How to Choose the Right Residential Electrical Contractor

Seattle residential electrical company photo

You are likely either ready to replace your main panel, adding a generator or EV car charger, or simply needing some rewiring or lighting changes.  There are a bunch of contractors in the Puget Sound area that can do this work and you want to find the best fit that meets your comfort and budget needs, as well as (possibly) begin a relationship with someone you can trust for the life of the system.

Evergreen State Electrical Services is part of the Evergreen State Sheet Metal (ESSM) family of companies which was founded in 1968, over 50 years ago, with owners Russ & Pam Kimball there for over 25 of those years.  We are licensed in electrical and general construction, insured, and bonded for your protection in the state of Washington.

It of course starts with having an electrician in your home who is competent and trustworthy.  That starts with having a good phone call with the electrical dispatcher who has clearly understood your needs and communicated both pricing and who will arrive at your doorstep.  Hopefully you will have gone to the website to see a photo of who that electrician is before he or she enters your home, and they appear both safe and professional.  Once there, that electrician should confirm important points from the first call to the dispatcher and follow up with specific questions to address your needs.  This electrician will work with you as their investigation proceeds and discuss options and prices before work begins.  Finally, you need a trustworthy local company owner who will make sure promises made are promises kept.

There are two parts to this process: 

  • First, use the internet, as it will provide you with a wealth of information, both good and bad, about each and every company (and yes, even we have had unhappy customers despite doing everything in our power to make them happy).
  • Second, once you have narrowed it down to about 2-3 qualified companies to call. The professionalism of the office and dispatcher (or electrician) will help you decide.

Step 1 – Research Residential Electrical Companies Online

  • Company Reviews

    There are any free sites to choose from, we recommend Google as it is the most unbiased. Yelp is good also but more for the food industry.  Forbes & Reddit also.  Many of the others require electrical companies to purchase memberships and are therefore biased toward their customers (Angi, Expertise, HomeAdvisor, etc.).  Dig deeper not only into the overall numbers but the types of comments used.

  • Company Websites

    These sites are what we say about ourselves and therefore biased. But you can learn about the projects, the people, and the policies of every company you are interested in.

  • Washington Labor & Industries

    ( – This is critical for licensing (both general and electrical construction), as well as safety, customer, or state penalties, etc.

  • Better Business Bureau

    ( – While many companies have an A+ rating, some do not. A nice quick litmus test similar to the WA DOH signs for restaurants (Excellent, Good, Okay, Poor)

  • org

    ( – You can get to the electrical page for education in general. To get to the page for specific companies (like ours) membership as needed.


Step 2 – Conversation with the Electrical Dispatcher

  • Professionalism

    How professional does the person answering the phone sound? Do they ask good questions?  Know that if there are problems later this will be a good thing.  If you go into voice mail during regular business hours, know this could well be an issue, there are a lot of small companies working out of their homes in our industry; many of them are cheap but you get what you pay for.

  • Experience

    How long has this company been in business? Have they installed similar systems?  Do they know your municipality well (permits, inspections, etc.)?

  • Warranty & Service

    If you are buying equipment (generator, charger, or panel) find out the warranty, and annual service requirements (a definite for generators).

  • Financial Stability

    If the company goes out of business there is no warranty. The manufacturer will not help you, and no other residential electrical company will come out for free.  This is one of the big ‘shockers’ in our industry and what makes us very different from buying a car where every dealer can get paid by the manufacturer for a warranty, not just the one you bought it from.


Finding the Right Residential Electrical Contractor for You

In summary there are a lot more factors than most people think.  And unlike a car you cannot simply take it back for a new one.  While contractors have been known to remove installed systems, this is a rarity.  It’s also a large investment that you will have to live with for over 10 years, and your home is a sanctuary where you want safe, reliable, functional, customized electrical equipment and installation, while not breaking your budget.

This is a big choice, and we would love to help you with it.