From $45 to $200 per hour. That’s what you’ll pay, on average, to hire a plumber, according to HomeAdvisor.com’s True Cost Guide. But, that’s for small tasks, such as faucet, toilet or sink repair.
Need a water heater installed? That will run you around $1,000, on average, nationwide.
Not all plumbers are alike, with the same amount of experience and the same skills. Assuming they are is probably the most common mistake consumers make.
Let’s take a look at five additional mistakes that homeowners commonly make when hiring a plumber.
1. Choosing “cheap” over qualified
Go to any local social media platform, such as Facebook neighborhood groups and NextDoor, or sites such as Craigslist.org and you’ll find lots of people offering their services for a variety of home repair and maintenance tasks.
Group members often offer referrals. Far too often, however, the person seeking the referral is looking for the lowest price, not the most qualified contractor. Inevitably, this same neighbor will be back posting a month later, bemoaning the horrible job that was done.
Yes, it’s always smart to save money. But, remember, you truly do get what you pay for. When the job is something important to your family’s comfort and safety, such as many plumbing tasks, hire a professional plumber.
2. Not ensuring the plumber is licensed
Some states require that plumbers be licensed, while others require registration with the state. You can find each state’s requirements at HomeAdvisor.com.
A license is proof that the plumber has passed an exam that tests his or her knowledge. Always ask if the plumber is licensed and ask to see the license.
Also ensure that the business the plumber works for is licensed.
3. Not inquiring about bonding and insurance
Ask the plumber you are interviewing if he or she carries general liability insurance. This insurance covers any damage caused as a result of the plumber’s work.
Then inquire about bonding. A bond guarantees financial protection against a number of issues, such as work that doesn’t meet local codes or an incomplete job. Ask for written proof of the bond.
Finally, if the plumber works for someone else, ask if his or her employer carries worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance pays for injuries incurred during the time the plumber is working in your home.
4. It’s a huge mistake to not ask for references
When a friend, colleague or neighbor recommends a plumber, do yourself a favor and do some additional checking.
Go to the plumber’s website to find reviews. If you can’t find any there, check Yelp.com. Then, ask the plumber for the names and phone numbers of his or her last three clients. Call each one for a review of the plumber’s work.
Finally, check to see if the plumber is rated at the Better Business Bureau and whether any complaints have been filed against the plumber and/or the business.
5. Not getting the agreement in writing
Ask that all the details of the job, the agreed upon time for completion and the price be put in writing, signed by the owner of the plumbing company.
While this agreement will keep the plumber on task, it will also protect you in the event something doesn’t occur as agreed or there is another problem.
Ensure that their refund policy is clearly outlined in the agreement.
Like those in most industries, honest, ethical plumbers suffer from those among them who are unscrupulous, dishonest and who perform substandard work.
Avoid going the “cheap” route and hire a professional.
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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS
Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.
Professional Associations & Accreditation
Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS). Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s Website: westchesterliving.hou