Low Voltage Contractor: Tips On Finding the Right Services

Do you have a big construction job that needs a low-voltage contractor? Whether it’s the organization of an existing structured cabling system, setting up networks, or adding security systems, you want to hire the best for the job.

Taking the time to research and vet out potential subcontractors is well worth the effort and helps ensure a successful finished product.

There are several best practices to utilize when searching for and eventually hiring the right Low Voltage Contractor for your project. Let’s delve into these steps to ensure you make the right choice and achieve your goals seamlessly.

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6 Places To Find Low Voltage Electrical Contractors

1. Trade Association Membership

There are national and local Low Voltage Trade Associations, and they are happy to share their membership list. Members will be licensed, properly educated, trained, and experienced. 

low voltage cabling installation

2. Safe & Sound Security

If you are looking for a trusted low-voltage contractor with extensive experience in low-voltage systems, access control systems, and other technological advances, we can help you.

At Safe and Sound Security, we have highly skilled technicians and electricians. Our extensive experience, proven track record, stellar reviews, and commitment to excellence guarantee top-notch service that exceeds your expectations.

3. Electrical Union Local

If your project requires union tradesmen, a call to the local union may get you a list of low-voltage electrical contractors who sign the union agreement in the project’s locale. 

4. Web Presence

Not all good contractors belong to an association or are union, so do a Google search as a second pass. Try searching for “Low Voltage Wiring Contractors” or narrow it down to a specialty such as “Audio Visual Technician,” “Low Voltage Cabling,” or real specific “Alarm Systems,” etc. You get the idea.

Get a feel for the company by checking out their website and looking for clues about their experience. You can usually spot “trunk slammers” (tradesmen who work out of their car with little or no web presence or office) by an outdated or non-existent website.

When in doubt, google map their street address, and if it is a residence, keep looking elsewhere unless you want to take a chance with a probable lowball quote. 

Warning: Google has a LOT of outdated/bad data, so you will learn to spot and ignore what doesn’t exist.

Clues to look for on a Low Voltage Subcontractor’s website:

  • Types of systems they install
  • Geographic location and reach
  • Industries for which they have performed work (i.e., retail, industrial, government, etc.)
  • Lists or logos of companies they have performed work for
  • Lists of projects they have completed
  • Case studies of projects that have been involved with, ideally with descriptions of innovative solutions to difficult situations
  • Check out reviews and read what people have said about them. If the reviews aren’t on their website, look for links to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts. Posts and reviews on these sites also help provide a “feel” for the company.

5. Business Directory

Like the old-fashioned Yellow Pages, online directories such as Yelp.com can be searched for businesses of all sorts. Yelp also provides a crowd-sourced review forum, but there is some controversy over the accuracy/validity of Yelp reviews.

6. Word of Mouth – or Existing contract

Ask others whose opinions you respect. If your project is in an existing facility, ask the building owner, healthcare facilities, or property manager if they have a preferred low-voltage electrical contractor for network cabling services and if they are open to others.

What is a Low Voltage Contractor?

A low voltage contractor specializes in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems that operate at voltages lower than 50 volts, such as security systems, intercom systems, audiovisual equipment, telephone systems and telecommunications infrastructure, fire alarms, occupancy sensors, and data networks.

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How To Get A Quote

Reach out to the companies on your list via your preferred method: email from their website or call them (my preferred, if the list is short… ask for an estimator). This does NOT necessarily mean a low bid.

There is also Invitation to Bid software that major electrical and general contractors use, but that is another subject.

Ensure you have the information they need to give you a comprehensive quote.

Details may include:

  • A brief description of the overall project and a summary of what the low voltage scope of work involves
  • How they can access the plans and specifications for the project (if any)
  • The date and time they are required to get you a quote.
  • An approximate schedule of when the project construction begins and when their work must be started and completed. Big projects may have their work happening a year or more out from the date of the bid.
  • Any infrastructure visit date/times for an existing facility that they need to attend.

How to Hire a Good Low Voltage Contractor

low voltage contractor network wiring

How responsive they are to your request can indicate a quality company. Once you receive a quote, ideally on time and from at least three different companies, you can compare the bottom line dollar amount and how comprehensive the quote is laid out.

Is it vague or detailed? Do they include all the scope items you need them to? Are you comparing apples to apples amid the quotes, or do you have apple, orange, or kumquat?

Once you are satisfied you have comparable quotes, you can dig even deeper into the company’s reputation, experience, culture, and more. Consider:

  • Ask for references – Owner, General Contractors, or Electrical Contractors they have previously worked for. Then call those and ask questions.
  • If it’s not on their website, ask for a list of relevant projects they have completed, including the year completed, what industry, and the amount of their contract.
  • Are they community-minded? A company that supports local and national charitable efforts demonstrates a level of integrity that is always desirable.

Face-to-face “Scope Review” meetings are also desirable before awarding a contract. Have the contractor come to your office and meet them personally to get a feel for how professional they appear and how well they communicate. 

Benefits of Hiring Low Voltage Contractors

Specialized Task Execution

Low-voltage contractors specialize in the intricacies of low-voltage systems, ensuring that your project is handled with precision and expertise. These professionals have extensive experience with low-voltage systems.

Their focused skill set allows for efficient installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of systems like data cabling, structured cabling, wireless access points, security cameras, networking infrastructure, access control, ethernet cable or internet installation, and audiovisual setups.

Error Minimization in Access Control Systems

With their specialized knowledge and experience, low-voltage contractors minimize the risk of errors during the installation of low-voltage systems.

This reduces the likelihood of technical issues, malfunctions, and costly downtime on wireless access control and security systems, providing peace of mind for clients.

Adherence to Regulatory Standards

Low-voltage contractors stay updated on industry regulations, codes, and standards, ensuring that all installations meet legal requirements and safety guidelines.

By adhering to regulatory compliance, whether old or new construction, they mitigate critical and potential risks and protect the business and management from non-compliance.

Expertise in Materials & Equipment

Low-voltage contractors possess in-depth knowledge of the latest materials, technologies, and equipment used in low-voltage systems. They use the latest technology in the industry to provide quality services for businesses.

Cohesive Implementation & Consistency

Hiring professionals promotes cohesion and consistency throughout the project lifecycle. From initial design and planning to implementation and ongoing maintenance, their cohesive approach ensures seamless integration of systems and other devices and consistent quality of artistry.

Enhanced Support & Maintenance

Low-voltage contractors offer comprehensive support and maintenance services beyond the initial installation. This proactive approach minimizes disruptions and maximizes the lifespan of the solutions and technologies.

Conclusion

The decision of which company to hire under subcontract for the project depends on many factors, with the best choice being the one that will help the project succeed in cost, schedule, and quality.

This “due diligence” method of finding and hiring a low-voltage subcontractor may seem like a lot of work, but it helps assure project success.

These strategies help build a database of quality companies in all disciplines for bidding on future projects. If you need low voltage contracting services, feel free to contact us.

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