If you came here expecting to see a DIY then I am sorry, you’re not going to get one! As much as I LOVE a good DIY… I mean I have DIY’d insulation, a shed, and even furniture, there are a few things around my house that I refuse to try my hand at… electrical, plumbing and gas are my big three. Whenever I find myself in need of one of these services, I hire an expert.
I’ll happily admit that when it comes to electrical, I know nothing. Nada. Zip! So when “J” and I decided it was time to have a chandelier installed in our dark dining room we knew we couldn’t do it ourselves.
Ok hold up, let’s take a step back… our dining room did not come with a light fixture in the centre of the room. Nothing to illuminate our table. Nothing to allow us to see our food. Just a big ol’ empty ceiling. Hard to believe, right?
So in early October “J” and I began looking for a Licensed Electrical Contractor to run the electrical for our new dining room light. Sounds exhausting, right? Nope, it’s easier than it sounds! After a quick search on the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) website, I had the contact info for three reputable LEC’s in my area!
After collecting and analyzing quotes from each of the electricians, I selected one that I felt had a good understanding of the project, could work with the scope and timeline I had given, and had a solid reference: Todd Eby of Eby Electric.
On install day “J” and I cleared the room completely of obstacles and furniture, freeing up space for Todd to work easily. Todd arrived promptly at 8:30am with documentation in hand: his master licence and ECRA/ESA number, showing he was qualified to do the work. I’ve learned there’s a huge difference between those who “can” do the work, and those who are “qualified” to do the work. In fact, the only contractors who can legally be hired to work on electrical in your home are Licensed Electrical Contractors. If your contractor refuses to share this documentation with you, it can be a huge red flag! So run. Run fast!
Todd quickly got to work drilling holes and cutting drywall in the areas we discussed. During our consultation, he suggested that the ceiling joists might present a problem and we wouldn’t know the difficulty level of the project until we cut into the closet wall and bulkhead. You can imagine the look on my face when Todd turned and said, “well, this is going to be easier that we initially thought. If you like I can install some LED potlights.” Potlights!!!?? You mean there will be MORE light!!?? Yes please! At this time I learned how flexible an electrical permit can be. One permit covers work on up to 10 devices, so Todd could easily add another light switch and four potlights to the existing permit.
What’s a permit you ask? Basically, it’s a document that is submitted to the ESA outlining the electrical work that will be done and how many devices will be installed/altered/upgraded. A permit can only be taken out by the party who is doing the work, so in our case Todd was the one who took out the permit before the work started. It’s also important to note, most electrical work requires a permit and inspection from the ESA; even simple tasks like updating wired smoke detectors and light fixtures, so make sure you know the rules!
Once the potlights were successfully installed, Todd moved onto the pièce de résistance… the chandelier! I ordered a beautiful Kichler chandelier from WayFair Canada, making sure it was CSA approved. Only light fixtures that carry a certification mark or sticker are permitted to be installed in Ontario homes; the most popular for Canada is CSA certification.
In no time the chandelier was installed and flooding the room with LIGHT! The room instantly looked inviting, warm and cozy! I was so excited. So. Excited!!! After close to 15 minutes of me gushing over my new lights, Todd departed and informed me the ESA inspector would arrive for an inspection the following week. As promised, Kyle Lundy (the ESA inspector in my area of Ontario) showed up, inspected Todd’s work, and provided me with a certificate of inspection showing all my new light fixtures passed. Woohoo!
The difference the new lights make is incredible! For a minimal investment, I am now going to be able to see my food… see my guests… and generally enjoy the ambiance! Exactly what I was going for!
Have you worked with an Licensed Electrical Contractor to upgrade or install new lighting? What was your experience?
Disclosure: I am partnering with the Electrical Safety Authority to educate my readers on the importance of electrical safety. All opinions and experiences are my own.