Permits and Certification
It is alright to ask for proof of coverage before getting started!
When choosing a contractor to work in your home it is important to make sure they have 2 kinds of coverage. First, liability insurance to insure your property is protected from accidents that can occur. Second, is WCB coverage in case a worker is hurt on the job. Don't get caught off guard by shady contractors.
A permit protects the home owner and ensures due diligence on behalf of all parties involved on the construction project. It is the responsibility of the trade worker / contractor to pull a permit before any work begins on a job.
The Canadian Electrical Code "CEC" outlines the many laws regarding safe electrical installations. These laws are implemented and governed by the municipality; ie City of Calgary & electrical inspections department. Permits notify the city inspection authority of the proposed changes to a home or business. Upon completion of each phase of a project the inspector will come and look over the work. The inspector determines if work is acceptable to meet CEC requirement.
The worker is then notified if any necessary changes are needed, before the work is concealed or is continued. When the job is done and has passed inspection a sticker is placed on the electrical panel. The city then updates their records and closes the permit.
Top 3 reasons for getting a permit:
1. Electrical fire was ranked 4th in the leading causes of house fires in Calgary. Having worked with restoration contractors I've seen first hand the devastation that comes from improper electrical work. Insurance claims can be denied, if due diligence is not shown. Permits satisfy that the job is done correctly and safely therefore preventing loss and risk to property and life.
2. Home buyers are becoming more aware of the importance of having electrical permits. In my many years of serving Calgarians, I have seen countless numbers of home sales gone bad. Realtors can include sales conditions, request permits and inspection for any alterations done to the home. Obtaining this type of permit after the fact can be extensive, often requiring work be brought up to the current CEC standards.
3. No one wants to pay to get the same job done twice. Checking references and making sure your contractor is licensed, minimizes the likelihood of improper installation and future repairs. Reliable contractors will always insist permits are in place before they start work on your home. This can save frustration and costly repair bills.
Be wary of contractors who claim you don't need a permit!
Don't loose money when buying or selling your next home!
Don't get stuck in the dark!
If you have a new project you wish to get started, or you are concerned about a current contractor you are working with, I can help guide you through the process if previous work was done without a permit.
When is it acceptable not to get a permit?
If you are not altering, adding to, or changing the existing wiring, permits aren't usually required. i.e. changing fixtures or devices with one of a similar nature. Always check with your contractor and city office to make sure.
Please contact Real Canadian Electrician for all your permitting needs. Proudly serving Calgary and area.