You’ve got a plumbing project that needs to be handled. Maybe you’re renovating your master bath and need a new shower installed. Perhaps your water heater has finally given up the ghost. Maybe there’s a leak somewhere in your piping. Whatever the case, you’ve done your legwork and found a plumber you trust and like. However, you’re not done yet. You need to ask a few questions before you agree to a cost for the project.
- Is there a call out fee?
In most cases, you’ll find that a plumber will charge what’s called a “call out” fee. These fees are charged on top of any work performed and recompense the plumber for the time necessary to come out to your residence or business. However, not all plumbers charge this fee, and some will waive it if you have the work performed.
- Do you charge by the hour or a flat rate?
Some plumbers have a fixed rate they charge for specific types of work – a blocked drain, a leaking tap, installing a toilet, etc. However, others charge by the hour, with a one-hour minimum fee for all jobs. Find out which is the case with your plumber so that you’ll know better what you’re looking at in terms of costs and so you can compare quotes more accurately.
- Do you charge extra for emergency work?
Plumbing emergencies are no respecters of your schedule, and they can occur even at odd hours of the day and night. Some plumbers will charge extra for emergencies that occur outside of their normal business hours. However, not all plumbers have this practice, and a growing number are willing to waive the emergency fee and just charge their standard rate for work, no matter what time of the day or night you call.
- Are there extra costs not included in the estimate?
Many consumers are shocked when they receive their actual plumbing bill and it is higher than the estimate. That is because the estimate did not include additional costs involved with the project. These are things like replacement tile and grouting, painting, replacement drywall, and other things necessary to return your home to like-new condition after the plumbing problem has been repaired. Always ask if the plumber you’re considering has included estimated additional costs in their quote.
- Do you charge a call out fee for a return visit if the problem is not fixed?
Finally, make sure that you won’t be on the hook for additional charges if the initial repair doesn’t work. If you have to call the plumber back to your home to take care of the same problem once more, it should be at their cost, not yours. This guarantee should be in writing.
There you have them – five questions to ask any plumber you’re thinking about hiring before you agree to a cost on your project. Whether you’re doing reno work, dealing with a burst pipe, or upgrading your water heater, these considerations apply in all instances.