Plumbing has been the second-most inquired about type of business through the BBB since October of 2016. More than 18,000 inquiries have been made with BBB about plumbers in the final three months of last year alone.
BBB offers the following tips for hiring a plumbing contractor:
- Ask for recommendations. Relying on recommendations from friends and family can help steer you towards trustworthy plumbers based on their past experiences. Further your search online at bbb.org to assess accreditation status, customer reviews, BBB ratings, and prior complaints.
- Look at credentials. A plumber hired to do any type of work or repair should be licensed and insured, to protect homeowners from bearing responsibility if the plumber is injured on the job. Check the plumber’s credentials with the State Plumbing Board before hiring. Check the license and insurance expiration date, and verify how long they have been a licensed plumber. If more than one plumber is working to tackle the job, make sure each plumber has a current license and insurance.
- Get three estimates. Compare the prices carefully; the lowest estimate may not be the best deal. Plumbers with significant experience may charge a little more for their work. Understand how the plumber plans to charge for the job. It may be a flat rate for all work or an hourly labor fee.
- Check references. Ask the plumber for a list of references for previously completed work. Contact the references to ask if the final cost was as estimated, if the job was done on schedule, and if the quality of the work has held up since completion. Try to contact references that had similar work completed as the job being requested, if possible.
- Get a written agreement. A contract should provide specific details and should include: a description of the job; materials needed; cost of materials and labor, completion date; and any type of permits or inspections needed. Work out a payment system that pays the plumber according to how much work has been completed. Never make the final payment before the job is fully completed to satisfaction. Save a copy of the contract in case it is needed for future reference.