Get it in Writing Before the Work Begins!
Make sure you get a guaranteed price in writing before the work begins. A professional technician will take as much time as necessary to thoroughly analyze your job. After looking everything over he should be able to give you a guaranteed price in writing. This can not be done over the phone. Watch out for contractors that quote prices over the phone. Electrical and HVAC systems can vary greatly from house to house. An onsite analysis is the only way to determine exactly what is required to do the job properly and safely. There is often more than one way for the job to be done.
A professional technician will take the time to explain all of your options for the job and help you decide which is best for you. If the technician quotes an hourly rate you still have no guaranty what the total cost of the job will be. The cost will depend on how long it takes him to do the job. If he has nothing else to do that day he may make your job last all day when it really should only take a couple of hours. If he’s just slow, inefficient or doesn’t have the right parts with him the job will take too long and cost too much. On the other hand if he’s in a hurry to finish he may make a mistake or overlook a hazardous condition. I’ve seen several mistakes made by technicians who were rushing to complete a job as quick as possible.
When a technician is working on something as important as your electrical or HVAC system he needs to be focused on making sure he gets the job right the first time. Let’s say you call a technician that works by the hour. You take time out of your busy schedule to meet him, after a couple of hours he says it’s fixed; you pay him and he’s on his way. A few days later you begin to have the same problem, so you take more time out of your schedule to meet him again plus you have to pay for his time, again. You can see how this can cost you extra money and take up more of your valuable time. By getting a guaranteed price up front, in writing you have the peace of mind of knowing what the total investment will be and the technician can get the job done right the first time.