Hire a Contractor You Can Trust
...It's About Your Health, Safety and Comfort
When you have work done in your home, you literally have to live with the results! And when that work deals with your home's plumbing, heating or cooling system, it takes on even more meaning since your family's health, safety and comfort are at stake.
So, when the time comes to call a plumbing, heating or cooling contractor, make sure you choose a trained, full-time professional-not just someone who does this type of work on the side.
Whether you're modernizing an entire system or simply need a repair, one of the easiest ways to find a qualified contractor is to choose one that is a member of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC).
PHCC members are professionals who are dedicated to using the latest technology, promoting energy and water conservation, and following all health and safety regulations in your area. Their membership in the association also demonstrates their commitment to their industry and their profession-and to satisfying you-a valued customer and member of the community.
There are a number of ways to locate PHCC contractors:
- Look for the PHCC logo. Contractors who are members often display the logo on everything from their yellow pages and newspaper ads to the sides of their trucks.
- Find a Member Type in your zip code and complete the necessary information, and the name of your nearest PHCC contractors will appear.
Once you've narrowed down the number of potential contractors, here's what you can do to make the final choice:
- Ask for references. Ask the contractor for names of customers in the area. Contact those people and ask their opinion of the contractor's work.
- Check reputation. Call the local Better Business Bureau. Have any complaints been filed against the contractor?
- Inquire about stability. How long has the contractor been in business? Ask about the firm's experience and the expertise of its staff.
- Check local licenses. Many states and towns require that plumbing, heating and cooling contractors be licensed to ensure that all health, safety and building codes are followed. If that's the case where you live, ask the contractor for his or her license number, or call the Building Inspection and Licensing Department at City Hall. Confirm insurance credentials. Ask to see proof that the contractor has both liability and worker's compensation insurance. If the contractor doesn't, you could be liable for any accidents on your property, including injury to the technician.
- Check into building permits. Most localities require a building permit for large home improvement projects. Contact your local licensing or permit department to see if you need one for your project. Make this call before the work begins.
- Ask for an estimate. To get an idea of the overall cost, ask for an estimate. Remember, however, that choosing a contractor should be based on more than just the lowest estimate. Quality of work counts too.
- Look into service agreements. Many contractors also offer service agreements that provide periodic check-ups of your plumbing, heating or cooling system. They are usually offered at a reasonable cost, especially compared with the cost of a major emergency that periodic inspections can avoid.