When it comes to hiring a plumber, going in blind is never a good idea. A quick search online will give you horror stories of inexperienced plumbers in Sacramento, CA, who not only didn’t fix the problem but somehow made it worse. Then there’s the other variation, where a skilled plumber will fix the problem but rip you off with a steep invoice.
When these instances happen, it’s usually because the person who hired the plumber didn’t do their due diligence. Luckily, this can all be avoided by asking the right questions before hiring one in the Sacramento-Roseville area.
Here, we’ve outlined some of the most critical questions you need to ask when hiring a plumber.
1. Are You Licensed?
Easily the most important question you can ask your plumber is if they are licensed. Having a professional license proves that your plumber is skilled enough to complete any plumbing task you need. Professional plumbers have gone through government testing to certify them as county, regional, or state plumbing contractors. Additionally, these licensed plumbers are also up-to-date with building codes and building practices, ensuring that their service is top-notch.
In such cases, we at Huft Home Services guarantee a BBB-accredited and NATE-certified team to provide nothing but good plumbing services.
2. Are You Insured?
After asking if they are licensed, you should ask whether a plumber is insured. This way, you are guaranteed that they are qualified to take on any job risks without worrying about running into problems and causing you to pay for damages out of your pocket. This should save you from a lot of hassle in the future.
3. What Are Your References and Credentials?
An experienced plumber is a good plumber. Therefore, you should only hire one with a proven track record of good service, either through client references or earned credentials. And while credentials do not denote quality workmanship as much as references, it still shows commitment to their line of business and that they are knowledgeable in current building practices and techniques. Another sign of commitment is if they are members of the Better Business Bureau (where you can find client references), plumber unions, or a local contractor organization.
4. Can You Give Estimates in Writing?
Most of the time, a plumber will be able to provide you ballpark estimates over the phone once you explain the problem. However, note that it’s a red flag if a plumber gives you a firm estimate without even checking your property.
A good plumber will first need to visit your house and assess the problem before giving you an actual price. Any plumber that does otherwise move on to the next one. It’s also a good idea to get the estimate in writing just in case any disputes materialize. That being said, expect to pay a little bit more if the service takes longer than the initial estimate. This is normal and happens quite often.
5. How Do You Charge Your Clients?
Usually, smaller jobs will have you paying a flat fee. However, if you’re going through a more significant project, like a kitchen renovation, expect to pay differently. In some cases, the plumber/plumbing company might be accepting installments, where you’d pay some initially, more when the project is ongoing, and the remaining balance when everything is done. Sometimes, you might pay per milestone.
Nevertheless, be careful of plumbers that charge the total price before even starting the job or those that charge per hour for a primary job that should take only a couple of hours at most.
6. Do You Use Subcontractors?
If you opt for a plumbing company, there may be moments when they will hire subcontractors to work on your project. This is what usually happens in bigger companies.
That said, there’s no problem with this, and the only thing to keep in mind is that subcontractor or not, you should find a transparent company willing to provide you with all the information you need should you request it. If they seem not to have a straight answer for the kind of labor they provide, move on to the next company.
7. What Are Your Specialties?
To ensure that you are getting the right plumber who is most suitable for your needs, first find out what the plumber’s specialties are before asking them for any paid service. This will ensure that not only will you be getting a licensed and professional plumber, but one that also specializes in the specific problem that you have.
If there’s no need for one, however, then a general plumber will do just fine. Just make sure that they are licensed and insured.
8. Will You Be Performing the Plumbing Services Personally?
There are cases when the person you’re talking to on the other end of the line wouldn’t necessarily be the person that will come over to your house, especially if you call a plumbing company. In such cases, it’s essential to find out precisely who the plumber will be. Specifically, ask about their experience and the type of training they have. If you called a reputable company, you wouldn’t have any problem getting this information as they’d quickly provide all of the important details.
9. Will You Clean Up When You’re Finished?
Many plumbers haul away old parts and clean up after themselves when the job is done. However, this isn’t always the case, as some do not include cleanup after. This can be a big mess in cases like this, and you don’t want to be left with a dirty house to clean by yourself.
As such, it’s essential to clarify with the plumber if cleanup is part of their services and, if not, how much they charge for it. If they don’t, you can hire a cleanup service or save some money by cleaning it yourself. However, if possible, opt for a plumber that will do this service, even if there’s a fee. The sooner everything is tidy, the better.
10. What Are Your Hours?
We’re all hoping this wouldn’t happen, but if you encounter a plumbing problem at an inconvenient hour, then you would need a plumber that can come to your rescue. As such, make sure you also ask about the working hours of the plumber. Some of the work within the usual business hours, while some may be more flexible.
Ask if they can still work during off-hours and how much extra they can charge for it. In many cases, having this guarantee for any future problems is worth the inquiry.
11. Do You Guarantee Your Work?
Before getting into a contract with a plumber, ask them what kind of guarantee they offer for their service. This varies between plumbers.
Afterward, make sure to put into writing whatever you verbally discuss. Then, keep all your paperwork in a safe place where you won’t lose it, as you’ll need these as proof if there are discrepancies in the quality of work they promised.
Hiring a plumber can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time doing so. However, knowing the right questions to ask will save you from a lot of trouble and unnecessary expenses.
Need a plumbing problem fixed? Contact us at Huft Home Services today and get a quote. In addition to plumbing, we also offer maintenance and repairs for your HVAC system, insulation, whole-house fans, and tankless water heaters.