When you decide to hire a professional plumber to oversee plumbing troubles of your home, you don’t just hire the first one you meet right away. There are practical factors that should be established first before any plumbing work starts. Below are some of the key questions that you should ask every plumbing contractor or company you meet.
Do you have a license?
This is very important since the plumbing system can only be repaired by professionals most of the time. Don’t ever forget to ask such a question and don’t just settle with their word for it. Verbal agreements are not good all the time as some of them may only be operating without a license. Possessing a license in plumbing means that the plumbing company is registeredto a governing body at a local or state level. Take a look at the licensing rules of your local area to know more about what to expect from their licenses.
The problem with unlicensed plumbing contractors or specialists is that their skills or work do not pass inspection. You will also have to face little recourse when you hire them despite what happened. Always ask about their license and make sure you get to see one.
Flat or Hourly?
Many plumbing contractors build up their clauses in contracts wherein it states that the homeowners will bear whatever costs there is to complete the job. When you get an estimate or quote, make sure that you ask whether you are given a quote that is either flat rate or hourly rate. Flat rate means that the rate won’t change due to labor costs, while hourly rate means the labor costs only, usually without the total cost of the materials. The problem with the fixed or flat rate is that when the job runs beyond the time that is expected to finish, there might be added costs that are not included in the initial rate. You need to make sure that you know what you are getting before signing a contract.
Are they offering the total cost?
Most plumbing professionals and contractors offer their estimates for free. However, you should be extra wary about those who want to give one through their phone. Legit and licensed professional plumbing companies visit the site personally to check out the degree of the problem. Once they have assessed the problem and provided the amount of the cost, ask whether their quote they provide you includes labor, materials, and contingency in case any other problems arise. Some estimates may look amazing on paper, but may only include the basic price of the materials and may skyrocket as the work goes on. Each local plumber is different and can package the price to complete your job differently. Don’t be afraid to question what is included in the price for the work. You won’t want to find that you thought installation and cleanup were all included in the price, only to learn later that you have to clean up the mess by yourself, and you still need to run to Home Depot to get a few more pieces and parts to complete the plumbing project. One company we know, Jiffy Plumbing, actually provides a plumbing bill of rights for all of their customers in order to make sure the scope of the plumbing project is laid out prior to any work being done.
When will you want the payment?
Don’t forget to ask the plumber when they want to be paid and how much of the entire cost do they want to be paid upfront. If the potential plumbing company asks for the whole amount before even the job begins, find another company. Some companies make use of milestones. It means that once a particular piece of work in the plan is completed, they ask for a percentage of payment.
Commercial Or Residential Plumbing Services?
You may not even realize it, but there are companies that specialize in larger jobs and only will work with large commercial buildings or properties. If you are trying to have a toilet repaired or replaced in your home, or want to replace your your existing shower, you want to find a residential plumbing contractor. Ignore any listings for commercial plumbers near you as they will often times charge a premium for their service because they specialize in this type of work. The plumber that handles installing all of the toilets at Fed Ex Field in Washington DC is not going to be the same plumber that will stop your toilet from running. Focus on local residential plumbers when doing your search, and you should have no problems finding a quality expert to fix your problem.