Plumbing is the type of business where you don’t want to waste time trying to handle things yourself before bringing in a professional. In fact, in some areas, you need to hire a plumber rather than going DIY under the law for certain jobs. When the stakes are this high, both in price and in practicality (a bathroom that doesn’t function right will make you miserable) you need to make sure that you actually have the right plumber that is a match for your job and your needs. Here’s how to make sure you’re making the right decision.
What To Look For
As a preface to actually meeting with the plumber, take a look at their online footprint. This includes several different components, starting with their website. A good plumber website, like the following, https://fixitrightplumbing.com.au/plumber-frankston/, should provide necessary contact information, a list of all their relevant accreditations and testimonials, and a list of services that they provide. The website allows the plumber to say what they are about as a business. But what are other people saying about them? This is where you see the second component of the online footprint, reviews, and discussions of the service. Online databases like Yelp or Google Businesses are good places to start.
There’s an art to using an online review properly though. Don’t simply see a star rating and take things as gospel, especially when it comes to home improvement. Far too often, people leave negative reviews after having a poor experience of their own making, whether it stems from not budgeting properly or waiting too long to get an issue resolved. These, you can ignore. However, if you see several reviews bringing up the same issues, there may be a trend here worth investigation, or a business worth avoiding.
If the website and reviews past the test, the next thing to check for is to see if they offer relevant services and how far they are from you. If a plumber is beyond a certain distance, they may actually charge you for travel time. Combine this with a service fee, labor prices, and the price of the job itself, and you want to budget properly.
What To Ask
When you get face to face with the plumber (or on the phone) this is the time to ask relevant questions to help decide whether you are doing business with the right people. First, while the website may have already covered this, you want to ask to get reassurance that your plumber is licensed with a governing body, whether it is a local municipality or a state. This is important because an unlicensed plumber or one with an expired license may have some skills. What they don’t have is knowledge of current building codes. Why does this matter? Well, many people redo plumbing as a part of a remodel or to fix an issue. Later on, when a house is put up for sale, professionals will look at it to make sure it fits inspection for the current building codes.
If your unlicensed plumber doesn’t put together things according to code, you won’t be able to sell your home until you resolve the issue. This generally means the expense of getting another plumber to come in and fix this, not to mention the headaches of putting your life and moving plans on hold to get this issue resolved. Licensing matters.
On the matter of rate, you may also want to ask when and how your plumber chooses to be paid. Some prefer hourly rates, while others do flat rates. Some want to be paid a flat sum when the entire job is done, while others break it up into smaller milestones, especially for extensive jobs. There’s not a best match here, but you do want to ask.
Other things you will want to ask includes who exactly will be doing the job, as the worker who comes to your home may not be the one on the phone with you. Ask their credentials as well as the head plumber’s. You also want to know what type of guarantee or warranties they offer if something breaks while the plumber is working. Make sure these are in writing.