5 Reasons to Hire an Electrician

Electrical equipment used by an electrician
gabort71 / Getty Images

There are many benefits to doing your electrical work. You save money, it is more flexible than calling in and waiting for an electrician, and you can call the shots.

Despite this, even the more experienced DIY electrician may reach the point when they feel like it's time to call in a professional:

1. Permits and Inspectors Added to the Equation

After you paint your living room or tile your kitchen backsplash, it's just you and your dog Spot "oohing and ahhing" over the fruits of your labors. While you should maintain basic building practices, nobody comes by afterward to check up on your work. Permits are not needed for painting your child's bedroom. Inspectors do not need to approve the trim work around your windows.

Electrical work does, though. If you're going to do some homeowner-driven electrical work the right way, you will pull permits and have inspectors visit. The approval/disapproval process is just an added level of frustration you can eliminate by having electricians do the work. If they do it, most likely the permit will get "finaled." If not, it's the electrician's job to make it right—not you.

2. Electrical Work Isn't Always Fun

In relation to other home remodeling jobs like sanding drywall or digging up sewer pipes, electrical work can be classified as "fun" (along with "clean" and "yields to logic.").

Few people, though, ever take on their own electrical work because it is fun. When you step back and compare electrical work to other things in your life not related to remodeling—playing with your kids, traveling, eating out, seeing a movie—running 12/2 cable through a cobwebbed basement pales is not great by comparison. Simply put, you've got better things to do in life, and hiring out allows you to do those things.

3. Electricians Know Things You Don't Know

You hire people because they can do things you cannot do: flying commercial jets, corporate litigation, repairing Teslas. Since you know absolutely nothing about the task, there is no question about hiring a professional.

You get into murky and often dangerous territory when you know a few things about the job-at-hand. As they say, a little knowledge can be dangerous.

The issue is exacerbated when you've got home remodeling writers shouting from their bully pulpits ("Do it yourself!") and home improvement stores overflowing with boxes, cable, switches, outlets, and lights practically begging to be homeowner-installed.

This point about knowledge and experience is at the core of the argument. Even if you know 92 percent of electrical work, it's the other 8 percent that can hurt you.

4. Electricians Are Expensive, but You Can Control Costs

Electricians are true professionals, and whenever they are in your house, you can just hear the "money clock" ticking away and your bill rapidly escalating.

By approaching it smartly, though, you can limit your costs. Simple things like having your circuits correctly mapped out can save electricians from doing it for you.

5. Electric Work Can Be Dangerous

Risks during home remodeling comes in different, often unexpected forms. There are the obvious physical risks, like falling off of a ladder, and the less obvious risks, like chemical fumes, that still pose a threat.

Homeowners should be cautious both with the tasks appear benign (painting the house) and those that have the "scary label" plastered on them (electrical). Just 200 amps are enough to kill you, and that's what most homes have coming into their service panels.

Even if you are safe and take the proper steps to prevent electric shock, reach out to a professional when you need more help.

Article Sources
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  2. Basic Electrical Safety. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.