Print Posted on 09/12/2017 in Category 1

How to Find A Good Plumber

How to Find A Good Plumber

How to Find a Plumber You Can Trust

Finding a good plumber just when you need them can be difficult and it's all too easy to find yourself settling for any plumber if you are not careful!

Follow our easy guide on How to find a good plumber for a stress free solution to your plumbing problems.

First, i can't say this often enough or clearly enough, never hire a completely unknown plumber, even for a plumbing emergency! - nowadays there is simply no need to take that risk, remember, the plumber will be in your home and around your family; so do your homework and be sure to get someone that can be vouched for. Here are five important characteristics to look for when hiring a plumber:

Plumbing Experience

There are many factors that determine whether a plumber can provide a great service, qualifications, work ethic, commitment to customer satisfaction are just a few but there is no substitute for real world experience in domestic and commercial plumbing, exposure to a huge variety of plumbing tasks and challenges hones skills, deepens knowledge and develops the true understanding of a plumbing situation that is required for excellence, it's not coincidental that the history of plumbing is rooted in an apprenticeship approach where young plumbers trained for many years by working with older experienced plumbers!

Hiring an experienced plumber with a good reputation will give you the best chance to solve your plumbing problem in the best way possible, get the job done the right way, first time and minmize the chances of any mistakes.

Plumbing Knowledge

Experience is extremely important but there's more to consider. Plumbing is an ever changing field, there are changes in technology, environmental changes, planning regulations, health considerations, trends and new inventions - to get the best plumber look for a tradesman that is up to date with plumbing developments, after all you wouldn't want Queen victoria's plumber to fit your new spa bath and underfloor heating - even if he was the best plumber in the 19th Century!

Some plumbing issues are simple jobs like mending a leaky tap or fitting a electric shower but when you are redesigning your whole heating system it's woth making sure your plumber is up to date with the latest innovations so you can be sure that you can consider all the available options. Do a little research and ask questions, compare their answers to the knowledge that you have gained, or leverage the plumbing research other customers have done - read reviews and feedback. If someone has already researched a task thoroughly, for example underfloor heating and air source heat pumps and then commends a plumber on their work done to fit that system, then you can feel more confident that they are the real deal, but still check them out yourself and don't rely on a single review.

Reliable Plumbers

We have all been there, waiting in vain for a call back or even worse waiting for the plumber to arive, usually they don't even call to explain much less apologise! It's inconsiderate, it's rude, it's infuriating and unfortunately it's very common in plumbing and other trades too. Try to read the plumbers reviews and seek recommendations, if you are let down by someone don't hesitate to cancel the job and find someone else - after all if they don't turn up for the first appointment what does that tell you about their commitment to customer service? Some plumbing emergencies demand fast action and reliable service, floods and leaks are not only inconvenient but they can be dangerous and cause damage too.

Reputation for Plumbers

In business reputation has always been important, because doing business demands a level of trust. Reputation is good indication of how trustworthy a plumber is, check their online reputation by Googling their name, and reading reveiews left by customers here on and other places too such as on their Google My Business page.

Courtesy is expected and can help you assess your plumber from your own perspective and consider if you are happy to allow them in your home and to be around your family. Whenever possible, particularly on larger jobs or when they will be around your family talk to the plumber on the phone first, before you invite him into your home to see if you are comfortable to contract his services.

Once you find a plumber that you are happy with it's often easier to use the same person every time you need a plumber, but wait and think about it - you should always consider whether there's any value in getting a second quote for your job, especially for larger jobs - it's quite normal and recommended to get three quotes for replumbing jobs, bathroom rebuilds and for new heating systems.

Local Plumbers

In business reputation is important to a business and local business is less likely to risk customer reputation locally, why? Well because it's likely that the majority of his business is from local customers, the very people e who might very well ask you if you know a good plumber!

Is this the total cost?

Most plumbers offer free estimates to customers, if you want to be a little more sure about the final bill get a written quote and be wary of a plumber who quotes over the phone before seeing the job.

