Homeowners should all have a reputable plumber that they can call when there’s a leak or malfunctioning washing machine. A leaky pipe can go undetected, but it can be costly if ignored or not taken seriously. Going the DIY route is often a gamble when it comes to plumbing because the money saved is often not worth the risk.
If you don’t know how to find a plumber, we’re here to help. As with most repair businesses, the key is finding an experienced, affordable, and trustworthy contractor. Here are six tips you can use to find a plumber in a sea of classifieds.
1. Don’t Focus on Price
We’re not saying you should ignore prices altogether, but it should never be your primary factor to find a reputable plumber. Home repair services can get expensive, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The lowest prices are going to come from the least experienced or lowest rated.
Those of us who don’t have time to do research and have to find a plumber in an emergency fall into this trap. It’s natural to want to spend the least when you’re already getting hit with an unexpected expense. The truth is, those lower prices advertised are often deceptive.
The cheaper base prices can quickly turn into premium service prices if the plumber decides to nickel-and-dime you on parts and labor. Not to mention, some of the least reputable services use the cheapest parts possible. It’s often worth it to just go with the most successful and experienced plumber, no matter what the price difference may be.
2. Ask Your Friends and Family
If you can take a minute to survey as many people that you know about their experiences with plumbers, it can save you a lot of searching. Ask your neighbors, friends, and family members who they trust or who they don’t. This is something you should do before you start price comparing.
You’ll probably get a lot of family handymen recommendations, but we would caution against that. No matter how knowledgeable or trustworthy they may seem, going into a plumbing job without insurance or legal protection is a good way to ruin relationships. Accidents happen, so don’t risk a botched job just because the person recommending their unlicensed friend/relative is nice.
In fact, some states require a license for any job done over $500, which means you could be left without a leg to stand on if something goes wrong.
3. Interview and Compare Estimates
You should have two or three plumbers lined up when you’re close to making your decision. After checking their Yelp reviews, Better Business Bureau rating, and other feedback, schedule a free estimate. While you have them on the phone, ask them what they think it will cost.
Once you get in-person quotes, you can now price compare. If you really want to make sure you’re getting the best deal, ask the contractor with the higher estimate if they can match the others. That way, you get the plumber you had the best experience with and the lowest price.
4. Get the Paperwork
Before any work is started, make sure you see their estimate in writing. Make sure every item is accounted for and understood. Next, request to see their license and certification. A reputable plumber will have zero issues retrieving their credentials.
In addition to their registration and licenses, a plumber should have liability insurance and worker’s compensation covered. Also, make note of whether they have an occupational license or a contractor’s license. The latter is preferred and comes with more experience. Once you’ve seen their paperwork, you can rest assured that you’re not going to get scammed.
5. Maintenance and Prevention
For those who don’t need a plumber right this minute, consider finding a good plumber for the future. This is probably the best way to prevent getting in a bad situation when you do need to fix a bad leak or broken toilet.
Regular maintenance will keep your water bills low, your water quality high, and your pipes from failing suddenly. Let a professional ensure that all your seals and fittings will not fail during extreme weather and temperature changes. That quarterly or even yearly maintenance can prevent a thousand-dollar repair from hitting you when you least expect it.
6. Determine Between Local or National
Our final pieces of advice on how to find a plumber deals with the two categories of contractors: local or franchise/national. Local plumbers are ideal for a few different reasons. They will be cheaper, overall, and have more to lose when it comes to integrity. National brands will likely have more feedback recorded to compare, however.
National contractors will be busier, overall, so you might be best going local if you need a plumber right away. Local plumbers in Australia, like Quality Plumbing and Gas, will also be more familiar with regional climate, which helps when trying to protect your plumbing. It is also worth noting that local code standard can vary, so there is a higher likelihood that national plumbing brands will make a mistake on compliance.
How to Find a Plumber in Australia
Still wondering how to find a plumber you can trust? The ultimate decider should come down to personality. As minor as that sounds for a plumbing job, not being able to communicate with someone can be frustrating.
Ask about specials, guarantees, and warranties to see if you can find an even sweeter deal than originally offered. Remember, call a plumber as soon as you suspect a problem. If the problem shows up in the form of a flood or water damage, you’ll be trying to operate under a lot of stress.
Do your business searches under a clear head. Find a Business That is: affordable, experienced, trustworthy, and friendly.