Many owners of plumbing projects are not knowledgeable about the differences between terms like “residential plumber contract agreement”, “plumber work orders”, and “plumbing industry standards”. The purpose of this article is to educate and inform business and homeowners about these terms. And drive home the importance of a detailed residential plumber contract agreement.
According to a 2006 Global Foresight, Inc. report outlining information on plumbing industry standards, trends, and forecast:
Plumber work orders differ from a residential plumber contract agreement. A plumber work order is for common, non-complex plumbing services; everyday leaks, basic water heater repair, and replacement of U-joints and simple plumbing fixtures like faucets and sprayers.
The primary purpose of a plumber work order is to provide a formal point-of-reference; documentation that a particular service was provided for a certain individual, using specific materials and/or plumbing fixtures, by a licensed plumbing professional, for amount-specific compensation. And that payment for plumbing industry services was either received or billed.
Plumber work orders generally contain the following information: date, name of plumbing industry company and/or licensed plumbing professional with contact information, name of plumbing projects owner with contact information, plumbing projects location, service provided, materials and plumbing fixtures required, material costs, service cost, and payment receipt or billing notation. Note: plumbing projects contact information usually includes mailing address, physical address/location, telephone number, and plumbing professional fax/e-mail.
A residential plumber contract agreement or any type plumber contract agreement is for complex or larger plumbing projects. It exceeds basic services outlined in a plumber work order, and helps ensure the licensed plumbing professional will perform services according to plumbing industry standards.
A plumber contract agreement should provide a detailed blueprint for each aspect of plumber projects, listing specific expectations, requirements, and plumber contract agreement information. Like plumber work orders, a residential plumber contract agreement is critical for legal footing; for both project owner and licensed journeyman plumber.
Unfortunately, many owners of plumbing projects rely on a verbal plumber contract agreement. Discovering after a problem arises that oral agreements are of little value in a courtroom. Note: this is true even in states where a verbal plumber contract agreement is considered legally binding. Without written proof, a court ruling could swing either way; not necessarily in favor of the person in the right.
Of course, the first step before developing plumber work orders or a residential plumber contract agreement is to select the right licensed journeyman plumber or certified master plumber.
Journeyman plumbers have invested years of classroom education, apprentice program participation, and on-the-job training to become licensed plumbing professionals. Not to mention meeting stringent state-specific plumbing industry testing and license requirements.
A certified master plumber has far exceeded licensed journeyman plumber requirements, and is a master at fulfilling plumbing industry standards. A certified master plumber is qualified to instruct and oversee all aspects of commercial and residential plumbing projects large or small. They are adept at developing complex commercial and industrial plumbing work orders, project plans, and blueprints. A certified master plumber can design and install entire plumbing systems – from start to finish.
A good licensed journeyman plumber or certified master plumber is a dedicated plumbing professional with an eye for detail. Trained to ensure all plumbing industry standards and state and local building codes are met in each aspect of plumbing projects.
When choosing a plumber, the guy with the biggest yellow page ad or smallest price tag might not be the best selection. Networking with friends, relatives, and co-workers, or researching online for a certified master plumber or licensed journeyman plumber with a proven track record will help ensure plumbing projects success!
After researching licensed plumbing professional candidates, narrow the list down to several contenders; meet with each individually. Ask to see plumbing professional credentials, proof of insurance, and references from recently completed plumbing projects. Then follow up; check to ensure licenses are current, insurance is valid, and references check out before making final licensed journeyman plumber or certified master plumber selection.
Once you have selected a licensed journeyman plumber or certified master plumber arrange to meet, finalize project details, and draw up the plumbing contractor agreement. Here is where differences between a residential plumbing contract agreement and plumber work orders come into play.
As mentioned before, for relatively simple repair services a plumber contract agreement may not be necessary. Plumber work orders that include plumbing company, journeyman plumbers, and project owner’s name and contact information, plumbing projects cost, and task to be completed will usually suffice.
For complex plumbing projects such as remodeling the bathroom or installing new plumbing systems, it is best for both homeowner and licensed plumbing professional to spell every thing out in a residential plumber contract agreement. A thorough plumber contract agreement should contain:
If formulating a unique residential plumber contract agreement seems too complicated, consider using a preprinted one.
A preprinted plumber contract agreement can be downloaded online for little or no cost. Perform a web search using phrases like “residential plumber contract agreement” and “plumber work orders contract”.
Many licensed plumbing professionals utilize a generic plumber contract agreement form which can be filled out with the project details and signed by both parties. If a preprinted form is used, make sure all blanks are filled in. Cross out aspects of the plumber work orders contract not relevant. Or fill in with “N/A” (not applicable), and initial.
The bottom line – from a legal standpoint the plumbing projects owner and journeyman plumber should each retain copies of the signed residential plumber contract agreement. This protects the interest of both parties involved and avoids unnecessary disputes or confusion.
Whether a residential plumber contract or plumber work orders, the important thing is to document essential project details in writing, before work begins.