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8 Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask a Plumber
The plumbing pipes in your home are vital to the efficient delivery of water to appliances, faucets, toilets, and utility systems. That’s why it’s important to find a reputable contractor that stands by his or her work and charges fair and reasonable prices. This applies to a range of plumbing jobs—installing fixtures in a bathroom; remodeling a kitchen or laundry room; or fixing a leak.
We’ve come up with a list of ten questions that homeowners should ask a plumber in their quest to find a plumber that they can trust to do the job.
#1 - Is Your Plumbing Company Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?
Most states require plumbers and plumbing contractors to have a license to practice in that state. Licensed plumbers have to adhere to all state requirements, including evidence that the plumber or plumbing contracting company has fulfilled any continuing education requirements for keeping their license. Here are few other requirements:
- Any plumbing contractor must undergo and pass a thorough criminal background check to receive the state license.
- Your contractor has fulfilled the supplemental training obligation as required by the state licensing board.
- Licensure is contingent on passing the state licensing exam.
- Provide proof that the contractor has purchased and paid for a commercial liability insurance policy.
Liability Insurance and Surety Bonding
Plumbers need liability insurance as proof of their responsibility for paying for the cost of repairing any damage for which contractor or their employees are responsible.
Contractors often hire companies to give them a surety bond because it acts as an umbrella policy. It guarantees that the business covers the cost of repairing, undoing and redoing any previous shoddy workmanship or illegal work that doesn’t adhere to local housing code standards.
#2 Can You Show Me Your Credentials and Give Me References?
Look at reviews on the company’s website and referral websites that focus on home services (ex. Angie’s List). You can also check the local BBB (Better Business Bureau) website to see if the company has a rating, whether any customers have filed complaints, and if and how those complaints were resolved.
As for credentials, find out whether a plumbing company belongs to any professional contractors’ organizations, whether they have proof of industry certification, or if they have a working relationship with other contractors who rely on the company for all of their plumbing work.
#3 Will You Give Me a Detailed Written Estimate or a Scope of Work Contract?
When you hire a plumber for a massive renovation project or to fix a significant plumbing problem, the company should give you a detailed explanation of the work they intend to do, how much it will cost, what labor or materials costs are, and how long it will take them to do the job.
#4 Do You Offer 24/7 Emergency Service?
Plumbing contractors know that there are sometimes urgent situations that need immediate attention. Find out whether the company responds to calls for emergency service after business hours or on weekends or holidays. Every homeowner will feel a sense of relief in knowing that they can rely on the same local plumbing company to handle emergency calls, regardless of the time or day of the week.
#5 Do You Plumbing Home Inspections?
A plumbing home inspection is an important step if you are planning to buy a home. Although inspections are common practice nowadays, they often happen after the home has already been purchased. Potential buyers should get an accurate picture of the state of a home before closing the deal.
#6 Will You Tell Me What Caused This Problem?
Plumbers often respond to calls for clogged drains in sinks, tubs, toilets, or in basements. Most of the time, the problem is easy to detect. Children have a tendency to stuff too much toilet paper in the commode when they go to the bathroom. Everyone loses a small amount of hair every time they wash it. Whether you’ve got a large family where lots of people share every bathroom, or you have a small household. Eventually, the combination of soap scum and hair build up in a bathtub or bathroom sink drain, clogging it and preventing water from going through the drain.
#7 What Should I Do To Prevent This Problem From Happening Again?
Many of the issues that prompt homeowners to call plumbers to fix something are problems that are easily preventable with a little plumbing maintenance. Don’t be afraid to ask the service person to show you how you can prevent future recurrences. A reputable plumbing contractor won’t be concerned about losing out on future service calls. They realize that their honesty and customer service skills will go a long way towards guaranteeing that the homeowner will become a regular and loyal client.
#8 Do You Offer Guarantees or Warranties on Your Plumbing Services?
When companies offer guarantees on fixtures or equipment such as tubs, sinks, faucets or garbage disposals, you’ll be able to find a place on the packaging that spells out the terms of their warranties. When you hire a plumbing contractor, you have every right to know whether they will give you a guarantee on their workmanship, how long they’ll stand by their work, and what the conditions of the warranty are, if there are any.
Before agreeing to do business with a plumber, make sure that the contract you sign spells out the answers to the most important questions. You want to be sure that the company is insured, in case anything happens. You want to be sure that the basis for the company’s charges is laid out in the contract. If you are charged by the hour, ask for a detailed breakdown of the work that the company did during the time they claimed to be working.
Count on our licensed plumbing professionals to provide reliable service and repairs. Call 1.800.645.4328 now!