Everyone knows that hiring a plumber can be of great value, but what’s the best way to go about choosing the perfect person? Here’s what you need to ask before you commit to your next plumber.
Whether you need a small leak repaired, or all the pipes pulled out and reinstalled, hiring a plumber can be a daunting job, particularly if your situation is an emergency. Knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask can make the process a great deal easier.
There are a number of good resources when you are trying to hire a plumbing professional, including the phone book and the internet; however, many tradespeople choose to advertise their services in the local newspapers and business directories, as well, so don’t neglect these options when you begin your search. Check with your local city council or Chamber Of Commerce to see if they provide recommendations or referrals for such service professionals.
Once you’ve located a few that you think may fit the bill, there are a few things you should check. First, find out if they are both licensed and insured. Also check to see if a plumber has been certified by the state where the work will be done. Don’t just take his word for it; ask to see an official identification card attesting to his license. The card should also clearly state who he is insured by, and the date the insurance went into effect.
The information about his certification would also be displayed on the card. Get in touch with the licensing agency and the Better Business Bureau in your community to make sure that the license is current, and find out if anyone has filed a complaint about him recently. It probably wouldn’t hurt to give the insurance company a call, as well, just to make sure everything is current. While you have them on the line, remember to ask if the candidate has workman’s compensation and liability coverage.
Some states also require compliance certificates for jobs that are more than $500. If this is mandatory where you are having the work done, be sure that each of your prospects will be able to provide one when the work is finished.
After you’ve checked that each of the candidates’ license and insurance was valid, set up a mini-interview with each prospective plumber. Ask how long she has been in business, and what types of jobs she’s worked on most often. Ask for the names of one or two previous customers who would be willing to speak with you regarding her experience working with you. If references are provided, contact them. Let the person you speak with know that you are considering hiring Mrs. Smith to do some plumbing work, you understand that they used this individual, and you want to know how successful the business relationship was. Ask them what type of job was done, if it was completed within the estimated time frame, and within the allotted budget. Was the individual on time? Did she treat you and your family with courtesy and respect? Ask if there were any problems during the project, and how were they resolved.
If you are considering hiring someone who works for a plumbing company, find out about the business’s performance record. Specifically, find out how many complaints they had in the last few years, what problems occurred, and how the issue was resolved. Once you decide on a plumber, ask about his rates, then call around to make sure that his prices are with reason compared with his competitors. You should also ask for a free in-home inspection
, which any reputable plumber will be happy to provide.
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