How to End Up with a Good Plumber
If you have a plumbing issue, you certainly need a professional plumber to give you the best resolution. The question is, even as plumbers come in great numbers today, how do you know who’s right for you?
Here are things to consider when choosing 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 do you lose by hiring an unlicensed plumber? His work may be rejected by inspectors, and you may have to redo the job all over again.
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. These two financially protect you whenever there are accidents or property damages resulting from the plumbers doing their job.
If a plumber tries to give you a quote over the phone, be suspicious. Professional plumbers will always come to look at the problem before they start to work. When looking at the quote, ask whether it already includes materials, labor and a contingency. Some estimates look great at first until the costs start piling up as the project goes on.
Hourly vs. Flat Rate
When asking for an estimate, ask whether you’ll be quoted a flat rate or an hourly rate plus materials. One problem with the second option is that though the prices of materials are fixed, you’ll end up paying more if the project takes long to complete. In any case, sign the contract only if you’re sure you’ve understood everything 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 use the “milestone” system – once a certain part of the work is done, you will need need to pay a specific percentage. Others go by time – for example, every three days, every week, etc. What you have to totally avoid is a plumber who requires you to pay the full quote at the beginning of the project.
This may sound like it has an obvious answer, but believe it or not, some plumbers will just leave their mess and let you clean it up yourself. Remember to ask whether cleanup is part of the quote, and if it’s not, you have to know why.
Guarantee or Warranty
Lastly, some plumbers will come back in a year’s time to check for issues and fix them if any, while others will wait for you to call them when there are problems. What’s important is that they provide a warranty or guarantee in writing. Why should you trust a plumber who can’t even stand by his own work?