Steve Edberg's Electrical Service

Steve Edberg's Electrical Service

16 years in business

About this pro

When it comes to working in your home I am very diligent. I appreciate that my job site is where you live and that I am merely a guest passing through for a moment. I am there at your pleasure so I try my best to always be as considerate as possible. I try to do things like clean up after myself as I work, I dispose of my own trash and scraps and try to keep all my tools and supplies in one place while I work. As a young man, before I got into this business, I once had to hire an electrician for my own house. I was unimpressed that while he worked he used foul language in front of my young children, he left tools spread out all over the inside and outside of the house and when he finished the job he left a mess and I had to go behind him and clean up all the scraps he left behind. That experience left a negative impression on me and when I work for you I strive not to be that guy. If you hire me I can promise you the utmost in professionalism and will always do my best to be as unimposing as possible.

As an electrician there is a lot to see and learn about all the time. This is a complicated field to be in and I find the work to be fun and challenging. My favorite type of job is troubleshooting circuits that aren't working. Sometimes it's easy to figure out what has failed but often it does take a little bit of detective work and digging through the clues of where exactly a circuit was ran and what caused it to fail. I take great satisfaction in figuring out and repairing a circuit that isn't operative. Recently I had a customer who had no power or lights in his attached garage. He searched himself for DAYS trying to figure out why there was no power there before finally giving up and calling me. Within an hour I was able to trace the dead circuit to an outlet in his half bath that passed power to the attached garage next to it. He admitted he never would have found the problem because that outlet box I found the problem in actually still worked. The problem wasn't in the wiring coming into the box but the back wiring that led to the garage. He was immensely happy and I took great satisfaction in helping him diagnose and repair this issue. I enjoy every aspect of being an electrician, but troubleshooting is my fortè. In my experience I've learned to never say that I have seen it all, because just when you start to think that something new pops up. To me, that's what keeps this job challenging, fresh and rewarding. 

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Warren, MI 48088
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

When a call, email or message comes in from a new customer, after finding out who they are and where the job is located, the first thing I need is what exactly are they looking to hire me for. My jobs fall under two categories. The first is electrical construction where we might be adding a circuit, changing a service panel, or even doing something simple like changing outlets and switches or hanging a ceiling fan. These jobs are usually for a flat rate and easier to price. Almost all jobs in this category will need a visit to your home in order to give a firm estimate, but I am not shy about giving a rough quote over the phone to a customer who can describe confidently the work that they need to have done and what they want me to accomplish. The second type of job I get is troubleshooting. These are usually impossible to price out before hand as you can never know how long it will take to repair a problem until you find where the problem is. For these type of jobs I typically charge an hourly rate with a minimum charge of one hour to show up and diagnose. When doing troubleshooting work I have about a 50% success rate at diagnosing within the first hour and 80% within two hours. Sometimes it can take several hours to locate a problem if it lies in the attic, crawl space, an enclosed wall or somewhere else that is difficult to access but this is unusual. After the diagnosis is made if I can't repair it right away (an example of this would be burned up wire or an improper connection that violated NEC code and should never have been made in the first place) we can discuss options for repair and then I can then usually give a firm estimate for the re-construction of the circuit.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I am a master electrician with 23 years total experience in my field dating back to 1996. I started as an electrician apprentice with Chrysler in 1996, graduated to journeyman in 1999, received my electrical journeyman license from the state Michigan in 2003 and my master electrician license in 2007. Over the years I have performed all kinds of industrial, commercial and residential electrical work. However I specialize in residential and might be too small for many commercial or industrial projects.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

As of January 2020 my standard labor rate is $100 per hour, billable in 15 minute (.25 hour) increments with a minimum charge of one hour. I also offer the following discounts on labor. (maximum two discounts per customer):

Senior citizen 60 and older- 10%

Active military or veteran- 10%

Returning customer- 10%

Referred customer- 10%

Local customer (5 mile radius)- 10%

Local customer (10 mile radius)- 5%

Most bids will include a standard, taxable fee of $10.00 for shop supplies like wire, Romex, wire nuts, electrical tape and other small miscellaneous hardware. For specific parts I need to obtain for your job, I charge the prevailing market cost you would find at Home Depot, Lowe's or Menards plus a 25% markup to cover my time to pick up the materials required. For decorative or preferential items such as light fixtures or ceiling fans, I prefer that the customer provides them for me to install but I am willing to purchase and pick up these items for a 25% markup if the customer shows me a specific product they want with a UPC or SKU number and where I can obtain it. For construction jobs I require a downpayment of 50% of the total bid or the entire cost of parts, whichever sum is greater.

