A plumbing problem is never a good sign, especially when it’s an emergency that came out of nowhere. Sometimes there’s not a lot of time to do your research before hiring a Plumber in San Jose, even though it’s the best possible thing you could do for your family. Here are a few quick simple steps you can take to ensure you are getting the best quality for your money. Don’t get ripped off my scam artists who are just trying to make a quick buck off of you.
One of the many things you can do when seeking out a professional is asking for proof of insurance as well as a copy of their license up front. A scam artist will run away without looking back. Any good plumber will be more than willing to hand this to you up front without being asked. A plumbing license is required in all states except for New York and Kansas. For most of the major companies you should be able to find their license information on their website as well. Insurance is also a major key factor that you want to check on. For the smaller companies just call and ask if they can scan you a copy of their license and insurance. If they don’t have insurance, there could be a bigger risk to you if something were to happen. For instance, if the plumber is burned trying to replace a water heater, he could say it was your fault due to do neglect and could possibly sue you depending on the circumstances.
Once you’ve established and have proof of insurance and licensing try checking to see how long they’ve been in business or if there backed by any major businesses. If someone has been in the business for more than a couple years, chances are they provide quality work. This doesn’t mean to automatically rule out the little guys; it simply means do your research on the individual.
There a numerous tools and websites that offer user reviews on most contractors. If you cannot locate any public reviews on the contractor then ask for references. A decent business man will have references available, but most don’t think to provide them unless directly asked. If both of these options fail, ask the contractor if they have a guarantee on the labor or parts. Most will ensure a guarantee on parts(as these often come with a receipt from the seller), but some contractors will also provide a guarantee on labor and service. Depending on the work and individual a warranty can be anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. Try and aim for someone who offers at least a 1 year minimum warranty on service and always get it in writing. A verbal guarantee does not always stand up in legal terms, having a guarantee in writing give you a guarantee if it ends up in small claims court.
Aside from all the points above, most consumers main concern is price and how much will be missing from their pay check at the end of the day. Get multiple quotes and estimates from plumbers and don’t automatically go with the lowest price. A good recommendation is to stick with three to five estimates and throw out any that seem way out in left field. If they throw you a really low number, it could mean that the work isn’t decent or that they are just trying to get in the door of your house to charge more. A low ball price could turn into one of the highest after all is said and done. You also don’t want to hire the most expensive contractor either. If they know that it’s an emergency, shady contractors will jack up the prices on you because they know you need a quick fix and will use this to their advantage. Geography is a huge factor in pricing, meaning that depending on where you live services could cost more or less. You can do a simple internet search to find prices in your area for certain services. If you know what the problem is, such as rotted or galvanized piping, or a simple drain clog you can narrow your price window a little more. If you don’t know what the problem is, or how to pin point the problem, it could make it harder to determine a good estimate.
There can be some sneaky catch point to prices that you want to look out for, don’t fall into a pit if you can help it. Some of the smaller companies out there will offer free estimates because they are trying to gain business and trust, which is good for you since they want to protect their fragile reputation. Bigger companies will sometimes offer free estimates, but this usually comes with a catch. The catch being the estimate is only free if you hire them, should you choose to go with someone else, they can turn around and bill you whatever they want because you signed up for a quote. Also try and hire someone who specialized in plumbing only. If a contractor has many areas of focus, it could possibly mean more out of pocket money from you as they can blame a simple plumbing problem on an electrical malfunction or vice versa. Of course once they have you believing that something else is wrong with your house they can talk you into hiring them to fix it. You can always tell the difference between a contractor and a salesman, one will try and up sell you into something you don’t want, while a true contractor will just fix the problem.
Ultimately the choice to hire a plumber is up to you; therefore you should be one hundred percent satisfied before hiring them that they will suit your needs. Regardless of whether you are pressed for time or not, do at least some research before hiring an individual or company to do your work. The more you research, the less possibility of ending up with a bigger problem down the road.