Many options are available to homeowners when it comes to hiring tradesman; the Yellow Pages and Google are full of plumbers who would like to be the one to make repairs in your home. However, before you hire them, consider asking the following questions:
1. Are You a Certified Plumber?
This is an extremely important question to ask, as you want to ensure that any plumbing work done in your home is completed by someone who is knowledgeable, will be able to diagnose the problem correctly before beginning work, and will perform service in your home in a safe manner using proper materials. A certified tradesman is also going to have the proper knowledge about codes and regulations.
2. Do You Offer a Warranty on the Plumbing Work You Perform?
Any plumbing repairs or installations should always be guaranteed; if there is a problem directly related to the service provided or the initial issue, any contractor should agree to make repairs (or replacements, if necessary) for a minimum of 30 days after the service is provided, unless there are extenuating circumstances that dictate otherwise. If, for any reason, a warranty cannot be provided, the tradesman should make the homeowner aware at the time of service.
3. Do You Work Directly for Someone Who Holds a Master Plumber Designation?
Having a supervisor with a Master designation allows the tradesman to request additional help at the time of service if they encounter a problem they are unfamiliar with.
4. Will You Provide Me with a Price Prior to Beginning Any Work?
Any contractor should provide an upfront cost, every time, and not expect the homeowner to pay for an unauthorized bill.
5. Can You Provide References?
Any plumber should be able to provide detailed reviews, whether from Angie’s List or directly from their customers, informing you about their professionalism, promptness, pricing, and availability.
6. Will Your Plumber Get Permits and Inspections as Required by City Code?
Often, any jobs that have the potential to harm either city sewer systems or residents if done improperly will require a permit and an inspection to ensure work has been completed to code. Your certified plumber should be aware of the instances in which a permit and inspection are required and make sure that a permit is pulled and an inspection scheduled.
7. Do You Carry Liability Insurance?
Your plumber should carry both liability insurance and workman’s comp insurance.
8. How Long Have You Been in Business?
A contractor with an extensive business history in the local area has a reputation to uphold in the community, and understands that a good deal of their future business relies on referrals from past work-they have more to lose from doing a poor job, and more to gain from doing a good job.
9. Do You Specialize in a Certain Area of Your Trade?
Often, plumbers will have specialties; having a plumber complete a job in which they specialize will ensure a job well done and often, a lower cost because they are purchasing more materials from their suppliers.
10. Will Your Plumber Provide Advice On How To Prevent Future Problems?
Any tradesman should provide you with information on how to prevent the repair, if possible, in the future, rather than banking on being called back to fix the problem every couple months or even couple weeks.