13 Things to Consider When Hiring a Plumber

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plumber fixing sink in Kingman, AZ

When it comes to plumbing, it’s usually best to hire a professional, certified plumber. Even a small mistake can lead to leaks that can cause wall, floor, and ceiling damage and require costly repairs. Many people don’t think about hiring a plumber until they have a problem, but plumbing maintenance is important, too. With so many options in Kingman, Arizona, there are a few things to consider before hiring a plumber to make sure you get the best professional who will do the job right the first time.

Is the Plumber Certified?

Being licensed means the plumber registers with a governing body that makes rules the plumber must follow. Always remember to ask for a plumber’s certification, and don’t just take the plumber’s word for it. Plumbers should always have the proper certification on hand to show their clients. Even apprentices should have a license. Often, homeowners assume every plumber has a license, but some plumbers may work without one, so it’s always worth asking.

How Long Has the Plumber Been in Business?

It’s a good sign if the plumber has been in business for several years because it means they have proven success in the field and have a track record of quality work. A larger company will probably have plumbers with many years of experience, but it helps to ask about certain plumbers. Don’t hesitate to ask the plumber how long he or his company has been in business.

Is the Estimate Price the Total Cost?

Most professional plumbers offer clients a free estimate, which means they will come to your house, look at the job, and quote you an estimated cost. Don’t let a plumber give you a price over the phone without looking at the repair first, because any estimate given this way will most likely be inaccurate. Once the plumber has had a chance to come out and see what kind of work the repair will need, he’ll give you an estimated price. Some estimates only include the basic cost of materials, which means the total cost will be much different. Be sure to ask him if his estimate includes labor, parts, and a contingency for any problems.

Is It an Hourly Rate or a Flat Rate?

When you get your estimate, ask the plumber if the rate is an hourly rate or a flat rate. Many contracts have built-in clauses that state the homeowner is responsible for any reasonable costs to complete the job. A flat rate won’t change because of labor costs, but an hourly rate will vary depending on how long it takes the plumber to finish the job. The problem with an hourly rate is that if the job runs longer than expected, you will be billed more. Make sure you know what you are agreeing to before you hire the plumber.

Is This the Best Price?

It’s no secret that price is an important part of the decision, as it is with all services or products. It’s best to get estimates from at least three plumbing services to make sure you get the best deal, but be cautious of any price that is much lower than the others. An unusually low price could mean the plumber is cutting corners or using cheap parts.

When Is Payment Due?

Ask your plumber when he wants payment and how much he wants up front. Never pay 100 percent of the cost upfront. Some plumbers will use a pay-as-you-go system, where a percentage is due after he finishes different parts of the job. Some plumbers may use time as a milestone, where you pay part of the cost every few weeks. If the plumber doesn’t expect the job to take very long, you might be able to pay at the end of the job. If it does turn out to be a long job, try to encourage paying percentages after the plumber finishes different parts of the job, as this guarantees payment only upon completion of certain tasks. It also encourages the plumber to work faster to make money.

Who Is Doing the Work?

You may have one plumber or a team of plumbers coming to fix or maintain your home’s plumbing. When the plumber comes out to give you a quote, ask if he will be the one doing the work. If he says no, ask him who will be doing it and what experience or qualifications that person has. The plumber should give you solid details to make you comfortable; if you don’t like his answer, don’t feel obligated to stay with that company.

Is Cleanup Included?

Surprisingly, some companies don’t clean up their mess when they finish a job, leaving homeowners with old parts, empty boxes, and a dirty mess. It may sound like an obvious question to ask, but always make sure that the plumber includes cleanup in the quote, and if not, ask why. Some companies may charge for cleanup, and it may be worth it to pay the extra fee, but be sure to ask so that you’re not left with a surprise when the plumber completes the job.

What If Something Breaks?

Hopefully, the plumber will do the job right the first time, but if something unforeseen happens, make sure to leave nothing to chance and cover all bases. Every plumber should guarantee their work, including the parts. Ask your plumber what kind of warranty or guarantee comes with the work. Many plumbers offer a 1-year warranty on their products, while others may only cover certain things, such as replacement only if a leak occurs. Make sure that you get any kind of warranty or guarantee in writing and that the contractor has insurance. If a plumber refuses to offer a warranty, move on.

Check Out Some Reviews

Thanks to the Internet, it’s now easy to look up reviews on plumbers and their work in the nearby area. It doesn’t hurt to read some reviews, both positive and negative, about the company before hiring a plumber to see what other clients are saying about them. You’re probably going to have a better experience with a company that receives generally good reviews than a company that receives generally bad reviews. Also remember to leave a review after your own project is complete to help out someone else.

Ask For References

If you can’t find any reviews online for a plumber or if you just want added peace of mind, ask your plumber for references. A plumber who has been in business for any length of time should have references available to show a homeowner. If a plumber doesn’t have any references or is unwilling to give them, look elsewhere. Talking to past customers is one of the best ways to determine a plumber’s work quality.

How Is the Communication?

Don’t underestimate how important communication is when hiring a plumber. Having a plumber who is open about his work, willing to discuss problems and how to solve them, and willing to answer any questions or comments is important to avoid costly errors. If you can’t get in touch with the plumber easily before the job starts, odds are good that you won’t be able to get in touch when you need him during or after the job, either.

What Is the Plumber’s Availability?

Some plumbing services offer emergency service 24 hours a day in case of night or weekend emergencies. Others might not have enough help, pushing appointments too far out to be of use in an emergency. It’s important to check on your plumber’s availability to make sure he will work with your schedule, even if you don’t require 24-hour service.

By considering the simple factors above, you will increase your odds of getting the highest quality and efficiency from your plumbing expert. Keeping communication open with your plumber and asking the right questions will help you make sure you get someone who knows what they’re doing, does good work, and completes the job in a timely manner. For help with your plumbing needs, give Ambient Edge Heating/Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. a call at 928-377-4631 and schedule a time for us to come out and give you a free estimate.

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