Needing the assistance of a plumber can often mean a stressful and potentially expensive situation. Without proper preparation, a short visit can turn into an adventure of costly discoveries about the state of your house’s pipes. Not only that but ensuring that you receive quality care and proper service is an often overlooked necessity. So, without further ado, these are the three major things you need to know before you call about a plumbing emergency.
While trivial, the reputation and reviews of a plumber are indicative of their skill. A plumber with a poor reputation could do more harm than good, and leave you with even more issues than before. Proper vetting will be to your benefit in the long run.
To be sure of the quality of service you will receive from your chosen plumber, check online reviews and ask around your community (if you have the time). Other locals will be able to share their experiences and provide insight into the abilities of the said plumber. Additionally, if available, check into some of their old projects to see what quality of work they provided.
Make sure your chosen plumber also has a license and offers a workmanship warranty. Make sure they will fix any issues they cause, as well as repair anything that breaks after they’ve made the service call. If one or neither of these requirements are met, seek out a different plumber.
- Estimates and Payment
Most plumbers will offer a free estimate on work completed. If possible, ask your plumber about what he thinks the work will cost, including potential setbacks and other repairs. Be wary of estimates offered over the phone, since the plumber can neither see the extent of the damage or accurately guess how much it will cost. Additionally, ask about what is included in the estimate. Some plumbers will only include the cost of materials in the estimate and thus the project cost will skyrocket.
Secondly, ask about how payment will be handled. Will this be billed at an hourly or flat rate? When does the plumber want payment? If they require 100% of the payment upfront, walk away. Most payments are based on milestones in the completed project. As the project nears completion, more and more of the balance will be paid off, instead of requiring huge sums of money up front.
- Project Timeline and Cleanup
Depending on the plumbing project, it can sometimes take weeks or even months to get a project completed. Oftentimes this leaves the homeowner in an awkward position trying to live around the chaos. It’s best to ask about projected timelines on projects to ensure minimal overlap between your life and the project. Inquire about this during the estimate, so you have some forewarning for planning.
Nearly as important as the timeline for the project is cleanup. Some plumbers won’t properly clean up after themselves and leave a mess behind in small corners of your house. This can often require you to spend hours vacuuming and cleaning up a mess you shouldn’t have to. While this may seem trivial, on large plumbing projects this could mean a lot of extra work for you, so bear it in mind.
While hiring a plumber is a relatively simple process, you want to make sure that your plumber not only meets your needs but exceeds your expectations. Take the time to research who you hire before you find yourself in a bad situation. Only settle for the best, otherwise, you may have more issues down the road.
If you have any plumbing needs or encounter any issues and you need professional advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (781) 253-2055.