Reputable Plumber: 7 Tips to Help Find a Reputable Plumber
It is my view that plumbers have gained an unfair reputation over the past few decades. Not many people like calling in a plumber. The work they do is expensive, and it always seems to cost more than quoted and take a longer time than promised. Plus, much like car repair shops, most people do not understand the work actual work that a plumber is doing.
It is incredibly easy for a plumber to rip off a homeowner and overcharge them for work that did not need to be done in the first place. Watch an episode of the popular TV program called ‘Cowboy Builders’ if you don’t know what I mean.
I feel that the Internet has helped to somewhat smooth over the general relationships between plumbers and homeowners. The customer is now in an extremely favourable position in that they can pretty much get instant access to material costs and the current market rate of plumbing labour. The plumber can’t ‘pull the wool over the customer’s eyes’ anymore.
So how can you be sure you are working with someone who is honest and knows what they are doing?
Here are my top seven tips to help you choose the right plumber for your job.
1. Ask Friends and Family
The first thing you need to do is check out how satisfied customers have been with a plumber’s work in the past. Asking around in your neighbourhood and among your friends is a good way to start. Many of them will be able to recommend plumbers that they like as well as letting you in on some plumbing horror stories.
2. Research Them On The Internet
TrustATrader for example. The plumber has no control over the ratings and reviews left by previous customers so you can be sure to trust them.
3. Ignore Mainstream Advertising
Do not go by who has the most advertisements or who has been in business the longest. Unfortunately, many people go to a plumbing firm because they know they name from ads, and often these companies are the worst ones out there. They’re normally often run by businessmen who know how to effectively market themselves and advertise and all they do is subcontract the work out to an independent plumber. So cut through the middleman and contact the independent firms yourself and save a lot of money in the process.
4 Always Ask For References
Name recognition does not mean excellent service in every case. A good plumber or plumbing company should be able to provide you with references upon request. If you are planning on hiring a plumbing company for a brand new bathroom installation or a simple boiler repair, you should never accept a company that refuses to provide you with a set of references. This is a big red flag!
5. Always Get Three Different Quotes
Hourly rates are another thing you want to check out before you hire a plumber. Call around and get a few quotes for a job. We always recommend getting at least three quotes from three different plumbers/plumbing companies so you can get an idea of what the going rate is. Find out if the plumber is willing to sign a citation and give you a price guarantee before he begins working. Always get written quotes which have been sent via email too.
6. Do Not Pay For Travel Or Parking Costs Separately
Whenever I quote a customer for a plumbing installation job, whether it be a small job fixing a leaking tap or a complete new central heating system installation, I always build in costs like parking and travel into the quote. It doesn’t make sense to me to charge the customer extra for this. You should clarify beforehand if the plumber will charge for extras such as travel time and parking. It is perfectly reasonable for the plumbing company to list this as a charge in their main quotation as long as it is clear and the price they give is fair but any plumber who can’t give you a thorough explanation of how you will be billed with a ballpark figure of the amount should be avoided.
7. Never Accept An ‘Estimated’ Quote
Another red flag is when plumbers provide ‘estimates’ as opposed to a fixed price quote. We always recommend going with companies that provide fixed price quotes. Estimated quotes are often unfairly taken advantage of by plumbing companies who try and charge extra for anything that they can find. An estimated quote of £2500.00 for a complete bathroom renovation could easily turn into a final price of £3500.00 due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
So there you have it. My top 7 tips to help find a reputable plumber. Good plumbers are out there. Do your research properly and it’s really pretty simple to find the right plumber for whatever plumbing job that needs doing in your home. It just takes a little bit of effort. Unless it’s an emergency gas leak, take your time, follow these basic tips and everyone will be happy.
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If you live in South East London or Kent and need some advice in terms of what plumber to choose for your home plumbing project then feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.