Homeownership is a big job; it is often filled with either making repairs yourself or finding the right professional to do the repairs. This is especially true when you have a plumbing problem. Whether it’s a major catastrophe with water damage or a minor issue such as fixing a leaky faucet, finding the right plumber for the job can be a challenge. Here are some tips for making sure you get the right plumber for your job.

Determine What You Need

Not all plumbers handle every type of job. Their specialties usually fall into two different categories. Some plumbers handle basic repairs, such as replacing a toilet, fixing a dripping faucet, or taking care of a leaking pipe (which is often an emergency situation). Other plumbers have expertise in larger remodeling projects or new construction.

If you own a home or a business, the worst time to look for a plumber is when you find yourself in an emergency, so it’s better to do your research before you need one. This way, you know you have a trustworthy professional that you can contact on a moment’s notice.

Use Available Resources To Find a Plumber

plumber fixing sink
Image via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 by securecat

Word of Mouth

The best place to start your plumber search is with friends and family. Talk to the people you trust about whom they have used and how the job came out. They are going to tell you the truth about a plumber’s work quality, reliability, and cost.

Reviews and Rating Sites

Websites such as Angie’s List and Yelp can give you an idea of what kind of reputation local plumbers have. Just remember that you can’t always trust online reviews. If you look closely enough, you can sometimes spot the fake reviews and get an idea of what most of the customers think.

Online Search

You can develop a good list of possible plumbers by doing an online search for your area. Check out their websites to see what types of services they offer and to get an idea of how long they have been in business. You can also read reviews that customers have left on their sites, but keep in mind that the plumber controls the content and might filter out bad reviews. You also want to check the plumbers’ websites for their hours. If the company has limited hours and won’t be available for weekend or nighttime emergencies, then that company might work for a particular project, but it won’t be the plumber you have on speed dial.

Referrals from Trusted Professionals

If you’ve brought in other professionals to perform work at your house, consider asking them whom they recommend. In many cases, HVAC professionals, electricians, and other contractors such as plumbers have working relationships with each other. If you have a good experience with someone, ask for additional recommendations.

Check Licensing and Insurance

Most states require plumbers to carry a current license, and it’s easy to check to make sure a plumber has this. Angi’s (formerly Angie’s List) license check is one resource, and it’s simple to use.

You should also check to see if the plumber is bonded. A plumber who owns a business should carry at least $500,000 in liability insurance and have a current workers’ compensation policy. There are standard protections built into your homeowner’s policy; however, if you hire a plumber that doesn’t carry the proper insurance, you and your insurance policy will be responsible for any incidents or damage that occur during the job. Ask the plumber for insurance certificates, and then call the company or the agency to make sure the policies are all in force.

Get Multiple Quotes

If you have a project that is not an emergency, get several different quotes and compare. You can take pictures of the project and explain the problem to several different plumbers to get estimates. Reputable plumbers will come and take a look at what you need and offer a free quote. Have a few different plumbers look at the job, and write up what they will do and how much it will cost. You can then compare and make your decision.

Once you have several quotes, don’t automatically choose the cheapest one. Find out each plumber’s plan to fix the problem, and select the one that offers the best solution. You might have to pay more, but choose the plumber that will do the job correctly and the one that will make the repair that will work in the long run.

Look for Community Involvement

There are large plumbing companies with many employees, and small businesses that might employ just one plumber, but both need community support. The best way to get this support is to become involved in the local community. Look for companies that are members of trade associations such as NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) and NAHB (National Association of Home Builders). You can also check to see if they sponsor school events or local youth sports teams. A business that invests in its local community is more likely to have earned its reputation by providing good work to local community members.

Check References

Ask potential plumbers for references, and make sure to get information about their recent projects. Even though the plumber will probably only give you phone numbers for customers who were satisfied with the work, it is still worth a call. Find out what type of project the company did, ask if the customer would hire them again for another project or emergency, and ask if the company provided good communication about the job.

There are many good plumbers no matter where you live, but there are also some bad ones. When you purchase products for your kitchen, bath, or heating needs from Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co., we want to make sure those products are installed correctly so you can enjoy them for years to come. Following these tips for choosing the right plumber will help ensure you get the right person for the job.