As part of a series, I interview South African contractors in the home improvement industry. I asked for their advice on your behalf. This one is an interview with a qualified sole trader electrician. I chatted with him about things that affect a home renovation project.
This interview series will help you gain an understanding before you embark on your projects. These professionals give insights and tips to help you plan your requirements, your budget and the timing of your project.
Hiring a professional contractor will give you peace of mind when it comes to long-term results. But if you plan to DIY, make sure you seek out the best advice before you begin your project.
Let’s ask an Electrician.
Interviewee: Dominic Adams, Somerset West (WC)
Chantal (Design Elements): What is your trade and experience?
Dominic (Electrician): I am a Qualified Electrician with over 17 years of experience.
Chantal: When it comes to electrics what will significantly hike the cost of my project?
Dominic: The more points you add, the more you will pay. Electrical points are usually charged per point at an amount that depends on the point type. Ie. Air-conditioning points, socket outlets, switch points, lighting fixtures/fittings, geyser points, stove points, etc.
Moving a Distribution Board to another spot is quite a big cost.
Chantal: What would you do to reduce long-term electrical costs?
Dominic: Don’t take shortcuts, or use cheap contractors. It will cost you later. Poor workmanship can lead to electrical fires.
Reduce long-term costs by installing renewable energy sources. Install a solar system. And a solar heat pump on your geyser. Use LED products. Put back-ups in place for load-shedding times, like a gas stove or gas geyser.
Chantal: At what stage does an Electrician get involved in the renovation project?
Dominic: At the beginning. Working from a plan generally helps even if there isn’t one for a renovation, make one with the client. Avoid disputes by having it all cleared up and signed off beforehand. That way the client and contractors get a clear picture of what goes where and what costs are involved.
Chantal: Have you got any eco-friendly electrical tips for us?
Dominic: Besides renewable energy, use energy-reducing products. The higher the wattage, the more you use electricity… the more you pay.
Chantal: Is there anything that homeowners should ask their electrician about?
Dominic: Make sure your electrician is licensed and that it’s up-to-date. You can ask to see their certification. This is really important for insurance and clearance certificates. Technology is constantly changing. Electricians constantly update their skillset and test for their licenses. Got to keep current – excuse the pun.
Want to read the other interviews in this series? Here they are:
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