If you don’t already have a plumber you trust on speed dial, establishing a relationship with one is an essential step for any homeowner. Finding someone who will complete the job right the first time, without breaking the bank is key to keeping the home you love in working condition. Before committing to just anyone, use these three tips for finding the perfect plumber.
1. Start Looking Before You Need One
If you own a house, especially one with older plumbing you will at some point need the services of a plumber. By looking before you urgently need one, you have more opportunities to check them out thoroughly. Check for any unresolved issues or a high level of complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Identify what licensing and insurance requirements your state mandates and confirm any potential plumber meets or exceeds these.
Choose someone with experience. Usually, five to ten years is recommended, or find someone who is an apprentice to an experienced plumber who will accompany them to the job and oversee their work.
2. Talk With Friends and Neighbors
Ask your neighbors and friends who they use when they need a plumber. Referrals are the livelihood of any business. If people in your neighborhood have faith in a plumber, or if you keep hearing the same name associated with positive reviews, follow up and check them out. Chances are they’ve worked hard to earn the trust people have in them. New to an area? Take this chance to walk over and knock on your neighbor’s door, introduce yourself, and ask them for their recommendation.
3. Ask the Right Questions
Asking the right questions of a plumber that may work in your home is important. The more information you gain from asking questions about job specifics decreases the chance of surprises later. Ask if they are licensed, what kind of insurance policies they carry, and how much coverage they have. Ask to see copies of each and verify dates are still current.
When the time comes to utilize the services of a plumber, most will come and provide a free estimate of the job. Once you have the estimate, ask if all materials and labor costs are included. Determine if labor is a flat fee or by the hour. Even when charging by the hour, an experienced plumber should be able to estimate how long the job will take.
Ask how they handle unexpected situations, potentially causing costs to go above the agreed-upon estimate. Do they simply continue and hand you a bill for more at the end, or get your approval for any expenses over a set percentage of the estimate? Finally, ask what guarantees the plumber provides for their work and for how long.
Finding someone to come into your home and work on the plumbing your entire family depends on is an important task and not one to take lightly, so take time to find a plumber you trust. You might get away with some DIY plumbing for small leaks, but when it doubt it’s best to call in the experts.
I hope you have found this information to be useful. Hopefully you won’t ever encounter any plumbing disasters, but it’s always best to be prepared ahead of time.
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