A good electrician is a master at repairing electrical faults, installing new wiring and generally keeping power to your sockets! They are not someone that we typically need every day but when we do need one, finding a good one is vital. In the home, we usually need electricians to re-write or fix our existing systems and they're also the people we need when we're doing any form of renovation or remodelling work. Before hiring an electrician, it's important to decide exactly what work needs to be done. Be as thorough as possible so you can be absolutely sure what's required for the project. Minor repair work can sometimes be carried our by an electrician who is less expensive and may not have a lot of experience to call on. However, for major any major or more substantial projects, it's really important to find a skilled tradesman. Improper wiring is extremely dangerous and can lead to fires, putting everyone in your home at risk.
Don't simply hire the first electrician you find in the Yellow Pages - get recommendations first. Choose a few and get estimates prior to talking with each person to evaluate their skill level and their experience. Walk them through your project so that they understand what you're looking for and that they can give you the confidence that they know what needs to be done, how long it will take, how they'll tackle it and most importantly, the price.
In the UK, electrician's don't have to be licensed in the same way that they do in other countries, but they do need to be qualified. Make sure that you check out their qualifications and validate that they're insured. Damage caused by improper wiring can be substantial so this is very important. If an electrician can not provide you with proof of both, do not hire them - the risks are simply too high.
Ask the electrician about their experience. An established electrical company that has been in business for a while will often be a better choice than one that is just starting out, although new businesses may offer better prices to help get them established. If you feel comfortable with a new business, check that the electrician who will actually be carrying out the work has the right experience for the job at hand. If in doubt, ask them for references and check them. Electricians who have happy customers will do a good job for you.
Ultimately, your choice of electrician comes down to who has the best combination of price and experience, and with whom you felt most comfortable. It's worth getting as much as possible in writing so you have a detailed accounting of the job, the costs, and time for completion. This will help protect you if anything goes wrong.