How To Choose A Plumber
How many times has someone asked if you know of a decent plumber? While a quick browse on the internet will throw up countless local plumbers, it can seem like finding a reliable one is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Whether it’s a small repair or a larger project, picking the wrong plumber can not only cause disruption for you and your family but also hit you in the wallet. So rather than just picking someone at random, it is well worth spending time doing some research to make sure the work goes as smoothly as possible.
Here are six ways to help you find a decent plumber.
1. Word of Mouth
The best way to choose a reliable plumber is with a recommendation from someone you know. Ask your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues if there is a plumber that has done good work for them before. If you know another type of tradesmen, such as an electrician or builder, they can often have good contacts in other trades. Make sure you let the plumber know who referred you - they could even give you a discount in return!
2. Official Tradesman Schemes
Check if your plumber is registered with a scheme that is specifically for tradesmen that have been vetted and shown they have the skills necessary for the job. Buy With Confidence, Approved Trader Scheme and Trustmark are just a few examples and these bodies are either run in conjunction with Trading Standards or by government-approved operators. Their websites often have searchable databases of plumbers so by simply typing your postcode you can see who is registered in your local area.
3. Online Review Sites
As ever, the internet has found a way to make a job easier. Independent contractors and small businesses lack the budgets to advertise their plumbing services on TV etc. They will instead rely on websites such as TrustATrader, CheckATrade, and Top Tradespeople, which compile user reviews of their services.
Essentially, this is an expanded “ask around” search. Anybody on these websites should be working hard in order to keep their ratings high. Conversely, anybody not on these sites may be trying to hide something. The system isn't foolproof, as plumbers themselves could create fake profiles and give themselves positive reviews. It is also worth bearing in mind that internet reviews tend to be at the extremes - either one star or five stars. These should average out in the overall rating, but it’s best to take each individual review with a pinch of salt.
4. Social Media
These days many companies see their former customers using social media to voice their complaints or compliments about how they have been treated by a business. If they have one check your plumber or plumbing company Facebook page and Twitter feed to see how they are interacting with their customers.
5. Get Quotes on the Phone
Your budget is quite often the most important consideration when choosing a tradesman. Where possible get at least three quotes or price estimates over the phone and if a quote is particularly high or low then you can ask them why their price is set at that level in comparison with the others.
While a plumber may not be able to give you an exact cost until they visit your home, the estimate the plumbers give at this stage will allow you to see which one offers an overall plumbing service for the lowest price.
6. Ask for References
Don't be shy about asking plumbers for references from their previous customer and to then check them out. You never know they might even have photos available. By seeking information directly from other customers you can learn directly about the ups and downs of working with an individual plumber.
By following these steps and doing your research, you should be well on your way to a smooth, hassle-free plumbing job. And remember to repay their hard work with good reviews on the trade websites. Not only will it greatly help them, but it only strengthens your relationship if they know their hard work is being appreciated. Now they’ll be determined to do an even better job the second time around should you ever need them again!