Most plumbers in most situations will visit your home to view the job before they start work. After the plumber has had a chance to view the job and provides an estimate, ask if what he has quoted you includes everything such as materials, labour, and any allowance for contingency. It's also worth asking whether there are ongoing costs associated with the work for example the annual servicing cost for a new boiler. Some estimates can sound great but may only include base costs of basic materials and making changes to get the results you really want can make the plumbers bill skyrocket.

Is the plumbing Quote based on a Flate rate or an Hourly Rate?

Plumbing jobs aren't always straightforward and sometimes the work required can be different to what was expected, for example once I was asked to replace a old shower - however upon removal we found a leak in the old tray had rotted floor joists and we needed to do extra work replacing floor joists and floor boards., of course we needed to add the cost of extra materials and hours of work to the original quote. Sometimes plumbers build clauses into written quotes to say homeowners will bear the reasonable costs to complete the job. When getting an estimate, make sure to ask if the total you're being quoted is a flat rate that won't change because of labour, or if the quote is using an hourly rate plus the cost of materials. The problem with the second type of quote is that the final cost may be different to the quote due to the cost of materials or if the job takes longer but at least you should only pay for what you use, just go through the quote in details and try to be completely clear what is included, whats not included and permissable reasons for the actual price to vary from the quoted cost.

When Should You Pay Your Plumber?

Always ask your plumber when they expect to be paid, and find out if he requires any payment upfront. Never pay substantial sums upfront, if the plumber asks for large payments in advance we recommend that you definitely walk away. You might think that the ideal situation is don't pay any money until the job is completed and you are satisfied but that is not entirely realistic or fair. Some larger firms do have the cashflow to do that but very often large material purchases are difficult for smaller plumbers to finance, typical examples are a boiler that costs £2000 or large quanties of copper pipe or plumbing materials. In those circumstances the plumber may ask for milestone payments, which is fair enough - just make sure that you never allow yourself to be in the position that the plumber owes you money or that you have paid in advance for work. For large material purchases you might want to consider buying the items yourself in your own name so that you gain legal title right away.

Who Will My Plumber Be?

Some plumbers employ more than one plumber, and its easy to fall into the trap - here is what a recent client experienced, they came for a bathroom refit, they had a quote from a plumbing firm that they had happily used before on large job, so they asked him to quote for two small jobs, fit a new bathroom sink ( don't store glass aftershave bottles above your sink - when they drop they smash sinks!) and to replace a cracked toilet cistern. On the day it was the young apprentice that came and being in a rush the owner agreed and the apprentice delivered disappointing results - a botched jigsaw job left visible ugly cut marks visible around the sink suround. The apprentice advised to replace the whole toilet as a cheaper solution but got the cheapest and worst toilet ever that had a totally different footprint - leaving an ugly visible gap between the toilet base and the flooring, needless to say the owner was less than impressed when he returned from work and soon found a different plumber to remodel the bathroom. A skilled and experienced plumber committed to customer satisafaction would never have allowed this situation to arise. Be sure that the plumber doing the job is who you think it is and agree that they must communicate any changes.

Messy Plumbers

Plumbing can be a messy job, that's just the way it is - as the saying goes, " you can't make a cake without breaking eggs" but that doesn't mean you can't clean up! A good plumber will normally clean up after themselves it's just a habit that tends to fit with taking pride in your work and striving for customer satisfaction. However not all plumbers clean up when they're finished,so always ask if a cleanup is included in the quote, and if it's not, ask why.

Guaranteed Plumbing jobs

Before agreeing to a plumbing quote and signing any contract, check what guarantee or warranty there is on the plumber's work. Some plumbers will promise to come back within a year and fix any problems; others will offer service only on certain fixtures in a bathroom or under certain conditions if a leak occurs. Make sure that any kind of guarantee or warranty is in writing and be sure to get the guarantee before you pay.

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