Plumbers are necessary for new construction of homes to install pipes and water systems. However, most people need a plumber for their existing pipes when something breaks. Unfortunately, this usually occurs at an inconvenient time and often necessitates an emergency call to fix the problem quickly. Costs for this can be high so there are several things to consider before hiring one.
Plumbers usually specialize in either repair or new construction. If you need a plumber for new construction, get quotes from those who specialize in this area. If you are looking for repair work, hire a plumber who specializes in repair. It is always wise to get multiple bids on your project, but in an emergency situation this may not be feasible. Ask what the costs will be up front, including any after hours or emergency service fees. If the plumber works on an hourly basis, find out up front how the time is calculated and keep track of the amount of time spent.
Discuss the scope of work with the plumber so you are familiar with the type of work that needs to be done and how it may affect existing systems. Compare what each plumber told you so you can be assured you have a consistent diagnosis of the issue. If you feel a plumber is increasing the scope of work unnecessarily, do not choose them for your work. Go with someone you feel comfortable with and who can get the job done efficiently.
Always get a contract for plumbing work whether it is new construction or repair. There are several pieces of information that should be included on a contract. Plumbers must be licensed so ensure you have their license number and verify it. Make sure they have proper insurance in case there is damage to your home caused by work they did. Ensure they will take responsibility for any damage done while working or get details of any exceptions. The contract should include a detailed accounting of the work to be done and a bottom line price. If the plumber is bidding on the project, there should be one price for the entire job. If a plumber works by the hour, the hourly rate should be clearly identified along with any additional fees. There should also be an estimated time that the work will be completed. Always make sure there is a guarantee of at least a year for the work performed.
Hiring a plumber for new construction allows you to take a bit more time in the hiring process. Check references and interview plumbers. Ask for referrals from trusted sources.
If you need a plumber in an emergency situation; however, you will have to get information much more quickly. You may not have time to check around before choosing a plumber. After all, if your basement if filling up with water you don't want to be on the phone calling several plumbers for quotes. In an emergency situation like that, try to choose someone you have worked with in the past whose work you were pleased with or a well known company in the area.
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