Kevin Solomon, a Red Deer plumbing expert at Express Plumbing and Heating says “When considering remodeling your bathroom or kitchen, it is wise to get several quotes. Doing so will provide you with a good indication of how much you can expect to pay to have the job completed.”
As a general rule the larger the job, the greater the difference in prices, so getting the job done at a cost that you can live with is important. Even smaller jobs can vary in price. Therefore it is worth taking a bit of time to shop around and compare prices.
The quality of a plumber’s work is not always directly related to the prices they charge. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a plumbing service is more expensive than others that the quality of workmanship is much higher. In fact, the opposite is often true. A competent, efficient plumber can afford to keep prices lower because they are often able to complete the job quicker than someone not as capable.
One of the difficulties in getting quotes for plumbing repairs is that it's hard for a plumber service to do more than estimate the cost without seeing what the repair entails. To get as accurate an estimate or quote as possible you need to ring several plumbing services and do the following:
- Give them an accurate as possible description of the entire problem
- Ask how labor rates are charged i.e. minimum charge plus cost per hour after that
- Ask how long they expect the job to take to be completed
- Once you have chosen a plumber and they have arrived at your home to start on the repair do the following:
- Confirm the charge rates with them before allowing them to initiate the job. If there are any differences to what you were told on the phone, it is best to get them sorted out before charges start piling up
- Make sure the area the plumber needs to work in is clear of anything that may be in the way. While the plumber will do it if necessary, it is not wise to pay the plumber an enormous hourly rate to do something you could easily do yourself
- Avoid distracting the plumber from his / her work. You will continue to be charged until the ticket is written up so any conversation and questions should be kept until you are no longer being charged for the plumber’s time.
- When hiring a plumber to undertake a remodel of a kitchen or bathroom insure the contract includes the following:
- A total fixed price that covers every aspect of the plumbers part of the remodeling job being undertaken
- A detailed description of what you require the plumber to do. This should include all extra work not directly related to the installation of pipes, such as making holes in walls, breaking up floors, clean up, hanging sinks, repairs and patches walls, and floors and any other carpentry work necessary to the job.
- Location of where fixtures are to be placed and where pipes will be run. A plumbing job can become more involved over a difference of just a few inches.
- An agreement that the contractor is responsible for acquiring all permits and inspections.
- An agreement as to start date and expected completion date.
- A warranty of not less than 12 months that covers all workmanship and materials.
- A schedule of when payments are to be made. When the majority of the payment is not expected until completion of work, it is usually a good indication that the plumbing service is confident of doing a good job. An agreement that includes a large percentage of the payment to be made at the completion of the job gives you a little bit of leverage should the job take longer than first anticipated.
- Arbitration clause. Some companies may not look favorably upon having an arbitration clause in the contract, but larger, more reputable companies will see an arbitration clause as a positive thing should there be a dispute arise during the remodel.