Choosing a Licensed Plumber
Are you considering hiring a contractor to solve a plumbing problem? We have the right questions that you need to ask the plumber before you do! The answers will help you choose a plumber who is qualified to solve both minor and major issues. They will also prevent you from hiring the wrong plumber – a mishap that could result in major plumbing issues that could cost you thousands.
1. What is the estimated total cost of fixing your plumbing problem?
Homeowners should be careful, if not skeptical, about quotes you receive over the phone. Good plumbers typically want to see and analyze your piping problem, before giving you an estimate of the total cost of finish the repairs. Also, experienced professionals include the cost of any new parts needed to complete the repair. You can verify this issue by asking the plumber you’re considering if the price estimate includes both parts and labor cost.
2. Ask who will be doing the work?
If the plumber you speak with uses helpers or subcontractors, ask about the credentials and experience they have. You don’t want to risk having the person who is actually fixing the plumbing to have less training or experience of the plumber you initially speak with.
3. Is the Plumber licensed?
If your state requires licensing, be sure your plumber has passed all tests to get a license. You can ask him/her to show evidence of his/her license. Be somewhat wary of newly licensed plumbers without much experience, but they also may provide a better rate than those with more years of experience.
4. Ask, “Are you bonded and insured?”
A “yes” answer should mean the plumber is prepared to give you evidence of his/her bonding and insurance. If asked, tell the plumber you don’t want to be legally responsible for plumber injuries while on the job or in your home fixing a plumbing issue. You have the right, if not the duty, to ask this question.
5. Is the rate hourly or fixed?
Clarify the estimate you receive to avoid unwelcome surprises when the repair job is finished. If the plumber tells you the rate is hourly, ask him/her, in plumber’s experience, how long it should it take to finish the repairs. The more experience the qualified plumber has the better, because it will help the plumber give an accurate estimate of the time it typically takes to complete the repair, assuming the pipes are accessible.