When comparing companies and prices from different companies it is also worth considering who is currently offering the prices. There will always be a difference between companies and sole traders. The level of service they offer will also differ considerably. A sole trader cannot always answer the phone or reply to emails quickly. If they can they are either not very busy with work, which is worth questioning why or they are monitoring their phone on the clients time. Companies with trained office staff will offer a better service but will have more over heads as a result.
Does the company have an electrical registration? If the company offering their services does not have an electrical registration how much do they know about electrical reports? From experience companies without an electrical registration are good at organising the requested works and will use a series of sub-contractors to complete the electrical inspection.
This raises a couple of potential issues. The company it’s self does not have the required knowledge to quality control check the work that it is organising. If it did, it would be able to get an electrical registration. Secondly the sub-contractor is in effect working for someone else with potentially no interest in if the company is successful, the clients satisfaction or the quality of work that they produce. That can sound harsh and a big stroke of the pen, but this is from experience. I have my own company and have had to let numerous electricians go because of this. If I had not been signing off works as the Qualified Supervisor and the companies owner, then these electricians would have carried on producing low quality work and electrical inspections. The worrying part is that they will have moved on to another company and to have a long-lasting job it would need to be a company without a qualified supervisor.
A qualified supervisor is a fully qualified and experienced electrician. Someone who has the responsibility of overseeing other electricians and signing off on the works that they have completed. By signing off on the works and electrical certificates they are personally taking responsibility for the works and certificates. Companies who use subcontractors and do not have their own electrical registration rely on the subcontractors honesty with no tangible way of verifying the quality of the works. When not completed correctly electrical reports and certificates may not reflect the true nature of the electrical installation. In the event of this happening with unregistered companies they will nearly always pass the blame saying they employ subcontractors. Registered companies cannot do this, so clients can have more piece of mind about the completed works.
Which electrical registration body is the company registered with? Different electrical registration bodies have different standards that electricians must meet to become an Approved Contractor. I know the answers to the differences in the application process to become an Approved Contractor and they are shocking to say the least. I do not wish to be drawn into any legal challenges, so I will only say most local Councils will always request that electrical reports (EICRs) be completed by a NICEIC Approved Contractor. If all electrical registration bodies were to the same standard, why would Local Councils request this?
As the owner of my business I am still very much involved in the day to day running of my business. From in the office to out on site, I like to know the service that clients receive. Some staff may call it perfectionism and control issues. I call it years of challenging work and wanting my company to be the best at what it does. My motto which I adopted many years ago is: Do it once and do it right.