How to Hire an Edmonton Plumbing Contractor: 8 Questions to Ask


At some point in your life, you may need to remodel your home’s bathroom or kitchen. These remodels are usually beyond the scope of most people’s expertise though, so hiring a plumber will be in their future. But how do you hire a plumber, and what questions should you ask? To help with this process, here is a list of eight questions to ask before hiring a plumbing contractor.

1) Are you licensed?

You absolutely must ask this question and do not take the plumber’s word for it. When a plumber is licensed he is registered with a governing body at the local or provincial level. A license also shows that the plumber is a tested professional who is up to date on building codes ensuring your renovation passes inspection.


2) Are you insured?

Insurance is a key component of a plumber’s credentials. Mistakes and accidents may happen, but if your plumber isn’t insured these can cause you big problems. Being insured means your plumber can do any job without requiring you to take the risk of paying unexpected expenses.


3) What are your credentials and references?

Prospective plumbers should have a minimum of three to five references. Check them before getting bids or signing a contract. Credentials are also important. They may not represent quality workmanship, but they do prove a commitment to the trade. Credentials show that a plumber is up to date with building and professional practices.


4) Are your sub-contractors licensed?

Many people don’t know that the plumber they interview may not be the person doing the actual work. So although you’ve carefully checked your plumber’s license, the people doing the work may have no experience whatsoever. That’s why it’s important to ask who will be doing the work, the plumbing contractor or someone else he hires to do the work for him. If your plumber is using subcontractors, ask for their licenses and references as well.


5) Is this the complete cost?

Of course you’ll want to know what the final cost will be. Most plumbers will give a free estimate once they’ve visited the home to check out the job. After you’ve been given an estimate, be sure to ask if the quote includes the cost of materials, labor and a contingency for problems. If the quote does not include labor that means the plumber will bill separately for his time. The problem with this type of contract is that while materials will be a fixed amount, the cost of labor may continue to rise if the project runs long. Be sure you understand what you’re paying for before you sign a contract.


6) When is payment due?

Be sure to ask the plumber when he expects to be paid and how much of the total price he wants upfront. If anyone wants 100 percent of the cost upfront, walk away. Many plumbers use a “milestone” system. As stages of work are completed, you’ll pay a percentage of the total. Some simply use time – after a predetermined number of days or weeks you’ll pay a portion of the cost. The milestones system is preferable because you only pay when tasks are complete.


7) Do you clean up the mess?

Don’t assume your plumber will clean up when he’s done. Many homeowners have been left with unwieldy boxes, old parts and a giant mess. Determine if cleanup is included in the quote. Some companies charge an additional fee for cleanup and while the price may be worth it, don’t forget to ask.


8) Do you offer a warranty?

You’ll need to ask what kind of guarantee comes with the plumber’s work. Some common provisions are: offering to come back within a year to fix any problems or offering service on selected fixtures or under certain conditions. Be sure to get the warranty in writing.


Hiring a plumber may seem like a formidable task, but these questions will help you find a qualified professional. After you’ve narrowed your search, you’ll be ready to check references. You can also use these ideas to verify a plumbing contractor’s reputation:


  • Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Ask if the plumber is BBB accredited or if any complaints have been filed against him.
  • Search for the plumbing business online. If the company has a web site, read all of the information provided. Keep in mind that an independent plumber may not have a website. This is not an indication of the plumber’s capabilities.


Hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor is a significant commitment. Don’t be rushed or pressured into it. Be clear with prospective contractors about your needs and expectations before hiring, and most importantly trust your instincts.


Melanie Nathan is a marketer and freelance writer for the Edmonton plumbing company; She enjoys sharing knowledge and expertise regarding all things home renovation. Got a plumbing renovation question? Contact Action Auger today.