The only way to know if a plumber is reliable and capable of getting the job done is to vet their profile. Always focus on the practical aspects of hiring a contractor. In this guide about how to properly vet a plumber, we shall discuss everything that matters and using these steps you can be certain that you are choosing the right contractor.
The first prerequisite is license. You should never hire a plumber who is not licensed. Ask for proof if you think the plumber is not being truthful. You can always verify the registration of a plumber or a plumbing company. Unless you have someone whom you trust and who has assured you of the credibility of the plumber, you can never avoid this step of verifying whether it is licensed or not. Many people do not worry about the license when they hire a plumber through a referral. This may be fine in some cases but should something go wrong then the license will become a crucial factor. It is better to verify the license even if you are hiring a plumber through a trusted reference. If you are unaware how you can check the licensing requirements and the actual license, refer to Angie’s List and get to your area or zip code.
The license is only an indicator that a plumber is registered and has a legal business. A license is not a proof of expertise. Plumbers indulging in malpractices will have their licenses suspended, removed or completely cancelled. So, licensed plumbers are working in accordance with the regulations. However, you must explore the specific expertise. Read as much as you can about the works done by the plumbers you have shortlisted. Ask around and seek a reference from a plumber if you want. Speak with a former or present client of theirs to know how they truly operate. A bit of time and effort can save you a lot of money and headache. You can also avoid a crisis.
Always ask a plumber if the quote is the total cost. Plumbers have flat rates and there are hourly rates. Verify this and make sure you are being given a complete cost of the whole project. Some costs may not be entirely predictable. It is not uncommon for some problems to come to the fore after a plumber gets down to fixing something or installing a fixture. There should be a lucid discussion about such possibility. The best plumbers are always upfront about everything. They will not hold back anything and paint the true picture before you hire them.
Always make sure you and the plumber are on the same page about the timing of the payment. Never prepay or shell out the money upfront. Many plumbers ask for a part payment as they begin the work. Agree to pay on a progressive basis. Use milestones so every major stage completed qualifies the plumber for a part payment. This way they have money to keep rolling and you are not risking the full payment without knowing the exact outcome. Hire plumbers who do the work and not those who outsource or hire subcontractors. Have clarity what the plumber shall do if anything breaks or something is amiss after the work is completed.