Even those who have hired a plumber before could use a few more smart questions to ask before they hire another for their next plumbing task. Whether it is a simple clog in a sink or a complex second water heater installation, you’re letting your plumber into your home. You want to be able to trust them and also get some solid plumbing work done too. Here are the questions you need to ask to find out if this is the plumber you should hire.
1. Who Will Be Doing the Work?
You might be talking to a salesperson, an owner, or a receptionist. If you’re not talking to the specific technician who will be doing your work, then you should put your perception of the company’s professionalism on hold. Plus, when you find out who is doing the work, feel free to ask about this person’s credentials and overall skill set. They may not be as skilled as the person you’re talking to—or they might be better.
Also, find out if that person is a subcontractor or not. Subcontractors aren’t necessarily worse, but you do have a different relationship with them than an employee of the plumbing company. You might prefer to work with plumbers that only use employees.
2. Do You Charge for Travel?
Some plumbers add in charges for the time that it takes them to travel to your location. This is more common in remote areas. But, if you’re working with a plumber who charges for travel, it is better if they are local. Find out their charges ahead of time and try to locate someone closer if it looks like it’ll add significant cost to your plumbing work.
3. What If I Have an Emergency?
You might not have a plumbing emergency yet. But it is good to have a strong relationship with a plumber who offers emergency services. That way, if you do get into a time-sensitive situation, you know you’re calling up a plumber that you trust.
4. Are You Insured, and Can I See Proof?
There’s a lot of risk in letting an uninsured plumber work in your home. You may actually be held liable for certain kinds of accidents if any uninsured home contractor does work in your home. So, you should make sure that your plumber has general liability insurance. They should also have workers’ compensation insurance, but that is more for their employees than for you.
5. When Is Payment Due?
Be wary of any plumber that makes you pay all of the cost of your plumbing work upfront. Typical down payments on plumbing work are 10% and if the project is very large, even less than that. Otherwise, you should not pay a great percentage of the cost than the percentage of work that is completed. Always refuse to pay in full until the work is done in full.
6. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Typically, companies that cut corners and make large mistakes don’t stick around for multiple years. If you want the most reliable plumber, find out if they have been in business for at least a few years.
You might also want to check out our other article, 7 plumbing scams and how to avoid them.