How did you get started in this business?

I started out as an electrician apprentice in the auto industry back in 1996 working for FCA and I am still employed by them today. I pursued getting my state of Michigan journeyman electrician license in 2003 after I experienced my first layoff in the auto industry. I studied hard for the test and when I took it I am proud to say that I passed it with a score of 99%. At that time I started working with some friends who were laid off with me and we struggled just to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Shortly after things turned around and we were called back to work again. The next layoff hit us hard in 2007, just as the economy started to fall off again. While the banks and our employers were lobbying congress for a bailout, I was in Lansing, MI scoring 97% on the state master electrician test. At that point I decided that I would keep this master license and never be dependant on the peaks and valleys of the auto industry again. I still work for FCA because I am a vested employee who will ultimately qualify for a retirement pension and aside from the lean years, they have been a good employer who has taken care of me and my family well during the course of my career. I am still loyal to them but I also realize that I may not always be able to count on them so I am keeping this side business alive for now.

What types of customers have you worked with?

In the past I have worked with customers from all walks of life. Some have been very poor and desperate for help, others were well to do and could apparently easily afford my fee. When working with a customer I try to get a feel for their specific needs and do my best to tailor my costs for who I am working for. Of course sometimes that is difficult to do but I honestly will try my best to work with you and your situation as much as possible. I understand the difference between those who are stuck in a bad situation and are calling me out of desperation and those who are hiring me as a luxury. I always try to prioritize my jobs in order of importance and use common sense when making my schedule. Jobs related to electrical safety must always come first and anything that might be a potential fire or shock hazard will always be prioritized first.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Not long ago, Halloween morning this year actually, I got a Facebook message from a church member at 7:15 am asking if I could look at an outlet in his rental house that the tenant complained smelled like burning plastic and was hot to the touch. Within 10 minutes I was on the phone with the tenant and in the truck on my way over to diagnose the problem. It turns out there was a loose connection in the outlet and the back of it had started to melt the plastic housing. This was a serious fire hazard that absolutely had the potential to burn the house down. By 7:55 am, a mere 40 minutes after receiving the initial message that I was needed, I was walking away from that house with the job finished and the tenant was still able to get her kids to school on time. I can't respond to every job that quickly, but if I hear of a serious threat to your safety, your health or your property I will absolutely come running as fast as possible to try to help out. 

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

When looking to hire someone, electrician or otherwise, talk to your friends and family first. Odds are you are going to know someone who knows someone who is fair and can help. If you have a Facebook, sometimes a simple post asking for referrals will lead you to the right person for the job. This is probably horrible advice for me to give on this site as 99.9% of you reading this won't know me, but the truth is that people you know and trust should have an advantage over me as a complete stranger. That's only fair. If you still want to hire me after that, one consideration to account for is experience. Someone may charge a lower labor rate than somebody else but he may not always be your best deal. If I charge $80 per hour but manage to finish your job in 2 hours, you'll be better off with me than hiring someone who charges $50 per hour but takes twice as long to do the same task. Customer referrals are an important indicator of how well someone will work for you too. Again, this is shooting myself in the foot as I am brand new to this site and have not had a single referral here yet, but those with a proven track record of happy customers should probably be given preference to those professionals with no reviews or bad reviews. Also, take these reviews with a grain of salt as well. Sometimes bad reviews are given by customers who are impossible to please. You need to read between the lines and try to discern if a bad review is really warranted. If a contractor has just a couple bad reviews against a list of overwhelmingly good ones, that is likely a sign that he will be just fine. If he has a lot of bad reviews that might be a red flag. Anyways, that's my two cents on some things to look for when hiring a professional to do a job for you. Whatever you decide to do or whoever you may hire, I wish you the best of luck in getting the right person for your job. 😊

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