Things to think about when hiring a plumber
Are they licensed and insured?
Many homeowners assume that all plumbers are licensed. This is not always true. Ensure the plumber you are hiring is licensed and insured. Your recourse in case of damages or mishaps depends on it!
Be wary of over the phone estimates
Asking a plumber for a price over the phone is like asking a mechanic what it’s going to take to fix your car. Plumbers who give prices over the phone don’t know all of the circumstances that surround your plumbing issue, and won’t until they complete an on-site assessment. Phone estimates are sometimes used as a tactic to lure a consumer into thinking that they are getting a deal, just to find out that the bill they receive wasn’t what they were quoted over the phone. Get a plumber onsite and ask for a total cost & hard quote to complete the work at hand.
Take caution in “Time & Material” plumbers
Plumbers who charge for “Time & Material” instead of giving fixed or hard quotes pose a problem for both them and you.
- How long is the job going to take? If you agreed to pay their hourly rate and it ends up taking the plumber longer, then you will end up footing the bill.
- Did the plumber send his best technician or the only one he had, which was the slowest?
- How much are the materials?
- Is he fully prepared to tackle the job, or will he need to make a run to the supply house? Will you pay for his time driving to the supply house as well?
- Are you paying his time from when he initially arrives at your door, or when he actually starts the work?
Set your expectations, and expect him to set his!
Some plumbers write a one line estimate that says something along the lines of “replace water heater.” This tends to be troublesome for you, the customer.
- What type of product is the plumber installing?
- Is it warrantied?
- What are the terms of the warranty?
- Will he clean up his mess when he’s done?
The list goes on and on, make sure both you and the plumber specifically agree in writing to the terms. If you have certain expectations, have the plumber document them on his quote prior to starting the work.
Know who you’re dealing with
Does the company you’re about to employ drug test and complete background checks on their technicians? Remember, this is your home or business we’re talking about!
- Check reviews and ask for references.
- Ask about the technician’s experience, and make sure he sits well with you. A first impression is most times the best indicator!
- Does the plumber have other staff he relies on? If not, when there’s a problem and he’s gone to the next job, will he answer your call?
- A profitable plumber has the cash capital and means necessary to complete the work to a higher standard and on-time, to buy and install better materials, and to warranty and stand behind that work, happily. Unprofitable and “cheap” plumbers won’t be around for much longer than to sell you a job and move onto the next, and possibly even go out of business before your job is done.