What to Look for in an Electrician
Regardless of who carries out the electrical work – and quite a bit of electrical work can be carried out by homeowners on a DIY basis – an electrical installation certificate (EIC) must be issued. Only qualified (as in trained), certified, registered (as in officially accredited by an electrical governing body) electricians can actually give electrical installation certificates.
These are the electrical governing bodies to look for:
- NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers)
- NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting)
- ECA (Electrical Contractors’ Association)
Make sure your electrician is accredited to one of these associations — it will give you a form of comeback if there are any legal problems, too. There are other governing bodies but the three mentioned above are the most significant in the industry.
Once electrical work has been completed and certified, Building Control need to be notified of the completed works. The certified electrician, through the governing body, performs this act. Building Control then notifies you, the consumer, that they are aware you have had electrical works undertaken and that they have been completed by a competent electrician.
When to Get in Touch
It’s best to engage with an electrician at the very beginning of your project to help design your lighting and power layouts. It can be a major help later down the line. The electrician will have a lot more experience of where to put things and how they work and can advise on cost-saving measures that you, or your house designer, wouldn’t necessarily be best placed to help with.
How Much Should I Pay?
The average spend on just the electrics for a very basic three bedroom property will be in the region of £4,000-£8,000. Clearly, as with all aspects of home construction, the price depends on the specification.
While budget might dictate the standard spec – one light, one switch and three sockets per room – it’s important to be realistic. There might be 10 downlights in the kitchen with eight sockets, while in the bedroom you might choose eight downlights and four sockets. You might want brushed chrome finished switches and sockets, as compared to the basic white ones. Typically homeowners tend to choose brushed steel for the public rooms and compromise on white plastic for the bedrooms.
The next thing to consider at the planning stage is the non-core elements. These include a smart home automation system or an alarm or a door entry system, a garage gate control, electric underfloor heating in several bathrooms, electric towel rails, electric showers, TV and AV systems, CCTV, etc. The list can be endless and budget is a clear consideration here.