If you’re like most homeowners, the first time you talk to a plumber might be when you have a plumbing emergency that you needed fixed yesterday. To make sure you choose one who will perform honest work at a reasonable price, ask the following questions.
Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
A license ensures that a plumber, or other skilled technician, has demonstrated that they are competent at their trade. A bond is when money is posted with the state that can be used to compensate homeowners if the plumber disappears or goes bankrupt before a job is completed. Insurance protects you in the event that a plumber damages your home or a neighbor’s property while performing work.
What is the total cost and can it go up?
Before allowing work to proceed, get a written estimate that details exactly what work will be done and what it will cost. If you are working on a large project, you may have variable costs based on changing material costs or because the scope of hidden damages is unknown. Have clear written parameters for what may be charged and/or whether written approval is required for additional expenses.
What is the payment schedule?
For small jobs, payment at the time of service is the norm. For larger jobs, payments are typically broken up into an initial deposit, milestone payments and a final payment upon completion. Be wary of plumbers asking for large payments upfront because it reduces their incentive to complete the work in a timely manner.
What happens to waste from the project?
If you’re replacing a toilet or plumbing or having walls torn out, will the plumber dispose of the waste and is the disposal cost included? These types of items are usually prohibited from being left out for curbside pickup with your household garbage so it is best to figure out who is responsible.
Is the work guaranteed?
For new installations, is there a warranty from the plumber and/or manufacturer? For repairs, will the plumber come back out at no charge if their fix doesn’t work? How long does the plumber have to correct any issues before you’re entitled to money back?
To ask us these questions, or more, reach out to us via our online contact form or call us at 412-273-1000.