If you have a plumbing situation, you obviously need a professional plumber to provide the best resolution. The question is, even as plumbers come in great numbers today, how do you know who’s right for you?
Consider the following when picking a plumber:
This is the biggest factor involved. Know if your prospective plumber has a license, and if he does, ask for evidence. What do you lose by hiring an unlicensed plumber? The job may fail inspection, and you may have to hire someone again to redo the job.
Insurance and Bond
For small project, you may not need an insured or bonded plumber, but for a big one, you certainly do. These two financially protect you whenever there are accidents or property damages resulting from the plumbers doing their job.
If a plumber tries to give you a quote over the phone, be suspicious. Professional plumbers will always take a look at the problem first before starting to work. When studying the quote, ask if it already includes labor, materials and a contingency for any issues. Some estimates look fantastic on paper until they skyrocket as the job continues.
Hourly Rate or Flat Rate
When asking for an estimate, ask whether you’ll be quoted a flat rate or an hourly rate plus materials. One problem with the second option is that though the prices of materials are fixed, you’ll end up paying more if the project takes long to complete. In any case, don’t sign the contract until you fully understand what’s in it.
Besides how much you need to pay, you should also know when you have to pay. Some plumbers go by “milestones” – when a part of the work is completed, you have to pay a certain percentage. Others charge by period of time – for instance, weekly, biweekly, etc. What you have to totally avoid is a plumber who requires you to pay the full quote at the beginning of the project.
It may seem automatic for plumbers to take care of the mess, but unbelievable as it may seem, some will actually just leave it for the homeowner to do the cleanup. Remember to ask whether cleanup is part of the quote, and if it’s not, you have to know why.
Guarantee or Warranty
Lastly, some plumbers will come back in a year’s time to check for issues and fix them if any, while others will wait for you to call them when there are problems. The point is to have some kind of warranty or guarantee, and it must be in writing. Why should you trust a plumber who can’t even stand by his own work?