Commercial Electrical

How to Choose a Trustworthy Electrical Contractor for Your Business

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical | Comments Off on How to Choose a Trustworthy Electrical Contractor for Your Business

How to Choose a Trustworthy Electrical Contractor for Your Business

Is your commercial electrical contractor capable of being trusted?

Every business has its trade secrets, whether it’s a secret ingredient in a dough recipe or an innovation scheduling technique that saves on labor dollars. Every little edge a business has on its competitors can add to the bottom line. When competitors try to find out your business secrets, they may use illegal spying means, called industrial espionage. This criminal tactic isn’t just for huge corporations; it’s used by companies of all sizes that would rather steal good ideas than create their own.

The best way to prevent your company from being a victim of industrial espionage is to know everyone you’re dealing with. This begins with background checks on your employees, of course, but it can’t stop there. Every time you allow someone into your back room or in the business after hours, you’re taking a chance that they’re going to steal your ideas. This goes for repair persons, suppliers, and especially contractors who are there to update or renovate your building.

Can You Trust Your Contractor?

Every business will eventually have to deal with a commercial electrical contractor at least once, and probably many more times. Contractors have to be allowed into every part of your business in order to do their job correctly, so you have to be able to trust the ones you hire. Obviously, the best choice in a commercial electrical contractor you’ve used before who’s done great work for you in the past.

Creating a solid working relationship with a reputable contractor is key to making sure you have people you trust inside your building. If you’ve never had electrical problems before, or if you’re renovating an older building and just starting the process, you’re going to have to take a different route.

Choosing an Electrician You Can Trust

Just like in the rest of the country, a commercial electrician in south Florida is only as good as his reputation. Find a list of past clients and you’ll get a sense of the quality of the work he does. Never rely on just one review, because even the most perfect businesses have disgruntled clients once in a while. But if you look at a list of clients with finished projects, you’ll be able to get an idea of how well he treats his customers, and how trustworthy he and his employees are. Find client reviews at a number of different places:

  • Look online at spots like Yelp!, Angie’s List, and other review sites. If you find any reviews that pertain to theft, try to email the reviewer to get more information
  • Ask any potential commercial electrical contractor for references from previous clients. Any contractor who’s proud of his business will be happy to supply contact information for some of his previous projects.
  • Ask other businesses around town. Almost every business will need electrical work at one time or another; check with neighbors you trust to find professionals they recommend.

Adding Insurance

There’s an old saying: Trust but Verify. It’s as true in business as much as it is in the military and government organizations. It’s good business to treat your contractor like he’s trustworthy. It’s also good business to check up on his references to make sure they’re real.

Don’t make theft any more tempting than it already is. If you’ve got trade secrets, lock them up before you let anyone in the door. Take your recipe books home with you, put an extra-strong password on all your computers and remove any workflow diagrams you may have hanging on the walls. If information isn’t out laying around, it won’t be there to tempt anyone into stealing it.

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What Does It Take to Become a State-Certified Electrical Contractor?

Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical | Comments Off on What Does It Take to Become a State-Certified Electrical Contractor?

What Does It Take to Become a State-Certified Electrical Contractor?

In the U.S. becoming a commercial electrical contractor is a multi-step process that requires study, practical experience, and various licensing exams. That’s a good thing too, because contractors literally work with something (electricity) that has the power of life and death. No one would let an unqualified surgeon perform surgery, and the same goes for our homes. Throughout the U.S. we’re choosy about who we allow to work with electrical power, and that’s a very good thing.

Various Types of License

Many people don’t realize that there is more than one kind of license for electrical contractors in Florida. These include:

  • Electrical Contractor (Certified or Registered)
  • Alarm Contractor I (Certified or Registered)
  • Alarm Contractor II (Certified or Registered)
  • Electrical Specialty Contractor (Certified or Registered)

Among the specialties that contractors can choose to be licensed for are:

  • Residential Electrical Specialty
  • Utility Line Specialty
  • Lighting Maintenance Specialty
  • Sign Specialty
  • Limited Energy Specialty

Each of these types of license has slightly different requirements, and just because a contractor is licensed in one area, that does not mean that they can work in all areas of electrical installation, maintenance or repairs.

