How to Hire a Plumber
If you have a plumbing issue, you certainly need a professional plumber to give you the best resolution. The question is, while there are many plumbers out there, how do you choose a real, reliable expert?
Consider the following when picking a plumber:
This is the number one factor you should look into. Ask your potential plumber if he is licensed, and he says yes, ask for proof. What’s with hiring an unlicensed plumber? His work may be rejected by inspectors, and you may have to redo the job all over again.
Insurance and Bond
For small project, you may not need an insured or bonded plumber, but for a big one, you certainly do. Both will protect you financially in case there are accidental injuries or property damages related to the project.
If someone would like to give you a quote on the phone, be wary. Professional plumbers will always come to check out the job before they begin. Upon studying the quote, know if it already covers labor and materials, as well as a contingency. Some estimates look fantastic on paper until they skyrocket as the job continues.
Hourly vs. Flat Rate
When you ask for an estimate, inquire whether you will be quoted a fixed rate or an hourly rate on top of the cost of materials. The issue with the second option is that while the materials’ prices are fixed, you can still end up paying more if the job drags long. In any case, sign the contract only if you’re sure you’ve understood everything in it.
Aside from knowing how much you have to pay, you also need to be aware of when you are expected to make the payment. With some plumbers, you have to pay a certain percentage of the total cost with each “milestone,” or a portion of the work that is completed. Others go by time – for example, every three days, every week, etc. What you have to totally avoid is a plumber who requires you to pay the full quote at the beginning of the project.
This may sound like it has an obvious answer, but believe it or not, some plumbers will just leave their mess and let you clean it up yourself. Remember to ask if the quote already includes cleanup, and if it doesn’t, ask 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. If a plumber can’t stand by the work they do, what reason have you to trust them?