What's in an Electrical Quote?
So, you need some electrical work done in your home. The search for the right licensed electrical contractor can be intimidating. While many contractors are above-board, it’s still wise to be cautious. The risk of being taken advantage of is real. The best way to avoid trouble is to ensure every detail of the work is clear. It starts with understanding what you should expect to see on an electrical service quote.
A quote is an estimated (or fixed) price of the work to be completed. There should be abundant information, but some details are more important than others. Here are the four things to look for in an electrical quote to feel confident about the electrical services you hire.
1. Work details, and lots of them!
The exact details of the work that will be completed are a must. The details should clearly outline the job and how it will be completed.
This example is a quote for an electric vehicle charger installation and a service upgrade. It explains that the old electrical panel will be removed, and a new one will be installed with a surge protector. Additionally, a Tesla charger will be installed in the garage and powered by the panel in the basement. The work order also states the location of installation and potential damage risks. Without specific details, the job is vague, and any "changes” to the original quote can add up quickly.
2. A concise pricing system
Kraun offers fixed-price line items, which include both labour and material. This is not common practice, but we chose this method because it is transparent for our customers. What you should look for in pricing is the list of supplied materials for the job and the cost of labour. Please ensure all costs are listed if the quote does not have fixed prices like this.
A critical item to note in this quote is the cost of retrieving Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) permits. An ESA permit is needed for every electrical job, even installing a light switch. This is important because only Licensed Electrical Contractors are allowed to pull permits with the ESA. If an electrician or contractor asks you to get the permits for them, that is a red flag.
3. ECRA/ESA number
The individual or company you hire to do electrical work must have a legitimate ECRA/ESA number. This number means that you are dealing with a licensed electrical contractor legally allowed to complete electrical work in Ontario. You can find Kraun's at the bottom of the quote on the right. To be sure that the company you hire is legitimate, you can check here. There is no reason a registered contractor would not show up on the ESA database. An ECRA/ESA number also proves the contractor you hire is insured, which protects you if the electrician is injured on your property while working.
4. Understandable terms
Every agreement has terms and conditions, and that's okay. They protect both you as the customer and the organization providing the quote. They are another way to clarify expectations further. You can run into problems, though, when the terms are unclear or confusing. It's essential to read and understand all aspects of the quote, including the "fine print." If you receive a quote with confusing language or broad terms and the contractor refuses to clarify, that should be another red flag.
You can see in this example quote that the terms are at the bottom for the customer's understanding, so there are no problems or confusion in any situation.
Without these essential details in your quote, you leave yourself open to surprises if you work with an electrician that isn't trustworthy. The best way to be sure you get the right company for the job is by shopping around, reading reviews, and fully understanding your quote. If you have a job you'd like to get started, give us a call to receive your free quote! Alternatively, you can fill out the form below.