Use these important questions to help you begin your plumbing selection process.
Question 1: Do you have license, registration, and insurance?
Yeah, it might sound like you’re pulling them over, but any plumber you hire should have the credentials. And you want to make sure that any other workers they’re using for the job has these credentials. Though there are good plumbers who don’t carry these, if things go sour you could end up paying a lot more out of pocket expenses because of their mistakes. Not worth it.
Question 2: Do you provide a written estimate up front? What are you charging me for before the job begins?
We did sneak two questions in because they’re both important and related. Many plumbers will charge for driving out and investigating your problem (service fees). So you’ll want to know what you’re going to be paying. And you also want an upfront estimate of all charges before the job begins. This includes parts that will be needed, delays, whether they’re charging by the hour or one flat-rate, and so on. You want it all listed up front so that you’re not surprised with hidden fees.
Look for a plumber who will charge by the mile-stone for bigger projects. Meaning that once one part of the job is done, you pay them before the next part begins. For small projects you can pay them when the job is done. Don’t ever pay for the job in full before it’s finished.
Question 3: Do you have a warranty or guarantee on your parts and labor?
Before you agree to anything, make sure they back up their work and the parts they use. It varies plumber to plumber, but many will agree to come back to fix problems that arise from their work or to replace equipment that breaks (usually within the year). Of course you want this promise in writing for your own records and in case you ever need it.
Question 4: What do you specialize in?
Find out what your prospective plumbers specialize in before you hire them. An excellent repair plumber might not be best suited for installing plumbing in a new home. Hiring a specialist can cut down on hourly-rates and assure that you get a good job done.
Question 5: Referrals and Credentials?
Plumbers have varying degrees of experience, and you want to make sure that they’re well-versed in the project you need finished. It’s recommended that the plumber you hire has 3-5 good references in different tasks. Do your online research. Being a part of the BBB or plumbers organizations are certainly good signs as it shows a dedication to their craft and a certain degree of authority.