Unsuspecting homeowners can end up paying thousands of dollars more than they should if they are not aware of common scams and half-truths told by plumbers. Even though bad plumbers and scam plumbing companies are few especially in Australia, having just one bad experience can open your eyes. Bad plumbers can financially devastate you. This is why knowing exactly what you can expect from a plumbing service will help you pick up on any red flags which can later spell trouble for you. Below we discuss a few factors to consider when hiring a plumbing service or plumber.
Get your home inspected
Before a plumber can provide you with a quote they need to do a home inspection. This allows them to gather some firsthand knowledge of what the job will require in terms of material and time. If a plumber or a company quotes without an inspection it should set off alarm bells in your brain. This is because there is no way they can determine what the job will entail with a vague description over the phone. Only hire a plumber who provides you with a detailed estimate in writing.
Get the plumbing costs in writing
There are some scam plumbers who will refuse to put the costs in writing. You should never hire a plumber based on a verbal estimate and contract because they cannot be taken to court if something goes wrong.
Some plumbers will try to get more money out of you by using scare tactics or try to get you to hire their services immediately. This method is often used by a plumber to scare elderly folks into wasting their money on unworthy plumbing. If a plumber starts to mention catastrophic damages and lawsuits its best to get rid of them and call in someone else.
Changing a contract mid-job
There are some jobs in which the scope may change slightly but large additions or significantly increased plumbing prices right in the middle of a task is a huge red flag. This means that either the plumber is not experienced or he is trying to take you for a ride. Sometimes an inexperienced plumber will find out that they have bitten off more than they can handle and try to wiggle out.
Don’t chase the lowest quote
There are some plumbers that will give you a significantly low quote, this is often too good to be true. You need to be very careful of a plumber who offers to do the same job for far less as compared to other companies.
Don’t do cash only
You should never have to get pushed into doing a cash only deal with a plumber or pay them under the table. Plumbers that take cash or says they will not provide you with a receipt should be avoided. There is a good chance that this business or individual wants to avoid taxes and also does not have insurance.
Check for credentials
Always check a plumber’s credentials and identification. Don’t hire contractors who do not have a business card or can prove their credentials.
Avoid upfront payments
You shouldn’t pay more than 10% for the job upfront. In order to play it safe simply never deal with contractors who ask for more money before they even start since there is a good chance that they will leave with the money.
How much should be regarded as too much?
Plumbing costs will vary depending on where you live and the nature of the job, as well as how experienced the plumber is. The best way to get a ballpark figure as to what you can pay for repair work is to check with local plumbers in your area to find out what they charge per hour. Basic hourly rates for regular repairs are around $50 an hour, then factor in the cost of replacement parts which depends on the parts you need to replace. It is also difficult to predict emergency rates and if you need to hire a specialized service. As Plumbing suggests getting a few quotes from both online and regular plumbers to get a good idea of the finances you’ll need to get the job done.
Mark is a certified plumber with over a decade of experience. In addition to running his own specialized plumbing service geared at people in Sydney he also teaches young plumbers the art of providing a great service. This is why he is often regarded as a guru among younger plumbers in Australia.
Citations: The importance of plumbers on National Plumber’s Day