Plumbing Estimates on Foreclosure Properties

The real estate market has been flooded with foreclosure properties. Often times, these properties can be purchased at a below market price. However, these properties also do not come with any homeowner guarantees. They are sold ‘as is.’

Unfortunately, one of the most frequent problem areas found in foreclosure properties is in the plumbing. Foreclosed properties often have not had proper maintenance from the previous owners, due to their economic situation. After the property is foreclosed on, the evicted owners are sometimes also destructive to the property before they leave. Issues with plumbing fixtures may be visible, but many other issues within the plumbing system may not be determined until you are able to turn on the power and water in the home.

In spite of the possibility of hidden issues, having a plumber inspect and provide an estimate on possible bathroom repairs or other plumbing repairs can be very helpful in determining the restoration costs that will be required for the property. A plumbing professional will be able to spot some signs of plumbing system problems that the average homeowner might overlook.

The costs involved in doing extensive plumbing repairs or renovations in an existing home can be much higher than doing the same work for a new home. Getting a rough estimate from one or more plumbers before you buy will give you a much more accurate financial picture regarding your investment in a foreclosure property.

Evaluating Plumbing Estimates

Any time you need extensive plumbing work such as a bathroom or kitchen remodeling, a new water line installation, or a similar major plumbing project, it is an excellent practice to get an estimate from two or three reputable local plumbers before you begin the work.

Most people get estimates so that they can get the lowest price for a job.  The better practice is to get estimates for the purpose of getting a fair price for excellent work.  The reality is that the lowest bid is not necessarily the best bid.  The plumbing contractor who submits an unusually low bid may be inexperienced, or may have a bad reputation and be desperate for work.  The contractor may have a lower bid because they plan to cut corners on the job or use inferior materials.  Or maybe they just offer the best rates on high quality work.  You need to evaluate the estimates to be sure.

Once you have two or three estimates to compare, make sure each estimate covers the entire job and specifies materials of similar quality levels.  Most plumbing contractors buy their materials from the same sources so any unusually low materials costs are suspect.  Labor costs may vary somewhat between experienced plumbing professionals, but additional investigation is needed for any estimate with very low labor costs.  The contractor may be planning to use unskilled labor for some or all of the job.

All estimates should provide for clean up and removal of debris, obtaining any necessary permits, and any equipment that may be needed for excavation or any other purposes.  Use the estimate process as an opportunity to evaluate the estimates of Dunwoody plumbers and to make sure you get a fair price for quality work.

Telephone Quotes

When you have a plumbing issue, you are concerned about getting the problem fixed, how long it will take, and how much it will cost.  When calling the plumber, you want them to tell you “Sure we can fix it, we can do it today, and it will cost X amount of dollars.”

It’s great to find a plumber who is confident that they can handle the job and that can start on it immediately, but be wary of any plumbing company that gives you an exact quote for any job over the phone.

As much as you would like to comparison shop and know in advance how much the plumbing job will cost, no reputable plumber will guarantee a price over the telephone without having first seen the problem.

There are simply so many variables that it is impossible to tell what the job will cost without coming out to your home and taking a look at it.  For example, if the problem is a clogged drain, there is no way of knowing whether it is a simple clog in a single drain line, a clogged caused by tree roots in the sewer line, a collapses sewer line, a backed up septic system, or any other possible cause.

Even if you are able to get a quote over the phone for plumbing work, invariably what happens is that the plumber starts making excuses for increasing the price.  The plumber will claim that it was difficult to get access to your clean outs, there were two clogs instead of one, and so on.

Your best course of action is to call a reputable local plumber and ask for a quote after the plumber has come to your home and looked at the problem.