Imagine standing in the middle of your retail space or office building. You’re supposed to be nearing the completion of a large electrical project, but the lighting fixtures for the ceiling are still sitting in boxes, the walls are still open to reveal their wiring paths, and your contractor is nowhere to be seen. You’re supposed to be at the end of the project. Maybe you had plans to open to the public or allow your staff back to work the next day, and there you are, not even able to reach your contractor on the phone. You’re starting to doubt whether the expert you hired really knows their stuff. The situation wouldn’t be so troubling if the contractor would just call you and explain the situation.
Hopefully, you’ve never been in such a nightmare scenario yourself, but chances are you know someone who has, or you’ve heard a story about someone who has. When you hire a professional, you should never be put in that position, no matter which trade you are working with. We’re sharing our top tips for you to consider when hiring your next commercial electrical contractor so your job runs smoothly, no matter the size.
Essential Differences Between Residential and Commercial Electrical Projects
It’s easy to miss the nuances within an industry, especially when you are not familiar with it. Just because someone can drive a car does not mean they can suddenly drive a transport truck without additional training or experience. To the average person, electrical work looks all the same. It’s just wires, plugs, and voltage. Some might also mistakenly believe that anyone with experience in residential electrical projects can easily manage commercial builds as well. Some electricians specialize in both, but if their website does not advertise commercial services, it’s probably wise to choose another company.
There are several critical differences between the two fields of work to keep in mind when hiring for your next plan.
Scope: Commercial electrical systems tend to have a bigger scope than residential ones due to the size of many commercial buildings and the number of circuits, outlets, and fixtures. However, the building’s size does not determine a commercial project; commercial electricians can perform repairs in massive or tight spaces. One important factor is knowing the difference in codes and regulations for commercial spaces.
Circuitry and Power Supply: The power supply to a residential home will be vastly lower than the power supply needed for an airport hangar, a factory, or an office space. An experienced commercial electrician will know where commercial electrical panels are located and have recommendations for efficient usage and supply.
Supplies: Residential and commercial systems each require different supplies and tools for installation, servicing, and repair. Additionally, they each must meet their respective electrical safety codes. Because a commercial building uses a higher supply of power and a more complex fuse box, it is crucial to hire an electrician who knows the difference and can safely install and make repairs.
Timeline: Experienced commercial electrical contractors are accustomed to working alongside the schedules of other construction teams. An experienced contractor will also give a detailed timeline for repairs and maintenance, depending on the size of the building and the amount of work needed.
Budgeting: Due to the difference in scale, supplies, and expertise, the cost and payment options for a commercial project will differ from a typical residential job. When working with a new contractor, you should discuss your options before the project begins. An experienced commercial electrician will be able to tell you where you can safely cut costs and where it’s important to spend more.
What to Look For When Hiring a Commercial Electrical Contractor
When hiring an electrical contractor for your next commercial project, experience matters. Efficiency, high quality, and safety are all factors that a qualified contractor will prioritize.
Responsiveness: When hiring a contractor, you want to find someone who is responsive and happy to answer all your questions and concerns. The last thing you need is to have your space halfway through repairs only to find the contractor is nowhere to be seen and not taking calls. Although you will usually have to wait while a contractor finishes another project, it shouldn’t take more than a day for that person to get in touch.
Excellent Customer Service: Watch for red flags during the consultation phase. You want to find a contractor who takes the time to explain the process and keep you informed along the way. You can also check for customer reviews and testimonials.
Ongoing Maintenance: When hiring an electrical company, look for one that also offers maintenance, inspections, and repairs. If you like the work they complete in the initial project, you’ll want to have them return for all your future maintenance, inspections, and repairs. You’ll already know how to work with them and what to expect and they’ll be familiar with your setup.
The Success of Your Next Electrical Project
The next time someone asks you about your experience with a contractor, we want you to be able to describe a resounding success. You’ll be able to say your electrician communicated effectively, showed up on time, and completed the project as planned. To ensure you have the best possible experience whenever you hire a contractor for a commercial project, remember to follow these steps:
- Hire a specialized commercial electrician.
- Do your research to find a company that has great testimonials or reviews.
- Test the company’s customer service and responsiveness during the consultation phase. If they don’t return your calls at the start, you might want to try somewhere else.
Your Commercial Electricians in the Edmonton Area
Hiring a great electrical contractor is essential for the success of your next project. If your business is in the Edmonton or Alberta area, contact us here at Polar Electric Contracting. We are committed to high-quality work and serving our customers both for commercial electrical needs and residential work.
We understand that hiring an electrical contractor can be an intimidating process, which is why we emphasize our customer service. We look at each job with the end goals in mind to ensure we meet the highest standards at every step along the way. We take the time to keep you informed throughout the project and are responsive to your inquiries and concerns. We look forward to serving you for your next commercial project!