Whenever you hire a contractor, you always need to be a little careful and do some investigative work. There are things you need to know and things that you should ask so that you protect yourself and feel confident when hiring the plumber. If you have a major plumbing issue, you had better get this right, or you could be ‘drowning’ in unnecessary repair bills or legal action. Plumbing repairs deal with one of the most important areas of a home. Here are a few tips to help you hire a quality professional and not some scam artist.
1. Ask If They Are Licensed
Arguably, this is the most important topic of discussion. Even if the Pope works as a part-time plumber and says he is licensed, do not take his word for it. You need to check for yourself so that you avoid problems later. You can go to the Ontario College of Trades and check the name of the plumber. You will then know if the plumber you’re thinking of hiring is certified and an active member.
2. Ask About Insurance
Plumbers must be insured and perhaps bonded as well. With insurance, both the plumber and yourself are protected. Obviously, you’re more concerned about protecting yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want anything to go wrong and see the plumber get hurt either. Anything can happen. If a sink falls on him and severs his little finger, you’re protected.
3. Ask About Total Cost
You can get a free estimate from the plumber, but be careful about free estimates over the phone. You can’t give an estimate without actually being there. So, once the plumber comes over and has a proper look and then gives you an estimate, make sure to ask if this is the total cost. Find out if the cost includes the materials and labour as well as any other costs due to unforeseen circumstances. Estimates can sometimes look good on paper, but as the job goes on, all of a sudden, the price begins to soar. It’s best to ask.
4. Ask About Payment
Ask the plumber when they want the payment and if there’s anything upfront. If the plumber you’re considering says the upfront payment is in full, don’t bother to use this plumber. No plumber should take the full amount before the job even starts. Some may offer a ‘milestone’ system, which is a good thing. When a specified amount of work is completed, you pay a certain amount and so on. This system is based on work done. It’s a little trickier if this system were based on time. If the plumber decides to go on slow mode, you’ll be paying for nothing.
5. Ask About The Mess
There may be some plumbing companies (or plumbers) who will not clean the mess after the work is done. You will end up having to take care of the huge mess, leaving you upset and angry. Make sure to ask if the cleanup is part of the quote and if it isn’t, find out why. If you do have to pay separately for the cleanup, it may be worth it to let them do it, but if you can, try to see if it can be included in the quote.
Make sure to ask about contracts and warranties. Don’t hire them without a warranty, because if something goes wrong or breaks, you want them to come and take care of it. Also ask for references and make sure to contact them. This will give you an unbiased opinion and you can hire with confidence.