Blog #19 – Choosing the Right Contractor!

Well, It’s been a little while since you have heard from me and I cannot stress how important this choice is! Everyday people decide to spend money and get something new done to their home or business and making the right choice and save you thousands of dollars and some early grey hairs as well!

 

choosing the right contractor innovativeelectric

There are many times when its an issue, from emergency repairs such as an Air Conditioner not working in this 100-degree heat, to being stuck inside for months at a time due to this Coronavirus that has been circulating. People have money to spend right now and I want to make sure you are prepared to spend it wisely. First thing that is most important is to check this person’s references! How did you find him? Was it a referral from a friend on Facebook? How many jobs has this person or company done? Did you google them to check their rating? Did you read any of their google Reviews? Innovative Electric currently has a 5-Star Rating on Google, but we may not be the only contractor you are looking to hire. When you get someone’s name from any source, do you homework before calling them. Check their website, check Google by typing their name in the search bar and see if they do good work and that they are experienced. If you are flipping houses you have to hire a lot of trades and its easy to get lazy. You might want to hire a General Contractor to handle things for you, they can, but you need one you can trust and until you know if they are reliable, you need to keep close tabs on them. One way to keep track of a GC is to have at least 1 or 2 trades working on that site which did not come from that GC. That way they keep him honest, asking the right questions to things as they happen on the job and possibility alerting you to things the GC may not be doing correctly. As an Electrician on site, we watch the Plumber, Duct guys and HVAC because we all have to share the same space inside the walls at times, if they screw something up and drywall has to be cut, you might cut our wires in that process. Its better when we see that screwup ahead of time and alert you, the homeowner. Innovative Electric trains all their employees to watch for these types of issues and try to coordinate with other trades to make the jobs run better so we don’t spend time doing things 2 or 3 times because of the mistakes of others. We have the experience to see these mistakes before they happen so trust that Innovative Electric as a company is looking out for you.

 

Now let me tell you about this jobsite we have been on all week. A little over a year ago, these 2 guys decided to start flipping houses and bought a run-down Townhome in the Canton Area of Baltimore. This neighborhood is very up and coming and getting a cheap house can turn a pretty penny if done right. Well, they called me, I walked the property in May of 2019, wrote them and estimate and never really heard from them again. Now, fast forward to May of 2020! These two gentlemen are in a bind, their house is still not complete. The General Contractor they hire has not done many things to code, for example their New Roof Top Deck has to be completely tore down and rebuilt because the supports extended past the property onto the next-door house. The windows are not done and none of the doors have been installed. In addition, they use the GC’s recommended guy to do all the Plumbing and Electrical in the house. This guy needs to be arrested if they can every catch him because what he did to this house as a plumber and electrician is a crime. Hot and Cold-Water lines were backwards in places and drains not even installed at the far end of the house before drywall was installed. The GC had to have paid off inspectors because this house has passed inspections from the City of Baltimore.

 

Now as for the electrical issues that my guys have spent 2 weeks now fixing:

 

  1. The Service was never completed (but had an inspection signed off on)
  2. There are Multiple Wires shorted out for multiple reasons, Staples cutting through the insulation, wiring incorrect in the Junction boxes and just poor workmanship
  3. There were multiple devices fed with the ground wire instead of the neutral wire, some junction boxes that require neutrals did not even have a neutral wire, which had to be added by running new wire and cutting finished drywall.
  4. There were multiple locations where the wires in the Junction Box or Fixture would just break off because of how the person removed the outer jacket. This can cause fires because loose connections will arc and smolder inside the walls of a house when they have a cut across the copper.
  5. All the devices, outlets and receptacles were backstabbed. This means the wire was stabbed into the back of the device. Backstabbing is a very poor and loose connection method and as we removed switches and receptacles, the wires would fall out of this connection. I always train my guys to use the screw on the side. It takes them more time, but it’s a better connection that ensures WE do not need to be called back. A Backstabbed receptacle + a Space Heater = Fire!

 

There are more issues on that job as well, one of the biggest is the installation of Arc-Fault Breakers. They are required when you run new wire, change 6ft of existing wire and install any new device. These breakers are expensive and I am sure these guys have now paid both Electricians they hired for them. However, they are required because they prevent fires and it has taken extensive time to troubleshoot this house and get it to were these breakers will function properly and not trip immediately. This house has been a huge learning experience for these guys and I hope that you have learned as well.

 

In any case, please choose wisely for any job you hire someone for! The Welfare of your family could be at stake! And remember! When you need an Electrician, HIRE INNOVATIVE ELECTRIC INC!

 

James

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