All plumbing issues must be fixed by a professional plumber. Fixing leaking taps may seem like an easy task, but when done incorrectly, this can lead to serious problems. Hiring a plumbing professional will save you time and money.
A professional plumber has years of experience in the plumbing industry. Also, he has the skills and knowledge necessary to perform any plumbing repair and maintenance. Most importantly, he has undergone the proper training necessary to operate specialized tools that are needed for certain plumbing jobs.
Like hiring any contractor, there are important things you must establish before the work commences. An open conversation with a potential plumber will set the tone for the job and help you make a well-informed hiring decision. Here is a list of important questions you need to ask a plumber before signing the contract.
1. Are you licensed?
Being licensed will mean that the plumber is registered with a governing body in your locality or at the state. Do not assume that all the plumbers on your list have a license. Thus, this question is worth asking. And make sure to have a look at the plumber’s license – do not just take his word for it.
2. What are your credentials and references?
Credentials might not denote quality workmanship; however, it shows a commitment to his trade. It also acknowledges that the plumber is current with modern techniques and practices. Most importantly, it recognizes that he is efficient in professional practices.
A plumber with at least 3 quality references from contactable clients has enough experience to perform plumbing tasks. Thus, always check references out personally prior to signing any contract.
3. Are you insured?
Insurance will play a significant part of plumbers’ credentials. It provides the stability necessary if mistakes and accidents happen. A plumber with builder’s risk, workers compensation insurance, and bonds is qualified to do any job risks and not worrying about paying unexpected costs.
4. Do you charge a flat rate or hourly rate?
Most plumbers build clauses into contracts saying that homeowners will bear reasonable costs to finish the job. When asking about estimates, ask if the total cost you are being quoted is a flat rate or an hourly rate.
The second option won’t include the cost of materials, and if you go for this option, the price of materials is fixed, but the cost of labor depends on how long the job is completed. So before signing a contract, you must know what you are getting.
5. When do I pay?
If the plumber asks for 100% of the cost prior to starting the job, walk away. Choose to work with a plumber who uses time — you will need to pay a certain percentage of the total cost after a specified number of days or weeks.
You can also work with a plumber who uses a system of “milestones” — you pay a percentage if a certain piece of work is done. This is a better option because payment will only be given if certain tasks are completed.
6. What is your usual response time?
Response time is crucial during emergencies. Plumbing leaks can rapidly destroy your home without a quick fix. So work with a plumber whom you can call 24/7 and who shows up quickly.
7. How much do you charge for travel time?
Most plumbers will charge for travel time to and from the job site. This can be costly if you choose to work with someone who is far away from your home. Hiring a reputable, local plumber will be in your best interest not just for cheaper travel costs, but also for a great plumber who knows the local codes.
8. Will you clean up your mess?
Some plumbing companies do not clean up if they are finished. They will leave you with old parts, a dirty mess, and boxes for new materials. So ask your chosen plumber if clean-up is included in his services.
9. Do you offer a guarantee?
It is vital to ask if the plumber’s work comes with a plumbing guarantee or warranty before signing the contract. He may promise to fix any problems within a year or offer a service only on certain bathroom fixtures and some conditions when leaks occur. Make sure that the warranty or guarantee is put into writing.
Hiring the best plumber is a daunting task. But asking these key questions will help you get someone who knows exactly what he is doing and won’t leave you with an unfinished project.
Based in South Melbourne, Blue Diamond Plumbing was founded in 1985, working on new homes, repairs and commercial contracts. Over time they have grown to become some of the best plumbers Melbourne has to offer. Since 2001 the company has specialised in Emergency Plumbing and Property Maintenance, Repairs and Renovations for homes and businesses in Melbourne and inner city suburbs. Owner Rod Diamond has over 30 years experience with emergency plumbing in Melbourne’s inner suburbs.