Whether it’s a plumbing emergency or scheduled maintenance, hiring a plumber is a task most homeowners will face. Sure you can search online for a list of business names, but do you know the right questions to ask to make sure you’re getting a qualified, experienced and reasonably priced plumber? Here’s a list of ten questions you should ask before hiring a plumber:
Are You Licensed?
An important question to ask! Especially considering that licensing is required, but different states have different requirements. Each state’s government provides a contractor license search on their website. Hiring a licensed plumber will be better for any damages caused in your area. Licensed plumbers are those who have been given the certificate by a Master Plumber from their state. Never hire a non-licensed plumber!
2. What Will the Cost Be?
Estimates are an important part of the process and a good plumber will always be willing to provide one verbally and in writing. Always get written proof of anything communicated for your records. Discussing possible scenarios will help avoid unexpected costs. As you review the estimate, be sure labor and parts are included. Then you can ask if the estimate will be the total cost for all services-saving you from unexpected fees.
3. Is the Quote a Flat Rate?
When getting an estimate, be sure to ask if the total you are being quoted is a flat rate. A flat rate means that the cost will not change regardless of the hours of work. Some plumbers use an hourly rate plus the cost of materials. While materials may be a fixed price, if the job runs on longer, the cost will keep going up while you pay for labor. Many plumbers build clauses into contracts that say homeowners will bear any reasonable costs to complete the job. Be sure of what cost and rate you are agreeing to before you sign a contract!
4. When is Payment Due?
Know what to expect when hiring a plumber. If they ask for 100% paid up front, run!A good plumber will work with you on a milestone system, requiring a certain percentage at different stages. For a simple job, however, a payment schedule may not be necessary. Yet, for more extensive jobs, terms should be known up front. It is always good to know how a plumber expects to be paid. Many plumbers require a payment of 10-15% up front and 50% once the job is started. Always ask!
5. Who Will be Doing the Work?
Professional plumbing companies often have several hired plumbers and larger teams of laborers. When speaking to small companies, the one giving the estimate will probably be the one doing the job. All of the plumbing crews at Linthicum Plumbing & Drain Cleaning plumbers are trained and experienced, ready to answer any questions about their license and qualifications. We understand your concerns and are prepared to help.
6. Is Clean Up Included?
Never assume all plumbers clean up after themselves! While some do haul away old parts, homeowners could be left with a pretty big mess on their hands. Ask if clean up is part of the quote. Some companies may charge for clean up in addition to completing a job or you may choose to do it yourself. Better safe than sorry! Don’t forget to ask!
7. Is Your Work Guaranteed?
Get the specifics before signing a contract! Written proof will always be your friend. You should know what warranty and guarantee comes with the plumber’s work. Some will promise to come back within a year and fix any problems. Others may offer services on certain fixtures or under certain conditions. Protect yourself by inquiring.
8. Are You Bonded And Insured?
Make sure your plumber is bonded and has the appropriate insurance to cover any accidents that may occur. Choosing a bonded plumber protects you in case of damage, incomplete jobs, or if the plumber neglects to pay their technicians. It is always worth it to know if your plumber is bonded and insured.
9. Do You Have References?
Be sure to have at least 3 reliable references for your plumber. Do not be afraid to ask for them! The more informed, the better decision you will be able to make. A good plumber has plenty of experience. Get references before signing a contract.
10. How Experienced Are You?
Typically, the more experience, the better the work. Ask your plumber how long they have been working in the field. A professional will make you feel secure about their work and career, making a trustworthy impression.
As you are doing research in hiring a plumber, be sure to make a call to Linthicum Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Inc. where you’ll find experience and qualified plumbers!