You have hired a contractor to add on to your home, but have you considered who will be doing the wiring for that addition? Most contractors will do basic wiring, but not all of them will. Some will use a subcontractor for the job instead. It might be beneficial for you to discuss the need to hire an electrical subcontractor before you start any home addition or home improvement project.
There are many reasons that a subcontractor is advised:
- A general contractor may not be aware of specific electrical zoning changes or requirements like a specialist would be.
- Wiring can affect more than just one area of the home, including the appliances and other items inside the home.
- Faulty wiring can lead to fires.
If your contractor does not have a subcontractor in mind for the wiring portion of this project (most will, however) then it might be up to you to find one. The project will already be underway, but you can still look for an electrical subcontractor using the same questions to interview as you did the general contractor. These questions include:
- Are you licensed and certified in 94119, California?
- Are you trained and experienced?
- Are you bonded and insured?
- Do you have a trained work crew?
- Do you give written estimates of the cost?
- Do you give written warranties for your work?
- Do you have references and professional referrals?
If there is already a subcontractor in place, but you can beat his rate, you might be able to discuss this with the general contractor. However, it should be noted that there are probably established professional relationships that may make it difficult if not impossible to get the contractor to go with the cheaper electrical contractor instead. A reasonable contractor might consider giving you a discount on service to even this out.
Finally, keep in mind the importance of having the wiring job done correctly and professionally. This is not the area to try to save a few dollars in. One bad wire could cost you the whole house, your belongings and possibly even the lives of your loved ones. Allow the contractor to choose the right person, even if they do cost more than the others. All of these things are worth the cost.