Sooner or later, homeowners and home builders will need the services of a professional plumber. For one, a plumbing problem can happen anytime, and if you leave it unfixed, a small issue could lead to a large, more expensive crisis. There is also a huge chance that you will want to increase your home’s value through a little remodeling and renovation. One of the best ways to do so is to improve your plumbing fixtures for it to become energy-efficient and more eco-friendly.
Either way, you will need to hire a professional plumbing contractor for your needs. But before you get in contact with the first plumber you can find, it is important to thoroughly research and vet candidates first. After all, your home is your most significant investment. You want the plumbing job handled by capable hands. Here are five guidelines for choosing a plumbing contractor.
1. Look around and ask for recommendations
Word of mouth is a powerful thing when it comes to finding the best plumbers near you. If a family member, neighbor, or friend has recently had their plumbing fixtures renovated, ask for their feedback. The people you trust will be more likely to tell you a reliable review of the plumber they contracted with.
Aside from word of mouth, internet reviews and social media recommendations are good sources for qualified plumbers in your area. On these sites, reviews are aggregated and businesses are rated based on feedback. A lot of new contractors and suppliers use these sites to advertise themselves and you can check their reputability easily with just a few clicks.
2. Check for a license
One of the first and arguably the most important question you need to ask a plumbing contractor is if they are licensed to work in the state. Plumbing is a regulated profession so a vast majority of U.S. states require plumbers to hold a license. It is a huge red flag if a plumber does not hold a license.
In addition, a license is a good indication of a plumbing contractor’s knowledge and expertise. Contractors need to prove their skills and qualification to practice the profession and a license is proof of that. Most states have a website where you can verify the license, so be sure to do your due diligence to check if they are legitimate professionals.
3. Ask for proof of insurance
All home improvement and repair projects have a risk of injury for the contractor and a third party as well as a risk of damage to the main and adjacent properties. To protect you from potential issues if an accident happens, you need to ask if the company performing work for you has the necessary insurance.
Plumbing contractors need to carry two types of insurance—liability and worker’s compensation. Liability insurance is required by all states to protect the contractor from claims against their work while worker’s compensation provides medical benefits in case of injuries on the job.
4. Check their previous work
To narrow down your list of potential plumbers, you may ask for a list of people they have worked within the past. Questions you should ask previous clients include:
- Were you satisfied with the work done?
- Was the job finished on time?
- Were there any mistakes?
- How were these mistakes fixed?
- Do you recommend the plumber to others?
If the plumber refuses to give references, you may need to rethink your decision before hiring them.
5. Examine the price breakdown
Ideally, you will want to ask at least three plumbers for separate estimates. Most plumbing contractors will give free estimates to clients, so take this opportunity to examine the pricing. They will need to check your home and give a list of materials and labor costs. Checking this information closely will reduce the possibility of dealing with hidden fees. In addition, be wary of low price estimates which are tempting but may indicate subpar work.
Looking for a reliable plumber in your area can be a daunting task but as long as you perform your diligence, you will be less likely to experience issues.
About the Author:
Aki Merced is the Content Manager at Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with late payments. Handle.com also provides funding for construction businesses in the form of invoice factoring, material supply trade credit, and mechanics lien purchasing.