by Mario Traina and Amber Traina, Owners, Allied Electric
You may have been tempted to call a friend or neighbor who knows electrical work to install your light fixtures for free or for a very low price. But the common sayings, “Cheap ain’t good and good ain’t cheap!” and “You get what you pay for” couldn’t be truer when it comes to hiring a licensed electrician who is properly insured.
If not, it could cost you thousands more than you bargained for in the long run.
No matter how large or small the project, it comes at a great risk. For one, neither a handyman nor your friend carries the proper licensing or insurance to keep all parties involved protected. If someone falls off a ladder or is injured in any way in your home, they can legally sue you.
Never underestimate how much you know or trust someone because if someone is placed in a situation where they are suddenly faced with thousands of dollars in hospital bills and growing debt, they might just come to collect.
Also consider that they aren’t licensed for a reason — they aren’t electrical experts and/or aren’t being held accountable by legal authorities to act in your best interest.
This means even if you hire an unlicensed yet knowledgeable electrician to work at your home because it’s cheaper labor, how can you trust they will be there for you if they make a mistake?
We have heard too many stories of local unlicensed electricians who do work, make a mistake and stop answering phone calls from the homeowner. Most unlicensed electricians who aren’t priced right cannot afford to come back for free to fix mistakes.
Perhaps the most important fact is that electrical work is dangerous.
One wrong move and someone could seriously get injured. If the work is done incorrectly, something gets overlooked, or work is done without addressing the root cause of an issue, it can become a fire hazard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments responded to an estimated average of 46,700 home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction each year in 2015–2019. Such electrical failures can be the result of faulty wiring or electrical fire hazards that haven’t been properly addressed.