While we sincerely hope that you don’t need plumbing services on a regular basis, we also wish that you can count on a #1 plumbing company in your time of need. Here are a few tips to help you find the one just right for you.
Leverage Your NetworkAs you would probably do in any similar situation, start by asking around to know who or which company your friends and neighbors use for their plumbing needs. Referrals are the lifeblood of many businesses, so if your neighbor has faith in a reputable plumber, or if one name or company is recommended several times in a row, that plumber or company has likely worked hard to earn that trust, and therefore probably deserve yours.
If none of your friends and relatives can recommend you a plumbing company, look for a local building contractor and ask them who they would recommend. They’ve likely dealt with a lot of plumbers and probably have strong opinions about who they like and who they don’t like (and usually for good reasons).
Get to WorkAsking around is all good and well, but it isn’t a substitute to you doing your due diligence. Find out what types of plumbing licenses and requirements are demanded by regulatory bodies where you live to ensure that whomever you choose meets or exceeds said requirements.
Don’t get fooled by smooth talkers trying to explain to you why they don’t need this license or that permit to work on your house: a requirement is not a matter of opinion, and a so-called professional who feels he’s above the law is not worth doing business with.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Tough QuestionsOnce you’ve drafted a list of suitable plumbers, you need to also write down a list of questions to ask, which should cover their insurance, licenses, warranties, years of experience, etc. The more questions you ask a potential plumber, the fewer unpleasant surprises you’ll have down the road. If you choose to deal with a single plumber (not with a company), go for one who has been in business for at least 5 to 10 years. Ask him if he carries a copy of his licenses with him as well as his insurance so you can determine he has the knowledge necessary for the job.
Also, in case of anything goes wrong, a plumber should carry a minimum of $500,000 liability insurance as well as a workman’s compensation policy. Depending on the plumber, he may charge by the job or by the hour, which will directly influence your bill depending on the job's intricacies. It’s usually a good idea to get three quotes and find out what’s included in each of them: see what they are charging for labor, materials, and any additional charges because the latter can really add up.
Fees companies charge can include a fee for providing a quote, a dispatch fee, a fee for traveling to your home, higher fees for overtime outside of normal business hours, and fees for specialized equipment that may be necessary to complete your job. Your finances will influence how much you can pay, and knowing a general scale of charges and what you can afford will help you properly plan.
Take No One’s WordAs you should do before any business transaction, ask to review your plumber’s contract before agreeing to any terms and make sure you get a proper estimate in writing. In an ideal world, the estimate should also detail each task or supplies required to complete the job. An experienced, reputable plumber should actually be very comfortable with that part as it protects him as much as it protects you and your home.
Another thing that a good plumber would never do is work for an unreasonably low compensation. Don’t assume that the lowest price is always the best. You often get what you pay for. A plumber’s rates should be fair and competitive, so don’t try to get your plumber to accept a ridiculous price. Chances are you’ll regret it if he accepts.
If you think that paying for a good plumber is not worth it, try paying for a bad one and the aftermath of his visit. Get it done right the first time by dealing with an exceptional plumber.