My Photo

August 2007

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Corporate Line

  • The individuals who post here work at Intuit and are some of the best and brightest. The opinions expressed here, while probably right and certainly smart, are their own, and are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. Sometimes, the author is audacious and decides to post an opinion without a buddy reviewing it, and at other times, he or she may seek counsel of a friend. Regardless, these opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Intuit or any other person or company. Although, since these people are smart to begin with, Intuit might agree with them - or might not.
Powered by TypePad


« My First Post...on Zipingo's Birth | Main | Grin and Share It »

December 19, 2005

Finding An Electrician

Alonso Electric, San Mateo, CA

Reviewed By ZipingoJim on Dec 19, 2005
Rating: ★★★★★
My house circa 1960’s with all the pre-space age technology that goes with it. One thing it did have was 100 amp service. Sounds like a good amount, but once you throw a hot tub, a few computers, a dryer, fridge and a plasma TV you are living on borrowed time. As part of converting a downstairs rec/storage room into a home office, I decided I certainly needed more power. It was time to upgrade to 200 amp service.

At first I thought hey, I am pretty handy maybe I can do this myself. Then a house down the street burned almost to the ground because of bad electrical in the garage. So yes, theoretically I could do it, but should I? Now that I had decided to seek professional help, I just needed to find good help. My parents weren’t useful, they just let me know that they also needed an and if I find a good one let them know. A friend down the street had one from his home addition, but said he was expensive.

With no good leads, I decided to use one of those sites where you describe the project and get people to bid on it. I got 3 responses within a few days, and each one came out to give me a bid. None of the 3 made me feel comfortable that they really understood the job, or had the best idea on how to do it.

A little background, I have an outside drop from a pole to the top front corner of the house. The roof has little or no slope to it, so it is impossible to get into the attic and get to where the pipe comes into the roof. The only solution from the 3 bids was to either a) “I have a really tiny friend” or b) rip open the ceiling of the living room to get to it. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that the friend was tiny enough, and the thought of cleaning up blown in insulation and re-dry walling the ceiling was not appealing. Also the sub-panel was in a closet in the kitchen, which was fine in 1960, but not up to code in 2005. That panel had to be moved somewhere else, preferably close and easy to get to since you have to patch all the electrical connections from the old panel to the new one.

In desperation I decided to call the electrician that was recommended by my friend John. This guy Frank did his house rewire for his remodel. Knowing he was going to be expensive, but not caring about price as much as having it done right, I called Frank and he came out. Frank had the best ideas for solving the problem. New drop outside the house coming in on the outer wall, going into the ceiling of the downstairs rec room, all the way back to the crawl space, and over into the garage for a new panel. No muss, no fuss, the ceiling of the rec room was already open since I was redoing it. The pipe coming into the house was behind a downspout so you can’t really see it anyway. The best part, because of his idea for how to do the job, it was less time, so his bid was $700 less than the cheapest bid from any of the previous 3 electricians.

I had Frank do the work; it was finished quickly and with almost no downtime for the electrical. With the money I saved from the other bids I had Frank rewire the rec room, install new halogen can lights, and new plugs for the computers on a dedicated breaker. It was a great experience, Frank dealt with the inspector and the permits, and I don’t trip breakers anymore, and have plenty of outlets in the new office.

Now I can recommend Frank to my parents so he can help them. As a first time homeowner most of the lessons I have learned so far have been expensive ones. This job was done cheaper and easier because the person was experienced enough to have an easy and creative solution to the problem. Frank worked smarter, and passed some of the savings onto me, and in return I can pass Frank onto other homeowners. So if you are in the and need an electrician, read my review, and give Frank a call.

Alonso Electric ~ ZipingoJim


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Finding An Electrician:


The comments to this entry are closed.