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Let’s be honest, how often do you question the quality and worth of your plumbing costs after a job has been done? The truth is that many people never really know if their plumbing fees are in line with industry standard. Maybe you’ve been using the same person for many years and now you have some loyalty involved that you would prefer not to question, but when it comes to something as important as your plumbing, not everyone can afford to keep paying inflated rates for below quality work.
Naturally, no one is overt to paying slightly higher fees if your contractor has done an amazing job. The cost of good plumbing work is absolutely justifiable, but when the work is substandard, no one wants to be ripped off.
The following points are things that you can bear in mind when trying to decipher what is worth the price and what is not:
- Some contractors remain unlicensed. While this allows them to charge less, there’s no possible recourse against them if the job is poorly done or if they do more harm than good. You should always ask for your contractor’s state license and proof of insurance. While a licensed contractor may seem more expensive than an unlicensed one, their responsibility to their work is always worth the few extra dollars.
- Request that your plumber physically view the problem rather than describing it over the phone. If you need to pay a callout fee, do it! The reason why paying a call out fee could be worth its weight in gold is because not even the world’s best contractor can solve your problem and give you a realistic quote without seeing the problem first hand. What the job consists of and what you’re describing could possibly be two different things. Never accept a quote from a plumber to fix a problem that he or she has not seen before they quote. A visual inspection should be done to determine the key issues and a written quote should be given to you that itemizes and details all the necessary contractor services and associated costs to fixing your issue.
- A good idea to ensure you don’t get caught blind is to collect different quotes for the job from various individual contractors or companies. A lowball first offer probably has a few invisible strings attached that you’ll only be made aware of when it’s too late. By collecting the various quotes you’ll be able to safely ascertain what is and what isn’t reasonable. This will also ensure that your quote isn’t filled with unnecessary items or ridiculous prices. Remember though that you can rely on reputation – if the company that is providing you with the service is reputable, rest assured that you will be getting the best possible service.
- Always check the make and model number of the parts or equipment included in the quote so that later on you can be sure that nothing was switched out for an inferior product.
- ALWAYS get a receipt. If something goes wrong with the work, you need to be able to prove that this specific contractor was the one responsible.
- Depending on the size of the job, extra contractors may be needed to ensure the job is completed properly. Make sure you find out exactly how many plumbers are necessary, approximately how long the work will take, and if there are any other fees attached.
- Since certain companies have a minimum charge for the first hour or so, ensure that your contractor utilizes the full hour. If the job he or she was assigned to do is a mere quick fix, ask him or her to tighten other faucets or replace gaskets etc.
Most importantly: never pay your contractor the full amount until all of the work is completed to your satisfaction. A down payment towards specific parts and labor is acceptable. Asking for all of the money up front without any assurance that the job will be completed is not.