Canadian Contractor


The family-owned electrical firm: A wife’s view

Kate's husband has a full-time job in the military, but he also runs an above-board, fully professional electrical firm

This is a post from Kate, the wife of an electrical contractor…  She is talking to someone who posted (not worth the link, it’s too stupid an idea to re-publicize) that contractors should operate with ZERO deposits….

I am the spouse of a small electrical contractor. I have worked in construction (admin side) for many years and have seen time and time again businesses phone for service, receive fantastic device and the job was done well. They do not pay because they themselves either do not have good cash flow, or that’s how they do business, by ripping anyone off they can.

My husband works full time in the Canadian military and is also a licenced, insured, electrical contractor. He does NOT do ‘side jobs’… everything he does is above board.

This means, as a legitimate contractor, thousands and thousands of dollars each year (each month in fact) he puts towards operating expenses. Yes, it’s not cheap to run a legitimate electrical contracting company. He pays as much as a one man, part-time operation as the ‘big guys’ do, only he makes a lot less money. He dies it because not only does he enjoy it, he wants to have a trade to fall back in when he retires or releases early from the military.

If one customer does not pay him, it can ruin him. We have money for cash flow, but as you I’m sure know, copper wire is very expensive, and a simple 50A breaker can be as much as $250 each.

I insist my husband receives a 50 per cent deposit if, for example, the parts are $1,000 for an $1,800 job. There is NO way I want some unscrupulous person to steal money from my family.

So for you to say to not give a deposit, if I don’t have a working relationship established with you, there is no way I would tell anyone to do business with you. As a customer, if you are going for the lowest price only, hiring electricians to do side jobs without permits, that is your fault and you should expect anyone who performs work illegally to also be the type who may rip you off. If you are dealing with a small, legitimate contractor you have never worked with before, expect to pay a reasonable deposit.


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