Choosing The Right Plumber


Many times homeowners choose a plumber in a hurry, typically after something breaks or significant remodeling is needed for a home project.  Whether you haven’t used a plumber before or prefer to not work with one you previously have used, there are some steps you should follow and questions you should ask to make sure that you are choosing the right plumber for your needs.

  1. Ask Around
    Odds are one of your neighbors, friends or family has had to hire a plumber recently and can refer someone they believe provides quality service at an affordable price.  Many times plumbers that advertise or promote themselves the most have the worst track record.  By reaching out for personal recommendations you are getting an unbiased testimonial of actual services performed.  You can also check online reviews, although these can be less reliable as some reviews may be fake or one sided as often only disgruntled customers will take the time to review.
  2. Verify Credentials
    Many homeowners assume all plumbers are licensed, however, this can be a risky assumption.  Ensuring a plumber is licensed provides peace of mind knowing that they pass state or local licensing requirements.  If the are operating without a license, they may provide services that do not pass inspection, leaving you with few options.  To protect yourself from financial harm from shoddy work, you should also verify that any plumber or contractor performing work on your home is bonded and insured.
  3. Understand Payments
    Different plumbers have different payment structures, and understanding what you will owe is important to making the right choice. Some plumbers will charge an hourly rate plus materials where others will quote a fixed price for the entire job.  Getting an in person quote for a fixed price is the preferred method, as hourly rates can add up if the project experiences unexpected issues.  Compare some hourly rates to make sure you are getting a good deal and if the project is substantial get at least three quotes.  Ask whether payment is expected in timely installments, part up front, at certain milestones, etc.
  4. Maximize Savings
    If you have multiple plumbing issues you would like looked at, organize them and make sure the areas are accessible to reduce the labor time.  Offer to assist with cleanup if it will reduce their rate. Inquire if you can purchase your own materials if you think you can get a better price.  Purchase high quality fixtures to reduce the need for recurring repairs.  Prevent clogged pipes with drain covers and try unclogging sinks or toilets yourself with plungers, commercial solutions, or boiling water.  Hire a local plumber to reduce travel time.
  5. Understand The Contract
    Before signing any contract, make sure that you understand what work is being done and in what time frame.  Ask about any guarantees or warranties in case anything goes wrong, including what materials are covered and for how long. Ask who will be doing the project incase there are multiple workers and make sure their experience matches your expectations. By asking the right questions and understanding your contract, you are preventing any misunderstandings down the road and guaranteeing your satisfaction.

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