Whether you’re building your dream home, restoring your current one, or simply looking to upgrade your kitchen and bathroom systems, a plumbing budget is a must-have. The last thing you want is to lose thousands of dollars to one malfunction. That said, having the right personnel on your payroll is a win. But what if a plumbing problem creeps up on you when you least expect it? Say it’s 3 A.M and your sink is clogged. Where do you start? You cannot anticipate most plumbing emergencies; however, those slight disruptions can turn disastrous when left unaddressed. Instinctively, most of us are usually inclined to act fast, turning into DIYers after a quick browse through YouTube. There’s no shame in it; we’ve all been there. However, you must know that those swift and uncalculated fixes are a costly gamble.
Hiring a plumber in five steps
The internet has long been the go-to for all our needs. Need a meal? Place an order online. Do you want a ride? Get an uber or a lift. Are you looking for a babysitter? You know what to do. Plumbing is no exception to this technological ease. Today there are tons of professional plumbing companies and solo practitioners looking to render their services online; while this is convenient, it’s still a risk. In a pool of millions, how do you narrow down your choice to one professional fit for your plumbing needs? Well, we break it down for you in five steps.
Check for credentials
Most states require plumbers to hold accreditation and licensing from both a training institute and the local ordinance, respectively. Notable plumbing companies typically take the initiative to include these credentials in their websites. However, if the plumber does not have these accreditations listed on their website, it is your responsibility to inquire about them. Better yet, have them mail you a copy of their credentials; the assurance that you’ll be working with qualified personnel is one way to guarantee quality work and put your mind at ease.
Examine references and reviews
Your plumber should have a track record; this stands for all the clients they have previously worked with. You’ll want to take the time to cross-examine their references and reviews if they have any as part of the vetting process. Plumbing companies with websites often designate a section of their page for testimonials and feedback from their clientele. If a website is out of the question, you can request to have customer contacts sent to you for feedback. See if you can call or chat up the clients for an honest review of the services they’ve received. Was it satisfactory? Do they have any insights to offer you? How responsive is the plumbing company? All these details build up to an informed decision.
Are they insured or bonded?
Another critical factor most people tend to overlook when looking for a plumber is the presence of a bonding or insurance cover. Ideally, legitimate tradespeople should be signed to an insurance company or legally bonded in case of an injury or damage during work- this is a standard requirement. That said, you’re entitled to proof of insurance or bonding before committing to any hiring. Not only does this exempt you from any legal responsibility of an injury, but it also covers your property in the instance of damages caused by the plumber.
Talk rates and estimates
Never walk into hiring without talking about costs; this will save you a lot of misunderstandings. Ensure you have a conversation with your plumber about their charging rates; is it hourly or fixed? If the plumber works on an hourly rate, be sure to inquire about the duration needed to fix your plumbing malfunction; most experienced plumbers should be able to quote on this accurately. Alternatively, you can have the plumber come down to your house for a problem assessment before they give you an estimate of their charges. We always advise going through the cost breakdown after the quotation to find out precisely what you’re paying for before signing any paperwork.
Professionalism is key
Professionalism is a huge influencing factor in any field- how the plumber presents themself, their mannerism, communication, timeliness, and responsiveness all stretch out into their professionalism. You need to know that your plumber is someone you can rely on to get the job done with full accountability. The plumber’s willingness to communicate and respond, especially in emergencies, is an added plus. And the best part? All these attributes are deducible from the plumber’s client reviews and references.
Hiring a plumber is a critical task. You’ll often find that the responsibility stretches well-beyond technicality. Entrusting someone with your home plumbing entails all the nitty-gritty, from the tireless communication and willingness to address all the questions and concerns you may have to their emergency response. You’ll want the guarantee of a reliable customer charter that looks out for you and your interests and an unwavering assurance that you can reach out to your plumber whenever the need arises. All these steps filter out your options to a plumber that delivers on their promise of quality work, giving you your money’s worth. So please don’t feel pressured to rush into it, instead capitalize on the vetting process.