You’ve decided to sell your home, which means it’s time to fix that slow drip in the upstairs hall bathroom. Or perhaps you’ve been setting aside the cash to do a major renovation, including a new sink, tub and shower. Or maybe your home is in desperate need of a replacement hot water tank. All three scenarios lead you to the same question: How do you go about finding a reputable, competent plumber?
Plumbers, like most people in the trades, specialize either in repairs for homes and businesses or installation jobs for construction projects. The construction experts aren’t likely to be willing to do your fix-it job, so when you search for a plumber, seek out the right people. Ask questions about what types of work they will do. If a plumber isn’t a good match, ask for referrals.
Once you’re found the right plumber for the job, you can expect him or her to identify the source of the problem, provide you with a written estimate, use protective covering on surrounding floors, do the work on a timely basis, and clean up afterward.
Finding a good plumber requires doing your homework — just as it does when you’re hiring any contractor to work in your home. Seek out personal referrals from friends, family, neighbors and coworkers, and then use the internet to vet the companies. Use sites like Home Advisor, Yelp, Trusted Pros and Angie’s List.
The Better Business Bureau is also a stalwart source of information, which you can find at www.bbb.org. Look for contractors who are part of the bureau’s “accredited” program, meaning they have agreed to the group’s standards for handling customers with integrity. You will also be able to see how long companies have been in business, their complaint histories and how they’ve handled them.
Longevity in business is a good sign, because poorly run businesses don’t last. A contractor in business for decades is doing something right.
Plumbers are required to be licensed in each state in which they do business. Using the link provided by the Better Business Bureau, go to the state licensing agency’s website to search for plumbers you are considering. Also, check to see if the plumber in question carries liability insurance and worker’s compensation if employees will be on your job site.
Several online sites provide consumer reviews, but exercise caution when reading these. Comments, both pro and con, are often not verified for accuracy.
Obtain three written bids from contractors. The cheapest and most expensive bids are not necessarily indicators of which to choose. Be sure to get an estimate on how long the job should take. Ask yourself if you’ll be happy working closely with one of the contractors.