Questions For a Plumber
Are You Licensed & Insured?
In the UK it is a legal requirement for plumbers to be fully licensed and insured so asking this question is more about requesting to see evidence of eligibility. If a plumber is not certified, you should not be hiring them.
Liability insurance is extremely important because it protects your property in the event of an accident. For example, if a plumber causes damage to an appliance or pipework they would be held liable for the costs, but only if they are insured.
Do You Charge for a Consultation?
Even though a small fee for an inspection does not necessarily mean that you should discount a company, there are many providers who do offer free consultations and estimates, so it is a chance to save money if needed.
The important thing is knowing where you stand as you do not want to have a plumber come out for an inspection and land you with an unexpected fee. Similarly, you should always ask for a project estimate before agreeing to start any work as that way you will always have a ballpark sum in mind.
Do You Charge Hourly or Flat Rate?
This will be worked out on a case by case basis but should include all tools, equipment, parts, and labour (unless stated otherwise). A flat rate will always the best option, for both parties, as hourly rates tend to stack up additional fees and charges which would have to be agreed on whilst with a flat rate both parties know where they stand.
Make sure that you know how and what you are paying for before any work begins as a project estimate can change. It is an estimate after all and would be based upon knowledge at the time of preparation however, problems do occur so there should be an understanding that changes will not happen unless there is a justifiable, approved reason before any additional works are carried out.
How Long Has Your Company Been Operating?
Although not always the case, it is generally true that more experienced providers are the best option and, if possible, seek out plumbers with experience of working for businesses like your own as familiarity with systems can benefit you greatly as you will receive a better quality of work, it will be completed faster, and you will have access to previous references and testimonials.