Finding a Quality Plumber
The best time to look for a plumber is before a plumbing emergency arises. Unfortunately, in most cases, people facing an emergency won’t have time to learn more about a plumber. When the toilet leaks or the basement ceiling is wet because a pipe broke upstairs, getting help is priority.
First of all, talk to a homeowner friend or acquaintance you trust. At one time or another, most homeowners have had to hire a plumber and can refer you to one with a positive reputation.
If you know a contractor or builder, give them a call as well. These people deal with plumbers on a regular basis and often have well-formed opinions about various local plumbers, the quality of work they do, and how competitive they are in terms of pricing.
Discovering The Truth About Experts
Also call the real estate agent who represented you when you bought your house. Most agents are glad to help.
Lessons Learned About Plumbing
When calling a plumber, unless after hours, don’t just leave your name and phone number on their answering machine. If a child picks up the phone, be suspicious. While reputable plumbers can work out of their homes, usually in rural areas or small communities, most of them are professional enough to use a software receptionist or at least take calls themselves.
Make it a point to ask for the plumber’s license number when you actually talk to them. There’s no reason to be shy – just say it’s a requirement to make a homeowner’s insurance claim.
At the same time, check if they are insured and ask for proof. Even with the best plumber in town, accidental damage to your plumbing structures or the system itself is not totally avoidable. They may even cause accidental injury to themselves while performing their task, so you need them to have worker’s compensation as well. In case you or anyone in your household is accidentally injured, that will fall under their liability insurance.
Of course, before the job starts, you have to set things straight regarding the price. Reputable plumbers will give you a written estimate or at least an estimate with a maximum price, except when the problem concerns the interior of a closed wall or ceiling. In such a case, the plumber might choose not to quote a firm bid until he has actually checked the structures. This is where you can ask for a “worst-case scenario” quote.
Finally, make it a point to check if the plumber provides a service warranty. If they can’t guarantee their own work for a realistic period, they are not worth considering. Except when your pipes and fixtures are already too old, a reliable plumber will always return to solve any problems he may have failed to detect, or those that may have come up after his first visit.