When it comes time to think about hiring a plumber, there’s a ton of things to consider: plumbing cost, what sort of work needs to be done, if you’ll need a small or extensive installation, and more. Although it may sound daunting at first, rest assured that you’re making the right choice by calling a professional! After all, it’s far better to have it done correctly the first time than to fight with a toilet that won’t flush or a shower that inexplicably has the hot and cold faucets reversed.
As the homeowner, there’s one thing you can do right away that can make a huge difference: come up with questions to ask your plumber. It’s good to go to a checkup at the doctor’s with a list of questions; think of this as being like a checkup for your house’s plumbing. You’ll want to make sure your home’s pipes are in good hands – plus you’ll sleep better at night knowing that an experienced, reputable plumbing company is behind the work.
Here are five questions you should consider asking your plumber:
Are you licensed?
This is by far the most important thing to ask your prospective plumber – anybody can say they’ve been through trade school and have been working as a plumber for many years, but it goes a long way to know that their company has a license. If this is the case, that means the plumbing company has passed government testing and is aware of current building codes. As this blog post is quick to remind readers, having a license doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting absolutely perfect work, but it’s a sign of quality and assurance.
Are you insured?
As far as potential damage control goes, you’re going to want to be certain your plumbing company of choice has insurance. Working with a building’s plumbing system requires skill and experience, yet sometimes things can go wrong, leading to damage incurred on the building or the plumbing itself. If your plumbing company has the proper liability insurance, though, you can rest assured that any damage will be covered by them and not by you.
Can you provide me with a written cost estimate?
Budget should definitely be on your mind when you’re talking to a plumber about doing some potential work on your building. Although it’s absolutely advised that you not skimp on quality to save on plumbing cost, it’s good to know up front just how much you’ll be spending when the final bill comes in. Plus, if you get a plumbing estimate in writing that ends up being wildly inaccurate when the work is finished, you’ll have proof that you may be getting overcharged.
Can you estimate how long the work will take?
A home should be a person’s sanctuary, so it’s understandable that many people wouldn’t want to be inconvenienced on their own turf. But the fact of the matter is that when plumbing work is required, you may be unable to shower or use the toilet for an extended period of time, so it’s beneficial to know in advance just how long the repairs (or installation) will take. This will allow you to rearrange your schedule to accommodate the gaps in water usage, or to find alternate housing while the plumbing work is occurring.
What are your emergency rates?
When you’re faced with a clogged toilet at one in the morning, you’re going to want to have a reliable option for plumbing repair. It’s worth finding a plumbing company that’s available 24/7 to handle repairs, and asking about what you might be paying for an after-hours visit. This is why it’s definitely a good idea to have a “plumbing emergency fund” set aside – you’ll be surprised at how desperate you might feel when you’re dealing with a burst pipe outside of business hours.
When you’ve made the decision to choose a plumber, it may be tempting to just contact the first company that comes up in search results, but it’s wise to note the questions we’ve listed above and prepare to ask them to your potential plumbers. If you take the time to ask about things like insurance, get a plumbing estimate, and find out how long the work might take, you’ll be more reassured that all the plumbing work will go as smoothly as possible.
What’s your number-one question to ask a plumber? Tell us in the comments.