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Eleven Things You Need to Know Before You Hire a Plumbing, Heating, or Cooling Contractor

Use this handy check list next time you need to select a plumbing, heating, or cooling contractor

Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make (especially if you live in California!) To protect your investment, you’ll want to make sure that the contractor you select is reputable, competent, and cares about the quality of work they do. Ideally, you want a plumber, heating, and cooling contractor that would treat your home repairs just like he would if he was repairing his own mother’s home.

You want to know just enough about plumbing, heating, and cooling to have peace of mind you made the right choice, so we’ve provided you with some questions you can ask the companies you are considering hiring.

You can use these questions to interview the contractors you’re considering for your plumbing, heating or cooling job. The bigger the job, the more you should check out the company you’re considering hiring. And they shouldn’t mind it a bit. They are here to serve you.

  1. Does your contractor has a license. Ask them for his license number. If they are not licensed, we don’t recommend hiring them. Click here to go to the State Contractors License Board. You can also check out their records of past jobs.
  2. Does the plumbing, heating or cooling contractor have proof of liability and worker's compensation insurance? If not, you could be liable for any mishaps on your property, including injury to the technician. The contractor should be able to fax you a one-page Certificate of Insurance that you can verify.
  3. Ask the contractor how long they’ve been in business. Are they full time or part time? You want an experienced, full time contractor working on your house, not someone who is doing it as a hobby.
  4. Ask for a list of customer references. We recommend asking for 3-5 references whose last names start with a letter you choose. That way, you get a random selection, not necessarily their top clients. Call these home owners to find out first hand about the job the company performed for them.
  5. Check out the company’s online reviews in Yelp or Google Places. If they are not listed or don’t have a lot of reviews, that’s a red flag.
  6. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no complaints against the contractor you are looking to hire.
  7. Is the contractor a member of PHCC? PHCC members spend more time keeping up with technical education so they can serve you better. Look for the PHCC logo.
  8. Ask the contractor if they comply with all safety and health laws.
  9. If being green is important to you, ask the contractor what they do to promote energy and water conservation.
  10. Ask your contractor what education they have been through in the last year to keep up with the latest technology.
  11. Lastly, ask your contractor what type of equipment they plan on using on your job and how experienced they are with it. It could be as simple as a wrench or as complicated as an underground video camera.

Ask any other questions that are specific to your job that will help you gain peace of mind in evaluating a plumbing, heating, and cooling contractor.