Plumbers don’t tend to have the best reputation. Sadly, there are some tradespeople out there who are under-qualified, unreliable, or just trying to get as much money out of you as possible. So how can you tell the difference between a good one and a bad one?
Here are our top tips on how to be sure that you’ve chosen a plumber who won’t let you down…
#1 LICENSE AND INSURANCE
Not everyone who calls themselves a “professional plumber” is necessarily licensed and insured, and that leaves you vulnerable. If they damage any part of your home or property, or their work isn’t up to scratch, you’ll have nowhere to turn.
There are lots of people who claim to be licensed and insured, but there is a simple way to verify this. Ask them for their license number. If someone pretends that their license in a secret number, RUN. A license number is public information and should be displayed in a conspicuous place at all times.
Once you get the license number, contact the AZ Registrar of Contractors. If you go to the AZ ROC website, you will be able to enter the number and it will tell you who that license is good for, when it became active, when it will expire, and what it covers. The site will also tell you if there are any current or past complaints on the licensee.
Without a proper license, you can’t have proper insurance to cover the field of work that you are doing. If you have a larger project, ask them for proof of insurance as well which only takes a phone call to their agent to have them email a copy to you.
Taking two minutes to verify will save you months of headaches and thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars should an issue arise. Nobody plans on something bad happening, but that is why businesses have insurance. Again, the insurance is only valid if the proper licensure exists.
#2 DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you invite a trades person into your home or business, make sure that you’ve done your due diligence and that you know a bit about them. If you’re dealing with a company, look into how they hire and screen their tradespeople. You should also be able to find reviews of the business and their technicians online, and never be afraid of requesting references.
Don’t be tempted by cheaper quotes or a super fast turnaround time! We made that mistake long ago when starting our own home improvement projects and you can bet that we regretted it 100%. It is essential that you hire a licensed professional to install, repair or upgrade any plumbing appliances or gas equipment, for your own safety and for the protection of your home and family.
“Umm…Does this guy know what he’s doing??”
#3 GET A HARD QUOTE
Rough quotes and phone estimates are unreliable and risky. You should expect your plumber to come to your property and inspect the problem in order to give you a firm and fair quote that you can both agree on in advance.
Asking a plumber for a price over the phone is like asking a mechanic what it’s going to take to fix your car. Plumbers who give prices over the phone don’t know all of the circumstances that surround your plumbing issue, and won’t until they complete an on-site assessment. Phone estimates are sometimes used as a tactic to lure a consumer into thinking that they are getting a deal, just to find out that the bill they received wasn’t what they were quoted over the phone. Get a plumber onsite and ask for a total cost & hard quote to complete the work at hand.
#4 BEWARE OF “TIME & MATERIAL” QUOTES
Similarly, plumbers who quote for their time and materials leave you open to a nasty surprise when the final bill is presented. There’s no incentive for them to get the job done quickly if you’re paying them by the hour, and does that include tea breaks or trips for extra supplies? Be wary of plumbers who charge in this way!
#5 SET CLEAR TERMS
Make sure that you’re clear about what the technician is going to do, and what you’re paying for before they begin. Don’t accept a vague description of the work, but clarify every detail. For example,
- Is it a repair or replacement?
- What part or product is being replaced, and why?
- Is the new part or product covered by a warranty, and what are the terms?
- Will the plumber clean up after himself once the work is done?
Be sure to set clear expectations before you agree on the quote. At Pridemark Plumbing, we take pride in informing our customers thoroughly about the service that we will be providing. Time and time again our customers rave about their stress-free experience with us and that is something that we will always aim to achieve.