6 tips for hiring a plumbing contractor
Make sure you hire an experienced, licensed plumber to work in your home. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Abby K.)
Hiring a plumber is an important decision that shouldn't be taken lightly by homeowners. Plumbers are responsible for repairing some of the most important parts of the home like the toilet, faucet and water heater. Failure to hire a high-quality or experienced plumber can result in costly and dangerous repairs in the future.
Consider the following tips before hiring a plumber:
1. Licensure - Most states require plumbers to hold a license, though a couple of states like New York and Kansas do not. If your state does not require licensing, check to see if there have been any formal complaints filed against the plumber you are considering.
2. Insurance - Plumbers should be insured. In some cases, they may also need to be bonded as well. Insurance will protect both you and the plumber in case of an injury or accident.
3. Length of time in business - Ask the plumber how long he or she has been in business. A larger company will likely have plumbers with years of experience, but you should still ask. It's a good sign if the company has been in business for several years because it often means it has a proven track record of quality work.
4. Pricing - The plumber will know what he or she needs to do and will be able to give an accurate estimate, barring of course, any other major problems. Make sure to get at least three estimates, and be wary of any estimate that is much lower than the others. It could mean the plumber is cutting corners or plans to use inferior parts.
5. Warranty - All plumbers should guarantee their work, including the parts. Many warranties cover the plumber's work for up to one year. If the plumber refuses to guarantee his or her work, move on.
6. References - Plumbers who have been in business any length of time can and will give you references. If they cannot, or will not, then consider looking elsewhere. Talking with past customers is one of the best ways to accurately gage the quality of the plumber's work.
For more information, visit the Angie's List Guide to Plumbing.