home as clean as they can while working in it.
They shouldn’t stop there, either, when it comes to being professional. The very best local electrical contractors will keep their voices down and watch their language while working in your home. They’ll also let you know where they’ll be in your home at all times so that they don’t startle you.
And this should really go without saying, but good local electrical contractors won’t ever arrive at your home under the influence of anything. They’ll be clear-headed and committed to doing the best possible job while working in your home.
If you ever get the slightest sense that an electrical contractor isn’t a true professional, you should kick them to the curb and find a better option. The best electrician is going to be the one that will go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable while you’re working with them.
Don’t Ignore These Red Flags When You’re Hunting Down Local Electrical Contractors
Far too often, people conduct quick Google searches when they need to hire local electrical contractors and select the first ones they can find. They don’t bother to look for red flags that’ll let them know which electrical contractors aren’t worth their time.
You should always be on the lookout for the red flags we’ve listed when you’re on the hunt for local electrical contractors. It’ll make it so much easier for you to tell which electrical contractors you should consider.
Contact us to discover more about why we’re the local electrical contractors in Baltimore, MD you can trust for any job.