What Questions Should You Ask Before Hiring a Plumber?
With any luck, hiring a plumber is something you will not have to do very often. But whether it's a leaky faucet or a burst pipe, most of us will need to hire a plumber at some point in our life.
When the time comes, it helps to know what to look for in a reliable plumber. Proper planning can help you save you money, unforeseen repairs, time and headaches. But how do you get started in finding a plumber that will be professional and reliable? How can you know that you will be happy with the end result? Here are some questions you should ask:
1. Are you a licensed plumber?
A. Knowing that your plumber is licensed by the state is of the utmost importance. This means that your plumber has had a certain level of education and has passed a written exam. A plumber also needs a certain amount of training hours in order to become certified. The number of hours will vary by state. In order to keep an active license, a plumber is required to participate in continuing education. There are also certain rules and regulations that must be followed or the license can be revoked. It is wise to ask a plumber for their license number so that you can make sure that they are in good standing with the state.
2. Can I get an estimate of the total cost in writing?
A. Most plumbers will be able to give you an in person estimate. Be wary of anyone that wants to give you a quote over the phone. Review the estimate carefully with the plumber and ask if it is a flat rate or an hourly rate. If it is an hourly rate, ask the plumber how long he estimates the job to take. Does the estimate cover the cost of materials? Make sure that you get all the details in writing and that you are supplied with a copy of the quote.
3. Are you bonded and insured?
A. The answer to both should be yes. Liability insurance will ensure that you are not held legally responsible for any injuries that may occur during the course of the job. It will also make sure that Worker's Comp. is paid regardless of who is at fault. Incomplete or shotty work will be covered if your plumber has a bond. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that any damages to your property will be covered.
4. Is cleanup included in your estimate?
A. After the job is done, the last thing you want is to be stuck with huge cleanup. Make sure that the plumber has included cleanup costs into the estimate if there is an extra fee associated with cleanup.
5. Is your work guaranteed?
A. Before signing any type of contract, make sure that you know what type of warranty or guarantee is included. Will the plumber come back if anything goes wrong within a certain time period? What materials are covered? For how long? Make sure that the warranty is in writing also.
6. Are you experienced?
A. You will want to know that your plumber has at least several years of experience in the business. Does the plumber have experience doing jobs similar to the one that you need done? Ask for references and check them out. Are past customer satisfied with with the work? Would they recommend the plumber to a friend? A professional plumber should have no problem with providing a list of references.