No one wants to need a plumber but that’s one of the joys that go along with being a homeowner. Hiring a plumber shouldn’t be stressful and as long as you’re asking the right questions, it should be a smooth process.

Make sure to ask the following questions when hiring a plumber:

Are you licensed?
Becoming a licensed plumber takes years of schooling and on the job training, and for a good reason. Your home’s plumbing is very extensive and you want someone that is properly trained and knows what they are doing – especially when it comes to your gas line. Your home warranty also might only cover the work of a licensed plumber, so for the safety of your home and family members, be sure the plumber you hire is licensed.

Is the company insured?
If a mistake is made, you don’t want to be held responsible. All reliable plumbing companies should be insured and you want to stay away from plumbers who are not. This will save you money and a headache should something go wrong during the service.

Who cleans up the mess?
Moving your gas line or replacing the plumbing in your home are major jobs that leave big messes. Often times, the plumber completes the work and you are left with the cleanup. Before hiring a plumber, know who is responsible for cleaning up after the mess so you won’t be blindsided when the job is completed.

Do you charge by the hour or by the job?
Plumbing projects are expensive no matter how you look at it but in order to avoid being overcharged, ask if they charge by the hour and if so what the rate is. If they have a fixed rate for each job, inquire about what the rate is.

Are there any hidden fees?
Before a plumber begins the work, you should be informed of how much it is going to cost. When you’re given a total, be sure to ask if that is the total cost of the job. Be clear with the plumber that if they run into any unforeseen issues that is going to increase the total cost, to notify you before moving forward.

When do you expect payment?
For smaller bills, you may be expected to pay the plumber before he or she leaves. For larger bills, you might be billed or larger companies might offer financing and payment plans. To avoid any unexpected headaches or overdue charges, ask when hiring the plumber when payment for the work is due.