It is always best to get a plumber that has been recommended by someone you trust. If that is not possible, use the following helpful hints about the Top 13 Tips For Hiring a Plumber:
When talking to a plumber by phone, text, or email, you need to get a little information from them before they come to your house. Follow these guidelines, and you will save yourself time, money, and frustration. Ask a plumber’s name, the company name, and if they are licensed and insured. Then ask what they charge per hour and whether they will give you a fixed dollar cost in a written estimate. If they answer all your questions to your satisfaction, set an appointment.
Before your appointment, call the state licensing agency or plumbing department and make sure your contractor’s license is valid and in good standing.
Top 13 Tips For Hiring a Plumber | Typical Scams:
1. Fake and Fraudulent LicenseFake and Fraudulent License
Get a copy of the contractor’s license, write down the license number, and then verify with the licensing agency. Dishonest plumbers may use fake licenses or show you a business license which is not the same as a plumbing license. If you can’t obtain or verify a contractor’s license, call someone else. Once you’ve verified the license, let the contractor know that your home insurance company requires a copy of the insurance certificate for any work done on your home. Most reputable plumbers will have a package with all this information and a business card with contact information.
2. Bait and Switch
Bait and switch is a scam tactic is used in many types of businesses, and it is common when dealing with a dishonest plumber. The plumbing industry has many products and grades of pipe. A dishonest plumber may quote expensive, top-of-the-line material only to use lighter gauge piping, which does not last as long as the better pipe. To avoid this scam, make sure your plumber outlines what the scope of work is and the materials that will be used. (Download and use the free CHP plumbing agreement to protect yourself.)
3. Pad the Hours
Try to get a fixed cost estimate from your plumber or keep tabs on how many hours they work if it is a small job. Shady plumbers may pad hours or charge for more than actually worked if you do not keep tabs on them.
4. Money Up Front
Shady plumbers will often ask you to pay for an entire job upfront before they do any work. Everyone deserves to be paid for their work, but good companies will never ask for money upfront unless you request a special-order item or an expensive fixture. Asking for a modest deposit for jobs over $1000 or 25% is common for small contactors, but requests for more upfront should be red flags.
5. Cash Payments
Reliable plumbers do not need to be paid in cash, especially before work is completed. If a contractor asks to be paid in cash or offers a discount for cash, it may signify that they have trouble completing satisfactory work, or worse, do not intend to finish the work. Avoid paying any cash upfront.
6. High-Pressure Selling
Offering discounts on additional equipment or upgrades without you asking about them may be a red flag. If you ask for a discount from a contractor on your terms, it is usually okay; discount offers on services or products that you did not request or need may indicate a contractor has more interest in selling you as much as possible than in helping you fix your plumbing issue!
7. No Permit
A plumber may offer to help you save money by skipping a required permit. The extra cost for a permit is well worth it, and having an inspector come out to check a plumber’s work; inspectors are there to protect you.
8. Higher Price
Changing the cost of the job after work has begun is usually a red flag unless you ask for more work to be done.
9. Complicated Repair
Since most homeowners do not know or understand plumbing, a shady plumber may try to make the repairs sound complicated and confusing, so you just go along and agree to pay an inflated price. This might be a red flag, and you should get a second opinion. A reputable plumber will give you a written estimate and be happy to explain any plumbing terms or processes you don’t understand. Just ask questions.
10. Outdated Plumbing
An electrician may tell you that your plumbing is old and not up to code. Plumbing codes do change, but most systems are grandfathered in or do not require an update to meet current codes. However, you want to make sure your plumbing functions properly and is safe for you and your family. Upgrading can be an expensive process. With a big expense like this, it’s worth the time to get another bid and opinion. Get an opinion from another plumber and consider asking a neighbor about their plumbing. Often the house next to yours was built at the same time and may have had an update. You can learn from your neighbors’ experiences and ask them about cost.
11. Need to Replace Faucet
If a faucet or plumbing fixture is not working properly, only a leaking seal or gasket can be replaced cheaper than replacing the whole faucet or fixture. Ask specifically if something like that may be the issue and have your electrician show you how the fixture is faulty if it is being replaced.
12. Charge for New
Cleaning up and using existing parts and charging you for new is another scam to charge you for more than you’re actually getting. Have your plumber show you what they replaced and the old part.
13. Leftover Material
A plumber may tell you they have leftover materials from another job that they will sell you at a substantial discount. This may be another red flag, and you should beware of agreeing to materials or work you didn’t originally plan.
There are the top 13 tips for hiring a plumber! I hope these were helpful for you & hopefully, they help in finding the right plumber for you!
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