Selecting a Sewer Contractor

If you are like the majority of homeowners, chances are, you may not know much about plumbing; let alone, in an emergency who to contact and who to trust that the work is done correctly. How do I go about finding a qualified contractor? This can be a daunting and an intimidating task. Not sure where to turn, some homeowners just thumb through the yellow pages and pick a contractor at random. Finding a contractor in the yellow pages is fine. Assuming a contractor is qualified just because they are listed in the yellow pages can be a grave mistake. Always ask the following general questions of any potential contractor.

  1. Are you insured? The only acceptable answer to this question is yes.
  2. Are you licensed? Many states require that a contractor be licensed for their company to be considered legitimate. The village has a list of contractors that are currently licensed and bonded to work in town. However the village cannot recommend a specific contractor.
  3. How long have you been in business and do you have references? This will let you know just how experienced the contractor is. If a contractor acts reluctant to give you this information, it is always best to trust your intuition. A legitimate, qualified contractor will be more than happy to provide this information for you.
  4. How much will this cost? This is important! You will need a detailed quote which includes a written estimate. This will include payment terms as well as a materials list. It should also include any additional information or agreements you have spoken about together.
  5. Does the contractor provide clean up inside or outside? Is restoration included? If so, have this included in the contract?
  6. Can the contractor video tape the sewer line to determine its condition and locate any problems? Will the contractor provide a copy of the video tape of the sewer after televising? Is this included in the price or does the video tape cost extra? This is important to have if you need to have your sewer replaced. It is nice to have for a contractor for any future work. Make sure that you tell the contractor beforehand that you would like a copy of the sewer tape.
  7. Is your work guaranteed? Will you come back to fix the problem if it returns again? It is always best to pick a contractor who guarantees his or her work.
  8. Once you have selected a contractor, they will ask questions as to what the problem is and its frequency prior to their investigation. This investigation, if it does not include televising of the lateral, will yield a possible cause with alternative solutions. These could include simple maintenance or spot repairs or may involve replacement or modifications to your plumbing and sewer service line. Before making a decision on what corrective action is to be taken you should ask a number of questions.