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Choosing the Right Electrician: An Interview with Carrie Tishhouse of Tishhouse Electric, Inc.

By Carrie Tishhouse

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Tishhouse Electric originally opened for business in 1998. Carrie transitioned to contractor of record and 100% owner after spending many years as Stephen's office manager. Stephen brings almost 30 years as a Master Electrician, and more than 30 in the electrical trade overall as a Journeyman Electrician, and provides all the onsite estimating and job site management. We have a staff of licensed Jouneyman Electricians and Apprentices that are enrolled in qualified education classes as well as OTJ training.

What are some of the services your company provides?

Tishhouse Electric, Inc. is a State of Michigan certified WBE (Woman Business Enterprise) company that provides quality electrical contracting services for residential, commercial and industrial needs. We pride ourselves on providing the most accurate electri¬cal work and detailed free estimates so that customers know exactly what they are purchasing. Tishhouse Electric offers a one-year warranty on all electrical work, as well as service calls, remodels, and service upgrades. We are a factory certified dealer for Generac Generators; Sales, Service, and Installation. We are also available 24 hours for emergency calls.

Please explain the three most important qualities an electrician must possess.

An electrician must be safety conscious most of all- and then highly skilled in doing the most accurate work, and be able to communicate with the customer in terms that they can understand.

Why is it important to pick an electrician that is licensed and insured?

In my opinion, there are too many handyman companies or individuals that are willing to do electrical work, but they aren't necessarily qualified. By hiring a licensed and insured electrical contracting company, a lot of the risk has been removed for the customer. They have some piece of mind in moving forward that the company in qualified to do the work they are being hired to do.

In your opinion, is it better to have an electrician who focuses on one aspect of the trade more, or who is more generalize?

There are definitely specialized areas for electrical work. You will always find an electrician that is better at bending industrial pipe than he is a wiring a house. We try to keep a balanced crew with varied experience employed so that we can place them where the need arises, and also be able to give them experience that they might not otherwise get working in the same field all the time.

What advice do you have for someone who found an electrician they can afford, however perhaps he/she doesn't have the experience they want?

Affording a good electrician may not be as expensive as they think- when you consider the added expense of fixing what the first guy did wrong, a house fire due to poor wiring etc. Also- some companies can offer credit programs if that will help their customer.

Any other tips on choosing the right electrician and/or why your services are desirable?

Always get more than one estimate for a project that is large. Even a small project. Find a contractor that will provide estimates for free if possible. Some require a fee for estimating, which is taken off the final bill if the work is approved. We always provide our estimates in writing, and provide a lot of detail so that our customers can confidently move forward with their project. Getting an estimate that says "wired to code" tells a home owner nothing. Telling them that they'll be provided with a certain number of devices in each specific room lets them know that they can count them up and know that they got what they paid for.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

We are on the web at www.tishhouse.com; Facebook as well for all the tech savvy folks out there. Otherwise our phone number is 269-226-9110 and our fax is 269-226-0232. We also communicate a lot with our customers via email: carrie@tishhouse.com.

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