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5 Tips for Getting Electrical Work Done Right: An Interview with Steven Becker of Radiant Electric

By Steven Becker

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

Personally, I have acquired 11+ years of experience in the electrical industry. The bulk of my experience and expertise has been acquired in the residential electrical industry, while I have gained moderate experience in the light commercial industry. I formed Radiant Electric in February of 2011 and serve homeowners and businesses in the Raleigh/Durham metro area, while also serving specialty customers all around North Carolina. Radiant Electric primarily offers residential electrical and lighting services including, but not limited to, service calls, repairs, additions, and new construction.

What are two or three of the most common electrical issues you've seen in your area?

Perhaps the most common issue I come across is the DIY homeowner. Many homeowners fail to realize the complications that can result from taking on an electrical project on their own and the education and understanding required to truly know how to correctly perform electrical installations and repairs. Not being able to complete these installations and repairs in a correct manner can not only put their property and themselves at risk, but can also result in adverse costs in the future when repairs must be made a second time or a home inspection reveals the issues during an attempt to sell a home.

The second most common issue is the act of a homeowner hiring and unlicensed person or "handyman" to perform these electrical installations or repairs. Many times these persons will perform the work below par due to lack of knowledge and/or for financial reasons such as trying to get the job done as quickly as possible due to their low rates.

The other most common issue I come across is the homeowner who just simply waits for a "reason" to upgrade or repair an electrical item. Often, waiting until the last minute or after failure/damage can result in much higher costs than if an item is upgraded or repaired beforehand. Owning a home is a cost and an investment, in both the property and safety.

When is it a good idea for homeowners to consult a licensed electrician?

It is ALWAYS a good idea for homeowners to consult ONLY a LICENSED electrician. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is not a matter of self-survival to offer this advice, but rather a warning of the issues and safety risks that can arise from hiring an unlicensed person to perform such work. Electricians and electrical contractors acquire thousands of hours of education, skill, and understanding regarding electricity and electrical installations. And often, even with the abundance of knowledge that many of us have acquired, mistakes will sometimes still be made and risks will be taken. Just try to find an electrician who hasn't felt the hit of electricity through his/her body. It is not a subject to be taken lightly.

In regards to timeliness, if a possible issue or needed repair is known, it is always in a homeowner's best interest to consult with an electrician or to seek services as soon as possible. Doing so can drastically reduce the chances of damage to property or risk of injury.

What qualifications should people look for before hiring an electrician?

Finding a qualified person or company for electrical services is not as difficult as many homeowners might think. Whether a large or a small project, taking the time to ask questions and for proof, if necessary, can save a lot of time and expense in the future. Homeowners should always ask if a person is licensed and insured at the minimum. And a homeowner can always contact the state electrical board or it's website to verify that a person or company is currently licensed to perform.

How are the service contract and fee typically set up?

Service contracts and fees vary widely between companies, and can even vary within a single company itself depending on various factors. I always advise potential customers to do their research and request multiple quotes and bids, while also taking the time to research company reviews. Research cannot stop at pricing, as sometimes you may receive less quality than you pay for and vice versa. Personally, I make every attempt to maintain quality and professionalism regardless of pricing.

What important tips about electrical maintenance and safety would you give to home buyers?

If a homeowner has any questions regarding repairs or safety to their property and family, they should consult a qualified electrician as soon as possible. The electrical code and industry is changing daily, with electrical codes officially being updated every three years. The codes are updated at such intervals to keep new homes and properties at the front of safety. But for the vast majority, this also means that homes are constantly falling behind on safety because they are over three years old.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

Radiant Electric can be contacted at 919-667-8898, by visiting www.radiantelectricpro.com, or by emailing steven@radiantelectricpro.com.

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