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You Can Be Liable for Unlicensed Electrical Work

07/30/15

badelectrician

Revamping your home's electrical work can be a big headache. You need to find a qualified electrician and write what could be a hefty check for work that might require opening holes in your walls and temporarily making a mess of your home. The last thing you want after a big electrical project is to have to tear it all out and redo the job all over again. That could be the scenario you face, however, if you cut corners and don't hire a licensed electrician to take on the task. Fly-by-night contractors might be cheaper at the outset, but they can cost you big time in the end if they don't follow the local building code, leaving you liable for the faults in your home wiring.

Fanning the Building Code Fires

Some contractors might complain about having to follow local code, but it's in place for a reason – it helps ensure that any work done on your home is performed safely and effectively. Local code standards are particularly important when it comes to electrical work, because faulty wiring and connections can lead to short circuits or even an electrical fire, putting your family at risk.

That's why technicians who do electrical work are required to maintain a license, secure permits and schedule inspections for many home projects. Unfortunately, there are electricians who are tempted to skip the code requirements in order to avoid the time and expense of compliance. They might quote you a lower price, but shoddy workmanship can leave you on the hook for a lot more money overall.

Limit Your Exposure to Liability

If your local government figures out that you are working on an electrical project, they can send an inspector to check it out. If the work isn't up to code, you'll have to remedy the problem before you pass inspection. And if your electrician isn't licensed, you have little recourse to correct the faulty electrical work besides paying out of pocket for someone else to redo the entire thing. Worse, if your electrical system does cause a fire that leads to injury or death, you could be civilly liable for huge sums.

Licensed electricians, on the other hand, have more incentive to follow the rules to begin with, since they could lose their certification if they don't. Furthermore, you may have an easier time recouping your investment in the event of unsafe or incomplete work if you can prove that you did your due diligence and hired a licensed electrician.

Good Work Done Right

To avoid code and permitting issues, hire only licensed technicians for your electrical work and ask them to show you all the relevant permits. Protect yourself and your home by holding out for competent contractors so you know the work is done right the first time.



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