What qualifications do you have and are you licensed?
All plumbers on Checkatrade are fully qualified and licensed, but it’s not unheard of for plumbers to trade without the correct qualifications and license, so it’s worth checking. If you’ve found a plumber on Checkatrade you can verify their qualifications and accreditations on their profile.
Are you Gas Safe registered?
In order for a plumber to be allowed to conduct work on a gas appliance such as a boiler or cooker, they must be Gas Safe registered. This means that they are qualified to safely carry out the work. You can check this on a plumber’s profile on Checkatrade.
Will you supply the materials you need?
It’s important to ask this question at the estimation stage to save any awkward conversations or unexpected costs as the project progresses. In some cases (such as fitting a new shower), a plumber may quote for the labour but not the materials, as these can vary widely depending on the design you choose.
Have you done similar work before?
This is especially important for more complex or specialist jobs. It’s important to ask if the plumber has experience with similar projects. They may be able to show you photographs or examples of similar jobs they’ve carried out in the past so you can be sure they have the expertise required and their work is of the standard you expect.
Who will be carrying out the work? Do they have experience with jobs similar to this?
Some companies will have more than one person who could carry out the work, or may contract certain jobs out to other tradespeople. It’s important to make sure that the person carrying out the work has the required expertise, and that you’re happy with their work before they commence.
Do you need to have the room they’re working in cleared (of furniture etc.) beforehand?
Depending on the work required, your plumber may expect to have the area cleared of any obstructions before they commence work. Making sure you’re clear on this can help prevent any unforeseen delays.
Do you need any specific permissions before you start work? (E.g. planning permission, building regs compliance).
This may be required before any work can commence, especially if the work is going to be carried out on a listed building. Making sure you have all of the permissions you require to carry out the work can help you avoid unforeseen delays or issues further down the line.
Does the estimation cover all costs? (Materials, labour etc.) Is the quote a flat rate?
This is very important to establish before work is started to avoid costs adding up once work has started. Make sure all materials and expenses are covered in the quote, and it takes into account unforeseen delays or complications. It’s also important to establish whether or not the plumber charges an hourly or flat rate. Be aware that if they charge an hourly rate, costs may vary depending on how long the work takes to complete.
Do you offer a guarantee or warranty?
These can be incredibly handy if there are any teething problems or if anything goes wrong after the work has been completed. Make sure you know the details of any warranty or guarantee offered; some just apply to manufacturing faults, or for labour. Knowing exactly what is covered and for how long after work is complete can give you peace of mind.