Plumbers are an essential part of our life. Sooner or later we all need them; being greedy at the beginning might end up costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Hiring a licensed plumber is strongly advised if you don’t want the leak from a pipe damaging your house – or even your neighbours’! Which plumber you choose can make a difference between a good or a disastrous experience.
In order to make the best decisions, be sure to take into account the following:
Choose a plumber before the plumbing emergency happens
This is a very important point to consider, since the decision-making process should not be affected by the stress of the plumbing problem. Stress can make you hurry and not take the right decisions. How can you actually select a plumber? Well, you have friends – ask them, or your neighbours (before you flooded them) for local recommendations of plumbers that they liked or that they have been working with. Gather testimonials and personal recommendations and compare them to those of the adverts. Who do you trust more? A good looking advert or a warm recommendation on the part of someone you know? I think the latter is the right answer.
Compare plumbers’hourly rates
Besides a good reputation, it is important for a plumber to have reasonable hourly rate. Therefore, you might ask different plumbers or different companies about that. Travel time should also be taken into account. The bottom line is that a plumber’s hourly rate should be a second selection after his professionalism and reputation (because reputation means real customer satisfaction).
Set up some basic requirements for hiring a plumber
It is very important that you establish from the beginning some basic criteria for which you can choose the short-listed:
- Owning a licence;
- Being insured;
- Providing 24-hour service; (This plumber will be more expensive)
- The number of plumbers on staff in the case of a large company;
- The overall experience;
- Owning a service van to have all the needed parts that he might need;
- How much he charges and what payment methods he accepts;
If all the above criteria are met, you might consider “interviewing” them as well. Yes, you read right: after all, the plumber will be working in your house, particularly in that stressful time when your neighbour has just complained to you.
But even if by any chance you didn’t manage to interview the plumber and you just called a plumber or a company that you’ve seen in an advert, make sure you ask the right questions and reach a knowledgeable decision in terms of costs and services provided.
Reduce the plumbing needs
A different approach would be for you to reduce the need to call a plumber by fixing the problem yourself.
If you’ve got a clog or dripping problems, you might consider getting the problem fixed for yourself, without having to pay. If it’s more than that, you should think of calling a professional plumber. By and large, plumbing is not such a difficult job, but it requires a lot of knowledge and experience, particularly in terms of materials involved.
Reduce the chargeable time
This tip could be translated into being organized. Make sure that you make a list of everything that drips or is clogged. This way, you will make sure that the plumber deals with all the problems at once. This way you will avoid trip charges and also the discomfort of multiple visits to your home.
Write the specific problems on a piece of paper. If you are not sure of the problems, be descriptive of the symptoms.
Assess the quality of the job performed
So you went through the interview with the plumber or the company of your preference; it’s high time you checked whether your initial evaluations were correct.
- Was your problem fixed?
- Was the job done in a reasonable time?
- Was the work performed neatly?
- Were the charges explained to you in detail?
If the answer to the questions is affirmative, than this is a proof that you made the right choice. If the answer is negative, you might consider picking someone else.
How much will you pay?
Your first bill in case of an emergency will always come as a shock. Prior to having any doubts about the costs, you have to take into account that the job includes the plumber’s driving to and from the job, buying the parts needed, the added hourly rate for weekends and night emergencies. So, be careful with chatting too much; however, make sure you ask what the repair options were and how to prevent further problems.
After all of the above is said, you might find the job of hiring a plumber more troublesome than fixing the plumbing problem itself. Nevertheless, it is necessary in case of a major plumbing emergency. You will find that by making a knowledgeable decision and asking the right questions, you will make the right decision.
In a nut-shell:
- Choose a plumber before the plumbing emergency happens.
- Compare plumbers’ hourly rates and set the basics for hiring one.
- Reduce the plumbing needs.
- Purchase your own plumbing elements beforehand.
- Reduce the chargeable time.
- Assess the quality of the job performed.