Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Most of my work is for three General contractors. we have worked together for 25 or more years doing a verity of projects. One of them does remodel jobs on UC Berkeley campus, another is a remodel expert on upper class homes, and the other does only kitchen and bath remodels. They are my priority, and I have found Thumbtack to help with any slack time. Other than Thumbtack and an occasional ad on craigslist I have never had to advertise as all my jobs come from happy clients referrals.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. If possible do your homework, check that they are licensed and insured. Talk to them on the phone or in person, look for any red flags. Try to verify their work experience and make sure the job you want is one they are competent of doing. Get more than one bid, three is the minimum. Look at their work vehicle is it properly set up are their tools sufficient for the work you need?
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Electricity can be dangerous and should only be worked on with the knowledge of someone familiar with it. It can be done safety if the proper parts are used correctly as mistakes can cause fires or worse. If you want to do your own work read a quality book and ask advice if you are unsure. If you are in doubt call on a professional.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. You could ask a friend or neighbor, but Thumbtack really does the work for you, now it's up to you to make the most intelligent decision.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I have over 30 years of hands on electrical installations and service calls. My father was a home builder contractor and I started helping him in my teens. I wired my first solo job with dad at age 15. I worked with five other electrical contractors after college and then joined IBEW 302 in CoCo county and am still a current union member contractor. I have done several high tech jobs for Chevron installed a complete fire-smoke-flash detection system in their jet fuel lab. I made from scratch a frequency drive motor speed control for eight large 2 hp fan units. I worked for Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on control wiring for the cyclotron and ran 4" rigid conduit in parallel for emergency power back-up. I have wired literally hundreds of homes and several hundred remodels. I have invested thousands of dollars in state of the art professional modern tools and equipment to facilitate the ease of installation and to keep the cost down . Doing the job right the first time and caring for every installation as if it were my own.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Electricity is a science and requires a solid knowledge and background. Also it's codes and technical aspects are constantly changing and improving. As a IBEW member I am able to take advantage of their ongoing electrical training every year.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. One of the most asked questions is "why does my circuit breaker keep tripping?" Most of the time it is doing what it is made to do. Circuit breakers or fuses are set to trip at a given amperage and when that threshold is exceeded it will trip. Take your kitchen for example, a average microwave is 1200 watts divided by 120 volts equals 10 amps your refrigerator may take upwards of 1000 watts equals 8.3 amps. Now when you hit the toaster you have gone over the 20 amp capacity of the circuit breaker so it will trip. Most all track homes are built to the minimun code standards. If you have a large set of appliances you may need more circuits installed.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. My first job after I got my state contractors license in 1985 was to completely rewire the Richmond Yacht Harbor. It was a huge undertaking for a young man and took over three years to complete. I installed a separate meter and outlet for each boat berth. I ran overhead wires on hand crafted telephone type pole and installed underground conduit and all new conduit on the floating docks. I was very proud of that accomplishment.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I have been in business as a licensed insured contractor for over 33 years, I have a very good reputation and guarantee all my work. I have passed my background check, and have never had any arrest or even a traffic ticket in over 30 years. Up till last year I held the electrical service position for all of Wells Fargo Banks from San Jose to Concord area, however it became much to demanding as when they called many times I had to stop what I was doing and travel to fix their problem immediately.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I was brought up in construction My father was a contractor my Uncle was a building inspector I started taking electronic classes in eighth grade in high school and thru college. I truly love my work as every job is a new and challenging experience. I strive for perfection.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. I have a ongoing contract with UC Berkeley and have the job of replacing all of the old outdated lights in many of their parking structures. I have found that the new LED flood light can give as much or more lighting lumens than the outdated fluorescent lighting at a much lower cost. A LED flood uses 30 watts compared to 160 watt tube fixture. I received many compliments from staff and students on these jobs.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Every electrician MUST have a license to be a certified electrician. (MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THIS) Every two years the electrician must take a minimum of 32 hours of continuing education. I am lucky to be a member of IBEW 302 and all classes are free and it is encouraged to take as many different classes as possible.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. My favorite new technology is the LED light. This can save hundreds of dollars over the life of the bulb. It uses 80percent less power and will last up to 20 years!!!
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. I do an average of two to four jobs per week. some of the larger remodel jobs can last 2-4 weeks. Every job is different and the cost varies
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. The cost of a job will vary on the complexity and accessibility. I bid my jobs at $75 per hour. My price has not changed in over 15 years. Remember you get what you pay for don't pay for what you don't get.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Start to study electrical theory, read all you can on electronics and electrician training. This is not a job you can just wake up one day and say I'm an electrician. It is a skill you will develop over many years. Actually you never quit learning. Also it is important to learn construction of buildings as you need to interact with other trades and do so without conflicting or impeding their work.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. Knowledge is power!
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. I am "Old School" and I need to reach out to all the younger people who work with social media and get into a website and Facebook so all that need quality professional work can find me
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Have you looked on the CSLB to check the suggestions on how to hire a contractor. Check his credentials license and insurance and bond. If something goes wrong on his work you can not win a lawsuit against an unlicensed contractor.