As with all professionals, no two plumbers are the same, and it can be difficult to know who would be good at their job and who might not live up to a quality plumbers’ reputation. You do not want to end up getting the short end of the stick and paying high prices for low-quality service and skill. This piece will help you determine the right plumber for you by asking some useful questions in order to help you make an informed choice and know what to look out for.
Look Out for A License
If you are going to resist the urge to try and fix something yourself – congratulations! Now all you need to do is not choose someone else who is also not officially licensed. It is important your plumber has trustworthy credentials so you know there is a good chance that they have a clear idea about what they are doing and how to fix your problem.
In most American states it is a legal requirement for plumbers to have a license, so do not feel embarrassed to ask. If your specific state requests that plumbers have licenses, those who are licensed would have had to have passed a series of tests to obtain it, and it is important you only choose someone who is qualified.
Check Their Insurance
Insurance is absolutely vital when it comes to choosing a plumber. Insurance will not only mean they are covered if an accident happens to anyone or something goes wrong with the plumbing, but it also gives you some kind of assurance that you will not be legally responsible if anything does happen. This is peace of mind that is not worth losing, so always check that your chosen plumber is insured and what type of insurance they have.
There is one main insurance policy to look out for which will cover the plumber and homeowner to varying degrees. Commercial general liability insurance helps cover any accidents that might occur while the plumber is carrying out work, including working with potentially dangerous tools or having to operate in small spaces. Worst case scenario might find you paying a contractor’s medical bills and lost wages if they do not have insurance of their own – so it’s just not worth the risk.
Estimated Total Cost of Job
Another important discussion you will want to have upfront when deciding on a plumber is the estimated total cost of the job you need doing. It is really important that homeowners are skeptical about quotes they receive over the phone and that they feel confident in asking for an itemized breakdown of a quote. This is not only so you can compare prices, but also so you know you are not getting ripped off.
If the estimates are similar to most plumbers, there is probably a good chance that it is a fair price. That being said, it is also important to be wary of those with lower prices. A cheaper option may very well be tempting, but it is crucial to ask yourself why someone is cheaper, and if that will, in fact, come back to haunt you in the not too distant future.
On the other hand, you do not want any unfortunate surprises. If a contractor undertakes the work that you need doing without you knowing what the estimated cost is, not only could they then charge whatever they wanted under the premise that the work has been completed, but even if they are being fair, the total could come to much more than you bargained for, which may leave you out of pocket or unable to pay the bill at all!
If you hire a plumber contractor without insurance, this means that if anything was to, unfortunately, go wrong, you would be on your own! You might be tempted by a lower price, or maybe the plumber that you have your eye on is available immediately, but whatever it is that has caught your attention will not be worth the cost or outcome if something goes wrong with an uninsured contractor.
This would also mean your home is not protected from accidental or permanent damage either, such as broken pipes, or even worse, a damaged sewer line, which means you could end up forking out much more money than you would have originally paid if you had used an insured plumber, not to mention all of the hassle that would come along with it too!
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Who Will Be Undertaking the Work?
Speaking to the actual contractors who will be undertaking the work is an important part of making your informed choice for a plumber. It is all very well speaking to someone from a business or contractors who are part of a team, but everyone is different with their own set of credentials, skills, and values, so make sure the person you are talking to, who you get the quote from, and whose licenses and insurance you check, is the actual person who is going to be completing your work.
Not only will you then know exactly who you are going to get, but you will know exactly what fees, costs, quotes, and work has been agreed upon. There will be far less room for misunderstandings, errors in communication, or ending up with someone that you have not vetted.
Preferred Payment Rate
This is also another crucial part of choosing a plumber. Some professional contractors will want to charge by the hour. If this is the case, ask more about their experience and how long they estimate it will take to carry out the work.
For those that offer a fixed rate for the job, there will be less worry about a professional taking more time than originally estimated. However, every contractor is different, and having the experience or reviews to back up their pay rate choice will significantly help you to choose the right plumber for you.