Getting a quote is among the first things you will do when choosing a plumber. You have to pay careful attention during this time. For one, don’t trust a plumber that gives you a quote over the phone. It’s fine if you get a rough estimate depending on the services you need. However, for an accurate quote, a plumber must first take a look at the job at hand.
A complete quote is one that covers labor, materials, and miscellaneous costs. In some instances, you may get a quote and be happy about the seemingly affordable services but later realize it was not complete. A plumber may pile up extra costs that you may not understand.Plumbing service costs can be hourly or a flat rate. With the hourly rate, you will pay for the time a plumber works. It is imperative to get clarification before you sign a contract with a plumber. Gauge the sort of repairs you need and evaluate the charges that would be most suitable.
It should be clear what other services a plumber may charge for during the exercise. A comprehensive plumbing job may leave a messy area in your home. You should find out of the plumber will clean up after fixing your plumbing and if they will charge for it. Carrying out the cleaning task yourself means spending energy and time that you may not have. You should know in advance if the quote includes a cleanup service.
The costs are just the base rate to have a plumber in your home—add the price for materials and supplies, the cost of travel to and from the job, insurance, and the cost of getting equipment to the job.
ASK upfront if there is a call out fee and what does that fee cover.
This is always the first question you should ask!
Are you licensed?
This is the big one. Never, ever forget to ask this question, and don’t just take the plumber’s word for it. Many operate without a license, but many homeowners assume every plumber is licensed, so this question is always worth asking. Being licensed means the plumber is registered with a governing body at the state or local level.
What’s the problem with a great plumber who isn’t licensed? His work may not pass inspection, and you’ll have little recourse because you chose to hire him despite that fact. Always ask.
Is there a total cost?
Most professional plumbers offer free estimates to customers — be wary of any who want to give you one over the phone, however. Most will come to check out the job before they start work. Once your prospective plumber has had a chance to look over the job and provides you with a number for cost, ask if what he has quoted you includes materials, labor and a contingency for any problems. Some estimates look great on paper but only include the basic cost of materials and will skyrocket as a job goes on.
Is there an hourly or a flat rate?
Many plumbers build clauses into contracts that say homeowners will bear any reasonable costs to complete the job. When getting an estimate, make sure to ask if the total you’re being quoted is a flat rate — one that won’t change because of labor costs — or if your plumber is using an hourly rate plus the cost of materials. The problem with the second option is that while materials are a fixed price if the job runs long, the cost will keep going up while you pay for labor. Make sure you know what you’re getting before you sign a contract.