Before hiring a plumbing contractor, there are a few practical things you have to consider. Over the years, you might have heard a few horror stories about new plumbers who might have ruined someone's plumbing system or have had a few complications along the process of the job. From these stories, you can now understand how important it is to take the time in finding an experienced and reputable plumbing contractor.
There are few things more stressful in the home than a disaster with pipes or fittings. In trying to keep calm, fix the problem and limit the damage, you will often reach for the phone and call the first available expert.
But it pays, whether you are in the suburbs of North Virginia or the Hurley-burly of the New York metropolis, to ask a few questions and get the best help. Asking the right question will lead to more better answers & will eventually help you on the whole.
If you want to make sure that your plumbing system is in good hands, here are a few key questions that you can ask the plumber:
- Are you licensed?
This is the most important question to ask a plumbing contractor. Do not just take their word for it, but ask them to show you proof. Several companies operate without a license, and many homeowners assume that every plumber has one. Being a licensed plumber means that they are registered with a governing body within the state or locality they are in. For more information, you can always look up the licensing rules for your area online. The problem with having a good plumber who is not licensed would mean that the work they offer has not passed a proper inspection.
- What is the total cost?
Most professional plumbers will offer their customers a free estimate for the job, but be careful if they want to provide their estimate over the phone. They should come over to your place and check out the job before they start the work. Once your prospective plumber has checked the job, they can provide you with the total cost including the materials, labors, and a contingency plan for any problem. Some estimates will look good on paper, but it will only include the necessary costs of the materials, and as the job goes on, you might be surprised if the price increases.
- When should I pay?
You want to find out when the plumber expects to be paid and how much of the total cost should be paid up front. If the plumber asks you to pay for the complete total before the job starts, it is best you walk away. Ideally, you would want to pay your plumber by milestones. Once they finish an individual piece of work, you can pay a certain percentage. Some plumbers will also base the payment on the time spent. After a specified number of days or weeks, you can pay a certain portion of the total cost. Nonetheless, be careful about this process because some plumbers will work slowly on purpose to receive a higher payment.
- Who will complete the work?
Professional plumbing companies regularly employ more than just one plumber for larger projects. You always want to ask if the plumber who is giving you the quotation is the one who will complete the job. If not, you want to ask who will do the job and what level of experience and qualifications they have. If you are uncomfortable with the answer or if the plumber does not provide complete details, you may want to keep looking for another plumbing company.
- Will you clean up the mess?
This should already be an obvious answer, but some plumbing companies will not clean up after themselves once the project is done. They will end up leaving the homeowner with the old parts, scraps and debris, boxes from the new materials, and a huge mess. Ask if clean-up is included in the quote, and if not, ask why. Some companies even charge additional for clean up, and the cost should not even be worth it.
- What if something breaks?
Before signing a contract, you want to know if they are bonded and insured and offer warranty for the services they provide. Some will come back within a year to fix any problem, while others will service only particular fixtures such as the bathroom or other parts under certain conditions. You also want the warranty coverage to be correctly written in the contract.
Hiring a professional plumbing contractor or if you are going for online plumbing parts it can be a challenging task, but by asking the proper questions, it can assure you that your plumber will be doing a good job and will not leave you with a half-baked project.