In these difficult times, saving money and cutting back on expenses is more important to homeowners than ever before. Unfortunately, not everyone has the customer’s best interests at heart, and being taken in by an unprincipled plumbing service can rapidly drain your wallet. The best way to avoid being defrauded is by being aware of some of the signs of a dishonest practice.
A reputable service will offer to provide the customer with an estimate after he or she does a thorough inspection of the home, to get an idea of how much work will be involved in the project. If a plumber tries to convince you that he can give you an estimate without first seeing the residence, warning sirens should go off in your head. Even after an inspection has taken place, make sure that the estimate is provided to you in writing, as a verbal agreement cannot be enforced legally. An unscrupulous service will often refuse to give written documentation, leaving you with no legal recourse should things go awry.
You should also be wary of a plumber or company Seattle Plumbing whose estimates are drastically lower than most of their competitors for the same job. While a slight variation in cost is normal from one business to the next, a company that offers prices which are vastly different—or almost too good to be true—could be a sign of trouble. The easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to get several estimates and compare them.
It is also a good idea to do a background check on the company, something that may only take a few minutes of your time and an internet connection. Not being able to locate an address, physical or online, or only having a cell phone for communication could be a tip that not everything is as it seems. Beware of businesses that only offer a P.O. box as the address, as these are easily rented and abandoned by disreputable contractors.
Finally, payment should be made only after all work is completed, so if a plumber asks to be paid in full up front, be aware that there is a very good chance he or she is not planning to stay and actually do the plumbing work. On large projects, such as a total remodeling, a portion of the payment can be provided in advance for the purchase of parts and materials; however, the amount is usually limited to between 10 and 20 percent.
A homeowner should also be wary of a significant increase in costs in the middle of a project, as it could signal the plumber is either inept or dishonest. While most service professionals are honest and committed to doing quality plumbing work, a few bad apples can spoil the bunch, so it pays to do your homework in order to avoid unpleasant situations.