General Requirements for Licensing

Even though there are slightly different requirements for the different types of contractor licenses in Florida, there are a few basic criteria that each contractor will need to fulfill, regardless of their area of expertise and focus. These include:

  • They must meet the minimum study requirements for licensing.
  • They must meet the minimum experience requirements for the type of licensing they are seeking.
  • They must pass the relevant exams, which may include industry specific exams as well as exams about business practices and other topics.
  • They must maintain the minimum contractor’s insurance for their area of specialty at all times.
  • Contractors will often undergo credit checks, and they will be required to meet minimum continuing education requirements.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into becoming an electrical contractor in Florida, whether you specialize in residential installations, commercial electrical, electrical maintenance or any other field.

As a company, like most professional electrical contractors in the State of Florida, we’re glad that these regulations are in place, because they help to ensure that customers who use licensed contractors can expect to get the appropriate electrical protection in West Palm Beach that we would want in our own homes.

When you work with a licensed electrical contractor, you can be sure that they know the business, that they have experience in the field, and that they have the documentation necessary to certify your installation, and the insurance to protect you if something goes wrong.

Always Choose a Licensed Contractor

Licensed electrical contractors have to go through a long process and jump through many hoops to get and stay licensed. That usually reflects in the rates they charge, although there are many out there that offer reasonably priced service and great value for money.

If there’s one piece of advice we can offer any potential customer, however, it is to always choose a licensed contractor. Even if someone who is not licensed offers to do a job for you at a great price, and you’re tempted, remember that unlicensed contractors cannot perform legal electrical installations, repairs or maintenance. More importantly, if you don’t use a licensed contractor, and a failure in their installation or electrical protection measures results in a fire or any other damage, you might not be covered by your insurance policies.

Just save yourself the trouble, and hire a professional. They’ll get the job done right, and you’ll have peace of mind.

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Electrical Upgrades: Turning a Private Home into a Beachfront Guesthouse

Posted by on Apr 16, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical | Comments Off on Electrical Upgrades: Turning a Private Home into a Beachfront Guesthouse

Electrical Upgrades: Turning a Private Home into a Beachfront Guesthouse

It’s a great dream. Turning your beach front home in Florida into a high end guest house, retiring from the rat race, and spending your days taking care of all the guests that are going to flock to your property to get sand between their toes and salt in their hair. However, there’s a little more to commercial renovations in South Florida than just hanging your shingle outside and hoping for the best.

Here’s what you need to know about the process of going from residential electrical to commercial electrical in a South Florida property, so that you can plan ahead.

Commercial Electrical Assessment

The first thing that you will need to do when you are converting a residential property to a commercial one is to have your electrical assessed, and to determine what changes will need to be made. Generally speaking, since commercial properties usually need more power than residential ones, an electrical panel upgrade will be a part of the upgrade, but there may be changes needed to wiring, lighting, kitchen electrical and more. The best way to get a clear picture of what you need is to have a professional commercial electrical contractor do this assessment for you.

Kitchen Upgrades

If you’re planning to convert your residential kitchen to a commercial one, then that will probably be one of the biggest changes you need to make to your electrical. Commercial appliances and equipment often require three phase power, and will almost certainly require that the wiring and power supply in your kitchen be upgraded.

Wiring and Lighting Upgrades

There are different requirements for electrical wiring and lighting in commercial buildings, and these are another area that will be addressed as a part of commercial renovations in South Florida. Wiring will be brought up to the relevant codes, and lighting may need to be added to comply with local codes and health and safety standards.

Backup Power

Another major change that you may consider if you are converting a residential property into a commercial one is to add backup power. Whether in the form of a standby generator or alternative power like solar panels, it’s a good idea to have commercial buildings outfitted to cope with South Florida’s unpredictable weather. After all, business doesn’t stop because there’s a storm!

Security and Smart Upgrades

The final element that you might consider when developing a plan for the electrical upgrades necessary to transform a residence into a guesthouse are security and “smart” upgrades. A commercial property is likely to require alarm systems, cameras, automated gates or garages and other upgrades, and those should all be factored into the initial assessment.

