Last updated on February 14th, 2019
You may be an experienced DIYer or a novice at plumbing, either way, there comes a time when everyone needs to call in the professionals. When we require their services, there is often a sense of urgency, the basement is flooding, the water pipes are frozen, or the hot water tank has gone kaput in the middle of your morning shower. This can lead us to select a plumber that is not right for the task at hand. That is why it is important to ask some key questions first.
Asking the important questions
Although your toilet may be out of action or your bathroom flooded, it is still important to act with caution when you hire any type of professional. After all, if you hire a rookie, you could end up with an even bigger problem on your hands. To ensure this does not occur, it is all about asking the right questions.
The first question to ask is how long the plumber has been in business, and what training or qualifications they have. You want to be certain that they have the experience to carry out the job, and that they are not just a general handyman with no specialization in plumbing at all.
Aside from this, ask whether the work they provide is guaranteed. This is important; otherwise, if the work is not carried out correctly, you won’t be able to challenge it. Also, be sure to ask what insurance the plumbing company has, and whether you have to pay any additional costs on top of the price for the plumbing work. For example, do you need to pay for waste disposal, parking, or travel? Be mindful that some plumbers do add hidden costs.
Ask if they clean up their mess or will they leave it for you to have to clean up. Believe me it can be quite messy after replacing a toilet and you really don’t want your old toilet hanging around on the porch for months afterward.
How much should you pay?
When looking for any type of professional, it is important to find a fair price. You should never simply look for the cheapest plumber, as you could suffer a lack of quality, which could ruin your bathroom. Of course, the price you are charged depends on the work being carried out, and also the state you live in. This is why it is a good idea to get several quotes specific to your job so you can compare.
Plumbers are available in large numbers. They assist with a wide array of services, from unblocking toilets to installing outside taps and specialist services, like slab leak detection. But, how much should you expect to pay for their work?
Here are a few ballpark estimates for you to consider. Remember these prices vary from location to location, time of year, and cost of parts. These are just to give you an idea of what costs may be. Always ask for an estimate up front and always get estimates from at least 3 plumbers before you choose.
One of the most expensive jobs is replacing a standard hot-water tank. This typically costs between $395 and $550 in a standard three-bedroom semi-detached property, including the cost of materials and labor. For a cold-water tank, the cost is reduced to between $200 and 3350. If you have a blocked toilet on your hands, you can expect to pay between $60 and $90, including the materials, labor, and call-out fee. If a water pipe has burst, most companies will charge between $70 and $120. However, this is assuming that all of the pipes can be accessed with ease. Again, materials, labor, and call-out fee should be included. Other jobs include installing an outside tap ($80 – $120), replacing a faulty ball valve in toilet cistern ($55 – $75), fitting a new batch ($150 – $250), fitting a new toilet ($80 – $150), and fitting a new pedestal sink ($80 – $140).