When you are dealing with a plumbing emergency, the last thing you want to do is get stuck chatting on the phone. That said, getting the results you want does require you to ask around for the best plumbing contractors. You want someone who is going to be professional, trustworthy, and transparent with their pricing.
Otherwise, your plumbing issues could transform into a long-lasting nightmare. To make your search for a plumbing company easier, we have listed several questions to ask before hiring a plumber.
1. Do You Have a License and/or Insurance?
If you only choose to ask a single question when searching for a “plumbing company near me,” make it this one. The plumbing company should guarantee you that their employees are all licensed, insured, and bonded.
The license and insurance the plumber carries protects you, the homeowner, from any mishaps. For instance, if the contractor gets injured in your home while working, their insurance will pay for it. If they don’t have insurance, you have to foot the entire bill.
Prior to asking this question, read up about the required credentials for plumbers in your area.
2. Do You Offer Warranties?
Ideally, you want the work done on your plumbing to be guaranteed for workmanship. There is always a chance that installation goes amiss or that there are defective parts. Warranties often cover the work and parts for 90 days or 1 year, though it depends on the plumbing company.
You should never sign a contract before learning about the warranty. If you do and something happens that isn’t covered, you could end up spending a lot of money trying to correct the problem.
3. Who Does The Work?
Odd question, right? Think again! In reality, some plumbing companies will outsource their workers so that they can get more jobs done faster. It is an efficient practice, but it could backfire on homeowners if you don’t know who is coming.
The best way to ensure yourself that someone trustworthy is coming, ask the plumbing company about the experience and qualifications of the subcontractors. These individuals should have the same amount of training, licenses, and insurance as everyone else in the company. If they don’t, you may end up spending money on a less than satisfactory service.
4. Do You Have Testimonials or References?
You probably found the phone number to the plumbing company by searching the internet, so you may have already discovered references and reviews on the company before calling. If you haven’t, ask them. Any company regardless of industry is going to want to boast about their happy customers.
You can also do the research, too. See if the company is listed on Google Maps, review their website, and read the experiences people had with them. Don’t just pay attention to the 5-star ratings. If the company made a mistake or got a low review, read it and see how they responded. The quality of the response will tell you a lot about the company’s integrity and professionalism.
5. Do You Have Same Day Service?
When you search for a “plumbing company near me” on Google, it is probably because you want a plumber who can be there ASAP during emergencies. The closer the plumber, the better. Yet, that may not always be the case. That is why you should ask whether plumber contractors have same day service instead. Sometimes, the plumbing company will be able to dispatch someone within hours, rather than you having to wait several days for an appointment.
After finding out if the plumbing company has same day service, inquire about who will be coming. Ideally, you want a company employee, not a subcontractor.
6. How Are Rates Calculated?
Every plumbing company has their own unique way of calculating rates. Some have a fixed rate for projects while others charge by the hour. Fixed rates may include materials and labor, but others may have an additional fee. On the other hand, hourly rates could include travel; emergency services or off-days may be added into the price.
While asking about rates, also ask how the plumbing company prefers their payments. What forms of payment are accepted? When is payment expected?
Larger jobs may require a down payment or increments paid after milestones have been completed. If the plumbing company asks for 100 percent of the payment prior to the completion of the project, do not work with them.
7. Have You Done a Job Like This Before?
There may come a day when something happens with your plumbing that you never anticipated. Maybe the damage is extensive or the repairs are extremely complicated. When that happens, you want the peace of mind knowing that the plumber is prepared, that they understand what’s going on, and that they will do the job correctly.
Asking whether they have experience or not will help you determine if they are right for the task. Any inexperienced plumber should first apprentice under a more experienced contractor to gain valuable knowledge. Without that experience, the plumber may cause more harm than good. Make sure the plumbing company will send someone who knows what they are doing.
8. Will You Clean Up Afterwards?
Most professional services will clean up after themselves once the task is done, but this is not guaranteed. If you are worried about the plumbing company leaving a mess in their wake, have a conversation about who is responsible for tidying up. Sometimes, the plumbing company might charge extra for cleaning, so you want to clarify prior to the end of the project.
Cleanup will include trash disposal, as well as the removal of any damaged or replaced items and tools.
Eventually, there is going to be a day when you have to call in a plumber. Have a professional company on standby for when that happens. If you have yet to find a quality plumbing company near you yet, pick up the phone and conduct some interviews with the questions we have listed. You will find the best company, gaining peace of mind for the future.