Plumbing problems can be pretty common, especially in older homes. They can come in as simple a task as a leaky faucet or clogged drain to something more complex like installing a slop sink or adding a laundry room. Some of the small jobs can easily be handled by a handy homeowner, while others are so complex that your average homeowner shouldn't even begin to consider tackling them on their own.
If you have a major plumbing undertaking there are things you should certainly consider before hiring a plumbing contractor to do your work.
Price is often a very big issue when considering home repair and the cost difference between one plumber's services and another's can be drastic. In a case like this it's not always wise to choose based solely on the price. The lowest priced plumber may be so because that is the quality of work that he provides, you want to get the most qualified plumber for the best price rather than any plumber at the best price. When shopping for a plumber that will do your work, look for those that provide free estimates. If your situation isn't one that's an absolute emergency that requires immediate attention, than get several estimates from various plumbers to compare.
You don't necessarily want to hire a plumber that's only had his license for a very short period of time (or worse yet a plumber that doesn't have a license at all). Experience is one of the most valuable tools that a plumber can possess, the more that a plumber is accustomed to doing a job the better prepared he will be to handle any problems or surprises that jump up in the middle of the project. Experience may cost you a higher hourly rate, but it will also likely get the job done much faster.
What kind of guarantee comes along with the plumber's work that you are considering? Will he offer a written agreement that guarantees his work for one week? For thirty days? For ninety days? If you don't get a guarantee in writing covering anything that goes wrong with the work, you may be responsible for paying for the repair again if something does go wrong.
This is a big one, maybe the most important. If you don't personally know the plumber that will be doing your work, or know someone that he's done work for than getting references are imperative. You want to hear from people that have actually had work done by the plumber how he is to work with, how fast he completes jobs, if he's fair, honest etc. If a plumber you are considering doesn't have at least a few references for you to contact regarding his work than you need to be considering someone else.
A plumber needs to be licensed, bonded and insured to be doing any kind of work in your home. Large plumbing job's require city or township permits and will sometimes require that the plumber you hire to perform the work be licensed. The license number should be prominently displayed on the plumber's truck and in their advertisements so you know that they are a legitimate plumber.
If your plumber is licensed, bonded and insured you can be certain that you are protected in case anything should go wrong. If a problem occurs as a result of the plumber's work to something non-related to the original problem, then the plumber's insurance should protect you.
A reputable business is also more likely to stand by their work and to provide emergency plumber service in the event that a problem arises with something that they worked on.
You can choose to look for any other qualities that you wish in a plumbing contractor, you can shop for a plumber with a good personality, one that helps out in your community, or one that attends your church - but five of the most important considerations should be the ones listed above. Plumbing is an integral part of the operation of your home so you want the work done quickly and properly, by a highly qualified professional.
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