If you’re dealing with plumbing problems, you definitely need a professional plumber to solve them. The question is, even as plumbers come in great numbers today, how do you know who’s right for you?
Here are vital considerations to be made before you pick a plumber:
This is the most important factor of all. Ask your potential plumber if he is licensed, and he says yes, ask for proof. What’s with hiring an unlicensed plumber? Your project may not pass inspection, and you may have to redo everything.
Insurance and Bond
You may not need an insured or bonded plumber for small projects, but if you’re hiring someone for a big job, then these two are a must. 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 Rate or 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, don’t sign the contract until you fully understand what’s in it.
You don’t only have to know how much you need to pay, but also when the payment will be expected. 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 if the quote already includes cleanup, and if it doesn’t, ask why.
Guarantee or Warranty
Lastly, there are plumbers who will commit to come back after a year to check for problems and fix whatever needs to be fixed, while others will ask you to call them if issues occur. The most important thing is that they give you a guarantee or warranty, and it should be in writing no less. If they can’t stand by their own work, why should you trust it?