If you have ever owned or rented a home, more than likely, you probably came face-to-face with some type of plumbing issue. You might have a toilet that never seems to stop running, a tiny leak coming from the faucet in your bathroom sink, or a shower that has cold water coming out whenever you turn the designated hot water handle and vice versa. Some of these items may seem to be relatively minor or only cause you slight irritation when you go to take your morning shower. However, some of these “minor” issues could be causing damage to both your home and your wallet after paying your water bill. When this occurs, it may be time to consult a plumber to protect both your home and your pocketbook.
When it comes time to choose a plumber to solve your plumbing woes, it may be difficult to pick one. There are a ton of plumbing companies out there to choose from, so how do you know which one to hire? Whether you are researching companies online or talking to a plumber over the phone, here are some tips on what to look for to assist you in hiring the right plumber for you:
When looking for a potential plumber to hire for a job, it is extremely important to make sure they are licensed, insured, and bonded. Depending on which state you live in, there could be state regulations requiring that individuals who are interested in becoming plumbing contractors obtain a license. This means that if a plumber is licensed, he or she has fulfilled the state’s minimum conditions to provide plumbing services and has passed the necessary tests to acquire one. Even if your state does not necessarily call for a license, it is worth it to look for someone that the state has determined is able to perform plumbing jobs. You will especially want to hire someone who is licensed if there is a chance that the work will need a permit, especially since many cities ask for information regarding the plumber’s licensure before approving a permit request. Licensed plumbers will be able to provide proof that they are licensed if you inquire.
It is also worth it to ask if the plumber is bonded and insured. If a plumber is a bonded contractor, it will help protect you if the plumber damages the property, does not finish a job, or does not pay subcontractors or permit fees. You will want to check to see if the plumber has workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance as well. These types of insurance will help pay for medical costs of workers should they become injured while working on your property, as well as prevent you from being held responsible for those injuries. Plumbers who are bonded and insured will be able to show you certificates proving that they are insured and bonded.
If you are a basketball player and practice shooting free throws every day before dinner, chances are that you will you observe an improvement in your free throw percentage. The same principle applies to plumbers as well. If a plumbing company has been operating for several years, they have had more opportunities to practice their skills and have completed many different types of plumbing repairs.
Also, based on their previous experience, they are more likely to prepare and bring the correct supplies ahead of time to resolve your plumbing troubles, ultimately saving you time and possibly money. As a result, if a plumber or plumbing company has been in the business for a long time, there is a greater chance that they possess the necessary abilities and expertise to fix your issues the first time around.
When asking a plumber to give you an estimate or quote for repairs, someone who is experienced and trustworthy will most likely ask to take a look at the problem prior to giving you a price, especially if it is something that is rather complicated. This will aid in eliminating surprises related to pricing. For example, if you receive a quote over the phone, and the plumber realizes he or she needs a different part or that the job requires more labor than originally anticipated, you may be looking at a price increase. It is always a good sign if they want to assess whatever is giving you a headache before providing a price for the repairs.
You will also want to determine whether the company charges by the hour or by the job. If the company charges by the hour, they should be able to give you an approximate amount of time to complete the repair, which will assist you in deciding if their services fit into your price range. If they charge by the job, look to see exactly what the quote includes. Many experienced plumbers will go ahead and include the price of parts as well so that you have the appropriate price up front, preventing any confusion on your part.
Before choosing a plumber, you will also want to evaluate how that company’s prices compare to others in your area. If you are able to find a company that is more affordable and has great online reviews, there is a good chance that you will be satisfied with both the cost and the service.
Before the existence of the internet, most service professionals had to rely on word of mouth or previous customers giving their information to family members or friends and telling them what a great job they have done for them in the past. However, with the prevalence of internet search engines and social media platforms, you can easily find reviews about a particular plumbing company within a matter of seconds. You can also see how their reviews match up to other companies within your area. What you will want to look for is how many reviews the plumber has, as well as the average number of stars. If there is a high number of reviews, as well as a high average score, there is a possibility that that plumber could be the right one for you too.
While you most certainly will want to hire someone who is capable of completing the task at hand, it is also important to search for plumbers who demonstrate professionalism. There are several ways that a plumber can behave in a professional manner. For example, they responded to you quickly after you left a message or filled out an online form. This means that that company or person values your time and genuinely wants to help you out. Additionally, that plumber will also be personable and willing to answer your questions if you have any. Someone who is willing to take the time to chat with you and clarify any concerns you might have will be more likely to ensure that you receive excellent service throughout the repair process.
Punctuality and communication are other traits you should look for in your plumber. If the plumber sets a day or time to come out and examine your issue, he or she will take the time to call ahead to double check the time or let you know if he or she is delayed for some reason. If you are left wondering where your plumber is, it is time to hire someone else.
If you take the time to utilize these five tips, you are sure to find the right plumber for your needs and your budget.