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Ask This Before Hiring a Plumber!

Plumbing problems don’t always strike at the most opportune times! We’ve said it here on the blog before and will continue to do so, because it’s simply the truth. At the same time, while it may seem inconvenient at that particular moment, the key factor is getting it fixed in a timely fashion. Not to mention, ensuring the same problem won’t pop up again just a few weeks later! The question then becomes, “Who will I hire to get my plumbing problems fixed?” Hiring the RIGHT plumber can make this entire process seem like a walk in the park. On the flipside, hiring the WRONG plumber can result in a minor inconvenience turning into a major headache!

Having been in the plumbing industry for over forty years myself, it’s safe to say I’ve seen nearly every scenario you could think of! We’ve had those instances where someone hires us right away and the issue is resolved within hours of the initial inquiry. We’ve been called out to fix lackluster repairs made by someone else. All of this boils down to making sure the correct Kansas City plumber is coming to your house to get the job completed! Even though a Craigslist plumber may have the cheapest bid, that doesn’t mean you should always go with them! 

With this week’s blog post, we will examine the questions you should be asking any Kansas City plumber before hiring them! While some may seem obvious, you might be surprised by the answers you could potentially receive.

Are they licensed, bonded and insured?

Before even considering a plumber, this should automatically be question number one! For the most part, this confirms they’re a legitimate business and ensures you don’t have to worry about any future ramifications. When it comes to being licensed, this should be a no-brainer. A plumbing license essentially proves you’ve been trained and educated to be able to perform plumbing jobs. Unlicensed plumbers are simply not going to have the experience to be able to solve the wide array of issues with residential plumbing.

Next up, we have been “bonded” and “insured.” For insurance, we’re referring to commercial liability insurance and worker’s compensation. This will cover any property damage or bodily injuries that may arise from the work being done. If an uninsured plumber brings a crew on-site and someone gets hurt, guess who could be to blame? Yep, it’s the homeowner! Meanwhile, being “bonded” would cover those items not under the liability insurance umbrella. With this, we could be referring to surety bonds, license and permit bonds or contract bonds. Each serves a slightly different purpose, but it can mostly be described as an added level of protection. If you’re curious about learning more about the different types of bonds to look out for, we encourage you to check out the link HERE.

With your friends at Stine-Nichols, you have nothing to worry about here! All of our plumbers carry the necessary licenses and have been trained through the Union. Due to the physical nature of this type of work, we always make sure our insurance is intact! Lastly, with bonds, our number one goal is always to make our customer’s lives easier. We possess the necessary bonds to ensure you are always protected!

Is there any type of guarantee?

Question number two is another one centered around ensuring you get your money’s worth for your plumbing project. You will want to see what type of warranty there is included. Before any work has commenced, you’ll want to ask the plumbing company what their warranty policy is. Most businesses will offer varying length of warranties, depending on the type of work performed. 

In terms of our own warranties, we offer a 1-year warranty on all service and parts. Keep in mind though that doesn’t include drain cleaning. Chances are you won’t find any experienced plumbing company that offers a warranty on drain cleaning. Why so? For one, take a garbage disposal for example. You may have cleared out the drain, but then someone in the household tosses something in the garbage disposal that clearly doesn’t belong there! All in all, our team takes pride in what we do day in and day out! After a member of our team leaves a customer’s home, we want the homeowners to have the peace of mind that the same issue won’t arise a few weeks later!

How long have they been a plumber?

This is actually a two-part question. First and foremost, you’ll want to hire a Kansas City plumbing company that’s been around for awhile. Chances are if they’ve been around for awhile and have a solid reputation, they will stand by their product. At the same time, when it comes to plumbing, a skill that’s invaluable is problem solving. Every plumbing project is going to have it’s own unique twist to it. Being able to analyze the problem as a whole and develop an action plan is a skill that only comes with experience.

The second half of this question is how experienced the person is that’s actually doing your job. Most larger companies will have someone (likely a manager) provide the quote for the job and then another plumber come out to do it. It never hurts to inquire about the experience level of the technician you’ll be assigned to ensure they’re capable of doing the job correctly.

Kansas City Craigslist plumbers? Why is there bid so much lower than the others?

Before getting into this next point, it’s important to note that Craigslist is a tremendous platform for connecting homeowners with service providers. There’s a reason why it’s been able to grow so big and become such a valuable resource. However, a quick browse through Craigslist will reveal plenty of service providers claiming to offer the cheapest price in town. Some of the time, there may be nothing to worry about and they’re merely offering a lower price due to a lack of work. Other times though, this could be due to some underlying variables. 

Here’s just a few to consider: Are they licensed and truly know what they’re doing? How about insurance? If someone gets hurt on-site, are the medical bills going to be my responsibility? Are they hesitant to give a definite estimate or quote? Do they want a significant portion of the bill paid up-front? All of these questions above should be immediate red flags! Hiring an experienced plumber might require a higher investment at the time of service, but it’s certainly the smart move in the long run.

Do they have any testimonials or reviews?

In 2020, one of your best bets for deciding whether or not a plumber is a good hire (other than referrals) is to see their online reviews. The reason why these are so important is because in bigger markets, such as Kansas City, there can be a ton of companies offering the same services. After all, just Google “plumbing Kansas City” and see how many results populate. 

One of the best places to view these reviews is on their Google My Business listing. A quick browse through these will tell a lot about a business! At the same time, gauge the frequency in which they’ve received the reviews. Did all of them come within a two-week time period? If so, something fishy might be going on. How about the actual wording left in the review? Does it appear the reviewer was willing to take the time to truly describe their experience with that particular business?

Does the company run background checks on employees?

For any type of home services, it’s important to feel 100% confident in the individual or team coming out to perform the work. In today’s day and age, you can never be too careful. You’re letting a stranger into your home with your family and need to feel comfortable everything will go according to plan! 

Here at Stine-Nichols, we don’t want any of this to be a concern at all! In addition to the background checks provided by the Union, we also do our own due diligence. This includes background checks and pre-employment drug screenings. Any plumber that comes to your home for a project will not only be knowledgeable about what they’re doing, but will always act according to our company’s core values!

Trust the Kansas City plumbers with Stine-Nichols!

Having had the opportunity to help thousands of fellow Kansas City homeowners, we truly are thankful for anyone that trusts us with their plumbing project. Whether it be a fixture installation, hot water heater repair or even a commercial plumbing project, we are always ready to go for any of your plumbing needs! As evidenced throughout this article, it’s clear not all plumbers are the same. Being a homeowner, it’s important to have a general understanding of what separates a shady plumber from an experienced one. We hope this blog provided some insight into what you should be looking for with your next Kansas City plumber!

Need a quote for your next plumbing project? Give us a call at 816-348-3481 or fill out the form HERE to get started!

By |2020-02-04T15:01:08-06:00February 4th, 2020|Residential Plumbing, Tips and Tricks|