By Gene and Katie Hamilton
All licensed plumbing contractors are plumbers, but not all plumbers are licensed. A plumbing contractor can have other (sometimes unlicensed) plumbers working under his or her license. To find a plumber, ask friends and neighbors for a referral or go online and type "plumber in (your town)" in the search box of a search engine and you'll be directed to several contractor referral services. Many plumbers advertise in local newspapers and some post their business card on bulletin boards in home centers and plumbing supply stores.
A licensed plumbing contractor knows local building regulations and safety standards and is responsible for the workmanship and quality of his or her workers. This license may be revoked if the plumber has a history of doing shoddy work, so most professionals take pride in their work and value their licenses. Expect to pay $65 to $140, the national average hourly rate for a liicensed plumber.
If you're trying to cut corners and save some money by hiring an unlicensed plumber to do a side job or work on the weekends, you don't have much recourse if the work is unsatisfactory.
Here are the basic points that should be included in a written contract with a plumber:
- Description of the work to be completed with a detailed list of materials to be used (brand name, style, and color of fixtures
- Cost of material and all warranties from the manufacturer
- Cost of labor and amount of deposit, if required
- Job installation date
Click Plumbing Projects to compare how much it costs to do-it-yourself with hiring a plumber for 37 projects.