Hiring a licensed plumbing contractor to work on a new home build, a remodel or renovation, or even simple plumbing jobs around the home can be quite tricky nowadays. Yes there may be a lot of service listings all over the internet, but choosing from all these can be quite a chore since any homeowner would want to hire only a trusted licensed contractor who can get the job done well.
The first step when hiring a licensed contractor is to identify one’s objective and corresponding budget. This would at least give the homeowner an idea on how to choose based on the offer or quote. And while the quotation says a lot it should not be the end all and be all of choosing a contractor. Budget allowances should be made, and the homeowner should not choose the plumber that has submitted the lowest quotation. Why? The low quote can mean a misunderstanding on the plumbing requirement which can jack up the cost later on. It could also mean that there might be some shortcuts or low quality work and supplies from that contractor.
Ask for referrals from trusted neighbors
The next thing a homeowner should do is ask for referrals from trusted neighbors and friends who may have hired a plumber servicing the area. This step is really important since a friend or a good neighbor would never recommend the service of a plumber who may have duped them or carried out a lousy job.
Once referrals are available, it is now time to go online to check on the plumbers referred by the neighbors and friends and try checking out more plumbers servicing the area. Take advantage of the resources of the internet and the social media since these can mean ratings and feedback on the performance of the plumber one intends to hire. The resources are also very useful in terms of knowing what the services these plumbers provide, and what comes with their work. Are there warranties, do they provide emergency services, how do they schedule their home appointments?
Top three choices
It is best to choose at least three plumbers to ask quotations from. This way, the homeowner can get a grip of current plumbing service costs and at the same time, one can have the time to at least vet the potential plumbers.
Reach out to the plumber and explain about the work requirements, and the timeline if any. While waiting for the quotation, ask for a copy of their license number and their certifications or permits to operate such that it can be validated prior to signing the contract.
Validate license and permits
It is not enough to just be shown a company identification card and a license. The business permit and the corresponding licenses can be verified through the Contractors State License Board. There is a specific portion in the CSLB website where a homeowner can encode the license number of the contractor and verify whether the said contractor is indeed licensed and if there are pending complaints about their service, plus its current status. Emergency Plumbing Service
The homeowner can also check out if the contractor is accredited by the local Better Business Bureau, by going to the website and conduct the verification accordingly. Checking these is crucial since certifications require a bond and insurance which give the homeowner something to claim on if ever there is a problem in the job that has been carried out. Hiring an unlicensed plumber would also mean anything goes wrong, all the liabilities will fall into the shoulders of the homeowner – even in the event an employee plumber gets hurt while on the job. Once the li9censes and business permits are verified it is now time to check on the quotation.
Examining the quotation
As mentioned earlier in the article, quotations are important and one of the guiding posts in examining it is the budget allotted for the plumbing work. This however should not mean that the least or the cheapest should be the one the homeowner has to go for. It is important to clarify whether the lowest bidder has clearly understood the plumbing requirements needed by the homeowner, and the extent of the job. Otherwise, the low quote can just be a product of a miscommunication that can result to additional charges later on.
Moreover the low quotes can be reflective of the quality of the work and supplies to be used in the plumbing repair or project. It is best to be wise when choosing. Ask the plumber contractor directly.
Contractors State License Board
Other service add ons
Ask away if they have a warranty policy for the services they carry out plus the provisions of these policies. Ask about an after sales hotline and emergency services if need be. Moreover ask for the terms and conditions of the contract and make sure that it does not require a full payment outright, as this could put the client at risk.
Here is a video guide on how to verify a contractor’s license. This will be very helpful in choosing a trustworthy and reliable expert plumber.