Is There a Difference Between an Electrician and a General Contractor?

General contractors in the Delaware Valley handle diverse projects, including plumbing, construction, engineering, and electrical functions. However, general contractors can legally work on a degree of electrical work, depending on the scope of work and the contractor’s certifications.

If you’re wondering whether to hire a general contractor or an electrician for an electrical project, it will help first to understand the differences between the two types of experts. While the two can perform some similar functions, a general contractor is not a master electrician, though licensed for the task.

You will want to choose master electrical contractors in the Delaware Valley for more involving electrical tasks. A certified electrician is dedicated to the most rigorous testing and training and fully understands the current local and state electrical code requirements.

A General Contractor

General contractors have their fingers in almost every aspect of the construction pie, from major construction to minor renovations. That means they can handle everything from building a new home from zero to completing renovations like kitchen or bathroom remodels. Other roles of general contractors include:

  • Hiring and paying subcontractors
  • Project planning
  • Procuring the necessary building permits for the project
  • Facilitating inspections

Not all general contractors need certification unless they work on specific constructions, such as high-rise buildings. However, licensed general contractors tend to operate their businesses more professionally.

An Electrical Contractor

An electrical contractor is a businessman who runs a company specializing in electrical works. The company also hires or employs licensed electricians to complete projects. Gaining electrical certification is a long process that takes many years and involves passing the relevant licensing examination.

Electrical work is hazardous, and the licensing examination requires that an electrician put in approximately 8,000 hours of work. That’s why the procedure for becoming a licensed electrician is stringent to ensure Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance.

What Electrical Work Can a General Contractor Do?

While Delaware Valley general contractors can do electrical work, they’re best suited for simple and small electrical projects such as the following

  • Replacement of switches and sockets
  • Small electrical installations
  • Lighting fittings
  • Replacement of minor circuits

Choosing a general contractor for minor home renovation projects with little electrical work makes more financial sense than hiring an electrician. That’s because the general contractor’s rates would be lower than an electrical contractor.

Besides, they may recommend subcontracting an electrician at a lower industry rate depending on the scope of work, helping you make a saving in the long run.

When Should I Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor?

Call a licensed electrical contractor if you have an electrical project and are wondering whether to hire a general or licensed electrical contractor in the Delaware Valley. You will feel more safe and satisfied with the results if you have an expert do the job, no matter how small.

Master electricians are trained, skilled, licensed, and experienced in their work area and can do it safely. They can also work according to your area’s permitting process to ensure the work is done to the recommended standards. That protects you as you continue living in the home, even if you decide to sell it later.

A home with electrical work done without the proper permits may put you at risk of hefty fines and penalties. You may also have difficulty insuring the property and may be unable to resell unless you redo the electrical work to current codes.

Better Quality Products

With master electricians working on your project, you’ll be better positioned to use better-quality products and installation techniques. The results of your electrical project could be better and more long-lasting. However, you should be prepared to spend more on the project than you would if a general contractor handled the project.

In addition to better quality products, you’ll have the job done right in the long run on the first try. Through their extensive training and knowledge, master electricians will work to ensure no mess-ups, no overdos, and no wasted money on a job gone wrong.

Some Jobs Are Best Left to Electricians

Bigger projects requiring new electrical systems, rewiring existing systems, or involving high voltage over 120 V are best suited for licensed Delaware Valley electrical contractors or an experienced electrical company. Other types of jobs that should always be left to the pros are the following:

  • Troubleshooting for outlets and switches that spark or don’t work
  • Recurring power outages
  • Work that involves the inside of walls
  • Rewiring entire buildings
  • Repairing and preventing electrical fire damage

You Need Insured Labor

Any good electrical contractor knows it’s essential to insure their projects to protect their clients and technicians. Being issued adds an extra layer of defense against legal problems that could arise if something goes wrong as the contractor completes the project.

Quality Electrical Installation Services from Certified Professionals

Choosing between a general contractor and an electrical contractor for your electrical project can be tricky, especially if you don’t fully understand the role of each professional. Luckily, if you have a general contractor in the Delaware Valley, you can consult them. They can take care of the easy part of the project and help you hire a licensed electrician for the more complex or riskier bits.

Hauser Contractors is a team of general and electrical contractors in the Delaware Valley. Our team is skilled and experienced in handling small and expensive electrical projects, whether in construction or remodeling. Whatever the scope of your electrical project, our team can complete it to perfection and to your satisfaction. Call us at (610) 428-7842 to talk to top-rated professionals.