12 important questions to ask when you call a plumber

September 14, 2017

In need of a plumber but not sure how to find the best one for the job? A great way is to check out the ratings and reviews on YP.ca, but you can also call a few plumbers in your area and compare their answers to these key questions. Here are a few questions to help you select a professional service provider who is trustworthy, qualified, and the right fit for your plumbing project.

[Photo credit: iStock.com/RuslanDashinsky]

12 important questions to ask when you call a plumber

The most important questions to ask when you call a plumber:

1. What certifications or licenses does your business hold?

Whether you need a plumber to help with a small household emergency or large-scale renovation project, it’s important to ensure you’re hiring a trained professional. Ask about the necessary licenses and certifications required to get the job done correctly and according to code. Remember, projects completed by an unlicensed plumber may not pass a home inspection down the road.

2. What type of insurance coverage does your business hold?

As a homeowner, you don’t want to assume liability for any unforeseen damage or expenses as a result of plumbing work conducted on your property. With that in mind, confirm that your plumber is bonded and insured before enlisting their services.

3. How many years of experience do you have?

Don’t be afraid to ask your potential plumber about their training to determine if they are the right fit for the job. You want to feel confident that you’re hiring a qualified professional who has the necessary technical skills to complete the work.


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4. Will you provide me with references from previous clients?

Word of mouth recommendations are extremely valuable when it comes to hiring individuals to work in your home. An experienced tradesperson will be happy to provide you with references so that you can speak directly to clients about their experience.

5. Do you specialize in repairs or remodelling projects?

Plumbers train in different areas of focus; some may concentrate exclusively on quick fixes and repair work, while others specialize in more in-depth construction and renovation projects.

6. How do you charge for your services?

Price is a big consideration when it comes to hiring a plumber. Ask if they charge an hourly rate or a flat fee, so you can avoid surprises when it's time to pay the bill. You’ll also want to inquire about how labour and material costs are calculated, when payment is due, and if there are additional fees for follow-up visits. Some plumbers may also charge an emergency fee for visits on weekends or holidays.

7. What's included in your quotation? Approximate cost?

Explain your project in as much detail as possible so that plumbers can assess the situation and provide an accurate quote. Depending on the scope of work, you may want to have the plumber visit your home for an in-person inspection.

8. What methods of payment do you accept?

Cash, credit, cheque, or electronic money transfer — there are a variety of ways to cover the costs of a plumber these days. It’s a good idea to determine how you will be expected to pay for their services upfront.

9. What type of repair method or replacement parts will you use?

Ask your potential plumber how he or she will go about resolving the issue you’ve described and what materials will be necessary. Getting a detailed overview of the repair method and required replacement parts will help you better understand the cost.

10. What type of guarantee is offered on your services?

Depending on the type of job, you may want your plumber to provide a warranty on their work. This type of service guarantee will give you peace of mind and protect you against substandard workmanship.

11. Is a permit required? If so, who will obtain it?

Extensive plumbing work done as part of a larger renovation project will likely require a permit from your local jurisdiction. Confirm if your plumber is licensed and able to obtain these permits on your behalf, or it will be up to you to make these requests with the city.

12. When are you available to begin the project?

Timing is everything when it comes to home improvement projects. Major remodels require long-term planning and may take months to execute, while emergency issues need immediate attention. If you’re dealing with a time-sensitive repair such as a flooded basement or leaky toilet, you need to find a plumber who is available to begin work right away.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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