Mike Holmes has long been a trusted name in home maintenance and repair across Canada. This post originally appears on his blog at

When renovating there are some jobs that are best left to the professionals. While legally, electrical repairs can be done by homeowners I would always recommend you hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to do the job. Why? Electric work is not something you want to take a risk with, because if DIY electrical work is done incorrectly it can result in electric fires or fatal electric shocks. This can not only damage your property but it can endanger you and your loved ones as well. 

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA),  always advises employing a professional since they have the tools, knowledge, and experience needed to complete electrical work in a safe manner. They will also be aware of and follow the most up-to-date national and provincial or territorial codes. 

Can A General Contractor Do Electrical Work?

You wouldn’t think twice about hiring a professional lawyer or mechanic, and you would never trust an uncertified doctor to perform surgery, so why would you trust an unlicensed contractor to do electrical work in your home? Unless they are a Licensed Electrical Contractor, your handyperson or general contractor cannot perform electrical work in your home. Even  Certified and Master electricians are not permitted to perform electrical installations on their own.

Who Should You Hire To Do Your Electrical Work?

With a few exceptions, such as HVAC installers, the only professionals legally permitted to perform electrical work in your house are Licensed Electrical Contracting businesses (LECs).

LECs are the only electrical business authorized to offer electrical work to the public in Ontario. It is also the only business that can file permits with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) to inspect and ensure the safety of the electrical work completed in the home or business. 

What Is The Difference Between Certified Electrician, Master Electrician, and Licensed Electrical Contractor?

Certified Electricians are individuals who work for Licensed Electrical Contractors and are authorised to perform electrical work as their employees. Master Electricians work for LECs to manage the work of Certified Electricians.

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