Are you a licensed plumber?
Almost all states within the U.S. require plumbers to be licensed. A plumbing license is essentially a certificate that a plumber has sufficient education and training – and legal permission – to offer plumbing services in your state. It also means that the plumber is accountable to the regulatory board that issues the license and can be held liable for violating its rules. Unlicensed plumbers may scam you out of proper plumbing services or create up-charges.
Are you insured?
Legitimate plumbing contractors usually will have insurance to protect their workers should they become injured on the job. You don’t want to be held responsible for covering medical bills for an injured worker. Even if the plumber is at fault for the injury because it happened on your property, you may have to pay. To protect yourself and your plumber, make sure there’s a valid insurance plan.
Can you provide me with an estimate in writing?
A trustworthy plumber can usually give you a ballpark estimate, depending on what you describe to them over the phone. But you want the plumbing contractor to provide you with a proper estimate. This will only be possible after they have checked out your plumbing situation in person. Be sure to ask if the estimate includes delays caused by unforeseen complications, in addition to the full cost of materials and labor. Try to work with flat rate plumbers rather than hourly plumbers because they know what they’ve signed up for since it doesn’t matter how long it takes them.
Do you have references?
Any reliable, credible, and successful plumbing professional will be able to share examples and references with you to verify their past performance. You always want to speak to previous customers before making a hiring decision on a plumbing pro. When getting in touch with past clients and asking questions, you want to find out (1) if they were happy with the project, (2) if the job was completed on time or if there were any unexpected expenses, and you definitely want to find out (3) if they would use this plumber again or recommend the plumber.
How to pay, and are there any warranties available?
Most plumbers expect payment upon completion of the task. Only larger jobs will be charged per project milestone. Never hire a pro who requires upfront payment. Before your plumbing expert begins with the job, be sure to ask if they offer warranties. Warranties are often time-based. Depending on the project, there can be lifetime warranties, should a part fail or need replacement. Warranties enable you to protect your latest plumbing investment.