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|Business Categories||Electrical in Fairfax, VA|
The question is great for some industries and non-applicable for others. A general contractor, for example, will by definition employ subcontractors. Most Fairfax Electrical companies do not, but there are exceptions. You should always ask this question to your service providers. If they do use subcontractors, ask if they're all licensed and insured independently.
Always ask for references, and always check them. Keep in mind though that the only references you'll get are people who the contractor is certain will give him a good review. You'd also be well advised to check online review sources in Fairfax as well, which will give you a broader view of customer satisfaction for a given company.
This is very important, since an estimate is just that. Many contractors will submit a "paper estimate", meaning they've written the estimate down on paper. The bill is the true amount owed and will almost always say "Invoice" or "Bill" at the top of the page. The bill should also list the date it was issued, the due date of payment, and a list of services rendered.
Many jobs in Virginia will require municipal permits in order to be approved by the town's inspector. It's always good to ask who will be responsible for pulling those permits, and if you'll be expected to do it. You'll almost never be told to pull your own, but knowing that Fairfax Electrical permits are required makes you appear to be a well informed customer.