Thinking about hiring a plumber? Here are 8 questions to ask before you do.
1. Are you properly licensed to be a plumber?
Plumbing is a highly technical field. Plumbers are challenged on a daily basis with careful calculations, precise tasks, and more. Because of this, you want to make sure your plumber knows exactly what he/she is doing. The answer to this question can help you determine that.
For example, our plumbers are required to complete four years of apprentice work and go to school to earn their Journeyman’s license in order to fully understand plumbing and HVAC services. We want to ensure a job done right the first time.
2. Can you provide proof of insurance?
Ask your plumber if they and their company are properly insured to perform plumbing services? That way, if anything should happen to your property (or a neighbor’s), you won’t be held responsible for the damage.
3. How are your prices calculated?
Before hiring a plumber, you’ll want to get a better idea of how much any services are going to cost you. Find out if they charge by the hour, or if everything is a flat-rate price. Additionally, if they offer emergency plumbing services, you’ll want to find out ahead of time if there will be an additional charge should you ever need these services.
4. What will an estimate include?
If you don’t know much about plumbing, ask if you can get a detailed, written estimate of any services before hiring a plumber. A plumbing service may include pricing for materials, labor, and any contingencies. By getting a written or detailed estimate, you’ll be able to avoid any hidden costs later on.
5. Will you be able to tell me what caused the problem?
Once your plumber figures out the problem, ask them what exactly caused the issue in the first place. If it’s something you can control—like what you’re putting down your drains—you can try to avoid repeat issues in the future.
6. Do you offer warranties and guarantees on services?
Ask your plumber if they offer warranties or guarantees on their services, should your plumbing issue reoccur or something goes wrong after the plumber leaves. Nobody wants to have to pay for the same service twice if something didn’t go quite right.
7. Who will be doing the work?
If your plumber works with a team, the plumber who gives you an estimate might not be the one doing the service. If this is the case, find out who will be doing the work and what their qualifications are.
8. When do you want payment?
Your plumber may ask for a deposit on services, or they may wait until the service is complete to ask for payment. However, if a plumber asks for all of the money up front, this is a big red flag. No reputable plumber should be charging you for a service before it’s completed.
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