We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive. Click on a question below to show the answer in our handy FAQ!
Services and Fees
On service work, no; all fees are listed here. There are a few other things we want to be up-front about:
- Large contract jobs will be invoiced as the job progresses, and those invoices are due at the time of receipt. Payments received for invoices that are 30 days after the due date are subject to 1.5% late fees, up to 18% per year.
- If you need to change your bid/contract, the change order must be in writing and approved before the work starts – which may affect your price one way or another.
- Commercial service work and remodels are subject to local and state sales tax on top of all other charges.
Yes, the basic materials like wire, boxes, connectors, some stock plugs, switches, etc. We don’t have a wide range selection of materials, as fixtures and devices come in so many styles and colors. If you have a fixture in mind that you’d like to use, you can pick it up ahead of time. Otherwise, if we know what color plug/switch you need, we can make sure we have it on the truck before we get there. But as stated above, if we provide materials, we will have to charge for them.
Yes, we give free estimates to both residential and commercial projects; they are valid for 30 days. Commercial estimates are completed by our master electrician. There is one caveat – if you do not have drawn plans, and our master electrician has to come up with the design, there is a minimum non-refundable $500 charge, whether or not you choose us to do the job The estimate/design fee will be deducted from your estimate if you accept our bid.
Full payment is due at the completion of service; we will provide you an invoice either in-person or email. We accept cash, check, Paypal, Venmo, and credit card/ATM. For large contract jobs with a deposit/draw schedule or a Schedule of Values, all invoices are due at the time of billing.
We charge for labor and materials. For labor, We have a flat rate for hourly service work (basic items like changing out switches, fixtures, diagnostics, etc.). All rates have a 1-hour minimum charge, but we allow for half-hours after the first. Service calls each have individual situations, so we don’t charge per-item (read here for some things that we may run into).
- 1 Electrician – $175/hr
- 2 Electricians – $200/hr
- 3 Electricians – $225/hr
- 4 Electricians – $240/hr
- 5 Electricians – $250/hr, or a bid may be necessary.
These rates apply to both residential and commercial properties. Commercial service work will also have sales tax charged (it’s a legal thing). Materials are charged in addition to the above.
Sorry, no. We require payment at the time of service, because we are simply not in the position to offer financing at this time. You must seek your own reimbursement from your insurance company, based on what your policy covers.
If we’re short on materials, that’s on us. Your clock pauses if we have to go get something, and un-pauses when we get back. HOWEVER, if you ask us to go shopping to pick something out for you, or there is additional work you want done that was not mentioned at the time of scheduling and we now have to pick up additional items we did not anticipate, we will charge that time. If you have a style preference or fixture you like already picked out, you can have it ready on-site.
No, we do not repair appliances or large units; you will need to contact the appropriate licensed contractor and/or handymen. The only thing we deal with is the electrical power sources, not the units themselves. Please see this page for some of the services we do/don’t provide (link coming soon). Check if your fan/light has a manufacturer’s warranty, and if they do, you should send it for repair or replacement through them. If your fixture is beyond its warranty, you can bring it to a specialty lighting store for assessment; there are many around Austin. If you need any clarification, please ask.
We will pull a permit if necessary, but we will charge for the cost of the permit and our time to procure it. The price depends on the nature of the job and what city the work is being done in, and we will let you know beforehand what the cost will be if it is available.
If your power goes out, don’t panic. Step 1 is to contact 3-1-1 in Austin, or contact your utility company to see if there’s a local outage. If you are in Austin, that would be Austin Energy If you are outside of Austin, you have either Oncor, PEC, or Bluebonnet. Very often the utility has lost power on one of their own lines, and they can repair it. If they determine if the problem is after their wires connect to your electric meter, that’s where we come in. This also applies if “half” or a section of your home has lost power, or only the larger appliances have stopped working – this is called a “lost leg,” and it’s a loss of your 240v supply. Again, check with your utility, because sometimes it is on their end.
It honestly depends on your situation to figure out how long something takes. For example, a typical switch can take 10-15 minutes to replace; but if we open it up and see unsafe conditions, it can increase that time to 30 minutes or longer. A basic fan replacement is usually 30-45 minutes, but installing a brand new fan, including cutting into a ceiling, installing braces and hooking up a new remote switch with it, can take 1-2 hours. A lot of variables depend on how simple or complex your install is, which is why most service calls we will charge the hourly rate, and we do not do per-item charges. Here are some factors we consider during installations and repairs, which include:
- available attic space / crawl space
- how many stories your home is
- how high up the fixtures are
- can the installation be done without damaging sheet rock (most cases, the answer is no)
- where your panel is in relation to other available wiring
- how much power your new appliance requires, and if your home can handle the electrical load
- does your panel have the physical space available for new breakers
- type of ceiling (vaulted, cathedral, standard, open-beam, etc.)