Ensuring You Get the Right Upgrades

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into ensuring that your new guesthouse is electrically safe and sound, and ready for business. Make sure that you prioritize things like electrical too, because if you leave them until after you’ve made cosmetic changes and upgrades, you may find yourself paying more to repair finishes after changes are made.

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Renovating Business Premises? Discover What to Budget for Electrical Work

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical, Commercial Lighting | Comments Off on Renovating Business Premises? Discover What to Budget for Electrical Work

Renovating Business Premises? Discover What to Budget for Electrical Work

Figuring out what the electrical for your business premises renovation will cost can be a tricky business. It’s almost impossible for any commercial electrical contractor to provide an accurate estimate without having a significant amount of information to go on. There are fixed and variable costs involved, and different contractors will all calculate things a little differently.

A lot will hinge on the building in question too, and how extensive the electrical repairs and additions will be. Here are a few costs that you might want to consider factoring into your budget (and mentioning to contractors who provide pricing!)

1. The Extent of the Renovation

There are renovations, and then there are renovations! Are you doing a basic, superficial remodel of your business premises, or are you completely changing the purpose and use of certain spaces? If you need to make major changes like changing the phase of power in a part of your building, or adding a new area completely, that will have a big impact on costs.

2. The Existing Electrical

If your business premises is older, it may have electrical that is “grandfathered in.” That means that even though it’s not up to current codes and standards, it’s considered acceptable because its existing. If you make changes to the electrical system, that might change, and you might need to rewire your premises completely. This is why it’s so important to have a commercial electrical contractor inspect your premises before quoting on any changes or renovations. They may need to do a lot more than simply add to your system!

3. Working Conditions

The conditions under which the work on your existing business premises needs to take place can have an impact on the price that you pay for the electrical portion of your commercial renovations in South Florida. If your electrical contractor has to work nights or weekends, for instance, or if they will be working in confined spaces, that can increase the cost. This is another good reason to ensure that your contractor knows what the work will entail before they provide a quotation.

Planning and Requesting a Quotation

Even if you call a commercial electrical contractor to ask for a ball park figure for your business premises renovation, all they can give you without all of the facts is a rough estimate, that will very likely be vastly different to the final cost of your project. The more information you can provide about what you are doing, how it will be done, and what the electrical contractor will need to do for you, the more likely you are to get an accurate estimate of costs.

Spend some time planning and designing your new space. Get some preliminary plans drawn up for the design. Invite commercial electrical contractors to visit your premises to assess the extent and scope of work to be done. Get a few estimates of cost, and build in a health five to ten percent contingency.

Commercial renovations (or any renovations for that matter) are some of the trickiest types of construction to price accurately, because there are always unknown factors hidden in your walls. A little planning and forethought, and working with a good contractor, however, can help to develop a plan that fits your needs and your budget.

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What’s Covered in a Commercial Electrical Maintenance Agreement

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical, Electrical Maintenance | Comments Off on What’s Covered in a Commercial Electrical Maintenance Agreement

What’s Covered in a Commercial Electrical Maintenance Agreement

Commercial electrical maintenance is a critical element in maintaining the health and safety of a workplace, ensuring that your business insurance policy covers you in the event of a malfunction, and for ensuring that your commercial power stays stable and operational when you need it. However, even if you are looking for a contractor to enter into an electrical service contract, you might not be sure exactly what you can expect.

While these types of electrical maintenance contracts can vary greatly from one contractor to the next, there are a few things that most good commercial electrical maintenance agreements will cover. This is what you should look for:

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How to Find a Reputable Commercial Electrical Contractor

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical, Electrical Contractors | Comments Off on How to Find a Reputable Commercial Electrical Contractor

How to Find a Reputable Commercial Electrical Contractor

If you’re looking for a commercial electrical contractor for a new commercial building or to repair, maintain or retrofit your existing commercial building, then you might be wondering how you find a good one. Word of mouth referrals are a good idea, but what else can you do to find a great company?

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