As with any service professional, choosing the right plumber can be a difficult task. Plumbing work is never cheap, and when you need a plumber, you often find yourself in a negative mood. Still, when the pipes are clogged, the toilet overflows, and the shower just won’t work, you need someone to turn to.
Ideally, a homeowner would have a go-to plumber before ever needing one, but in reality, this is usually not the case. When you do find the need for a plumber though, take your time and don’t let emotion influence your choice. If you examine your decision thoughtfully, you can get the best value possible and not feel like you were completely taken advantage of.
Of course, price is one of the most important considerations for any major project. For some people, this is the only thought that comes to mind, which can lead to more trouble down the road. The old adage that “you get what you pay for” often rings true in the plumbing world. Just hiring someone based on having the lowest price will often result in more and more plumbing bills down the road. If you hired based on other factors, you might have avoided all these future problems.
Where price ends, quality begins. Having a low price is great, and when you are sure quality is equal, you definitely want to go with the price. On the other hand, quality needs to be your number one concern when dealing with a plumber. The reason for this is that low-price, low-quality plumbers are just going to cost more in the long run.
You are better off paying a plumber once to do the job right than hiring a cheap plumber ten times to get the job done. When looking for a plumber, look for someone who is a professional in their industry, not someone who just comes out, fixes the issue and leaves. Usually, a short conversation with a potential candidate can tell you enough to judge the quality of his work.
Sometimes not considered, having a punctual plumber can be a very important deciding factor. If you call a plumber, leave a message, and don’t get a response until the next day, it can be very off-putting. Similarly, if you call a plumber and he tells you he’ll be there between 1 and 2 but doesn’t show up until 3, that is simply unacceptable.
Before making a major plumbing decision, make sure you are working with someone who is punctual. If you want to really get great service, go beyond just having that person be on time. A really exceptional plumber will tell you what time he’ll be there and get there 10 minutes early. When you call a company and they give you a 6 hour window, you may want to reconsider.
Knowing you’ve found someone you can trust can be tough, but the best place to start is to look at reviews. The internet is full of great places to get reviews, and if you used the internet to find the plumber in the first place, the site you found them on probably had reviews to begin with. Rather than just trusting one site though, look at various reviews from different websites that have a good reputation of screening reviews – like TrustedPros :).
Get a real measure of what the company represents and how their cost versus their quality of work. Remember to look for details in a review, as vague reviews just saying something like “The best plumber ever!” can often be manufactured. When a review includes personal details and some real thought, you’ll know it is real.
Compare the positive and negative reviews. Unhappy people are twice as likely to post a review online, so keep this in mind if you are unsure. Sometimes a negative review is not negative towards the company, but just shows the buyer’s frustration over the situation. After all, no one wants to need a plumber.
Warranties & Certifications
For plumbers, there are a few key certifications to consider when looking at their materials. Plumbers themselves should have specific certificates they have earned, but also consider the fixtures they are installing. Some of these include water sense, CSA, cUPC, NSF 14, UL Plumbing Mark, and WQA Certification Mark. Make sure that whatever materials are being used for your plumbing work passes Canadian standards.
Also, make sure that whoever you are looking at has warranties and guaranties. If someone is not willing to back his work, that person is not someone worth working with.
Once you have assessed all of these variables, you can really put together an idea of what the overall value of this plumber is. Remember not to leave out any variables, and to really assess the skills and costs of a plumber before choosing to hire him. Upon successfully determining a company’s overall value, you can begin to compare and make the best-informed decision.
The last step to assessing a plumber and deciding whether he is the right one for you is to compare him to other plumbers. The best prepared home owner is one that has a go to plumber, electrician, handyman, tree guy, lawn care expert, etc. With that in mind, pick out a plumber that you can use for the rest of your time in that home.
Look at multiple options and consider their advantages and disadvantages. Look at the positive and negative reviews, consider how quickly they responded and how exact a time they gave you, consider the quality of their work, and then consider price. Once everything is sorted out, really examine the different options side by side.
Plumbing is a service industry, so don’t be afraid to be a harsh critic. With the cost of plumbing repairs, it pays to know you can consistently have someone to trust with your plumbing needs. Once you have evaluated all options, make the choice and stick to it. Long-term relationships with service professionals can have unspoken perks.