- the year your home was built
Absolutely! Depending on how thorough your report is, we may need to do our own electrical safety inspection on top of it. There are two reasons for that:
- If an inspection report is not as detailed as we need it to be, we may need to see the issue in-person.
- The NEC is updated every 3 years, and home inspectors usually reference the most recent version. So an item that was installed only 5 years ago, but isn’t part of new code, may false-flag as problem. In a lot of cases, it’s not, and the installation is still good, or “grandfathered.”
Most reports are straightforward enough to provide all the info we need, and we can work up a quote. Contact us to send your report, and we’ll go over what the next steps will be for your specific situation.
Only if we completely re-wire your home in copper wire. Our company policy is that we don’t install COP-ALUM fixtures or do repairs on aluminum-wired homes. That includes homes with both copper and aluminum mixed. We have an article that discusses aluminum wiring, and why we feel it is a hazard. Aluminum wire is too high of a liability to deal with, in our opinion. FYI, your large utility service wires that come from the city are often made of aluminum wire, which is safe to use. Just not in branch circuits.
Don’t lose hope if a rewire isn’t in your budget – there are many electrical contractors in the Austin area that repair aluminum-wired homes. Not sure if your home has aluminum wire? Homes built before the mid-1960’s or after the mid 1970’s are usually fine; to be certain, we can come do a safety inspection to find out.
We’re not very good friends with Federal Pacific (FPE) panels; they have been discontinued since the 1970’s due to a high failure rate. Our article explains why FPE panels are dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible. Because of this, we won’t work on a home that has a FPE panel, until that panel has been replaced with a more reliable brand (which we CAN do!). Other brands we don’t work on are Zinsco and Bryant, for similar reasons.
Possibly, there are some areas outside of Austin proper that we will service. Areas such as Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, and Bee Cave we service regularly. Farther out areas like Spicewood, Lakeway, Manor, Elgin, Hutto, Taylor, Buda, Kyle, and Cedar Creek/Bastrop, we reserve the right to charge an additional one-way travel fee, starting at $50. Let us know where you are located and we can figure something out.
All of our electricians have a combined experience of almost 80 years, and our master electrician has been in construction and electrical since the 1980’s. (Learn more about who we are here!) We are licensed by TDLR, we carry general liability insurance, and we are a legal business filed with the Secretary of State. We are PCI-Compliant in our transactions, have an A+ rating at the BBB, and have over 800 reviews and an overall A-rating on Angie’s List. All our electricians must pass a criminal background check, and carry valid licenses. We also stay up-to-date with changes in National Electric Code with yearly continuing education and on-the-job training.
We have a minimum labor warranty of 1 year for our work only, from the date of installation. Longer labor warranties are available on larger jobs at additional charges. It does not cover parts and materials, unless we specifically express that in a written contract. Material manufacturers carry their own warranties, and you will need to consult their respective manuals. (Example: we installed a switch, but the switch turned out to be faulty due to manufacturing defects and our installation was correct; if we come back to replace the switch, we will have to charge another service call.) We will not warranty or validate someone else’s work, we warranty ONLY what we do. If our work is altered in any way, by anyone, even if it’s another electrician, our warranty is voided, and follow-up visits will be charged at our standard rates.
- The office is open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm CST, and that’s usu
- ally our work schedule as well.
- Closed on major holidays (New Year’s, Independence Day, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas and the few days surrounding it). Minor holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day are usually open.
- We don’t schedule work evenings or weekends unless there’s an emergency situation (like loss of power, loss of A/C on a hot day, loss of heat on a cold day, fire hazards). We charge 50% additional labor for weekends, overnight/after-hours and emergency visits.
“When can you come out” is probably the #1 question we are asked. As of August 2021, we cannot come out same-day, or even same-week. Currently we about 6-8 weeks booked in advance, and that’s BEFORE we can start scheduling other services. We genuinely want to service all of you, but honestly, we simply do not have the manpower to keep up! If you are willing to wait, we can add you to our list and let you know when there’s an opening. Your patience and loyalty are greatly appreciated!
Let us know right away if something is not working! We will come fix it. Your warranty is good for 1 year, so all you have to do is call and let us know what’s going on. The outcome of your warranty visit depends on what happened – there are so many possible variables on these visits, but these are the primary 3 possibilities:
- Faulty Installation (we did it wrong) – we will fix it at no charge.
- Good Installation, Bad Materials – we will have to charge a new service call. As mentioned in the warranty section, we cannot warranty materials or fixtures.
- If our installation was correct, but it caused another problem, we will work with you on a solution.