A time comes when a homeowner, even the do-it yourself type, has to call a plumber. There is no harm in doing this as a plumber is a professional who can come in handy in some really difficult situations. Think about broke pipes, leaking faucets, clogged drains and similar situations. When such situations do arise, a homeowner needs to find the right plumber to fix the necessary problems. Finding a reliable plumber who will not charge exuberant rates for their services is no easy task if you do not know exactly what to look for.
The best way to safeguard your interests and avoid spending too much on plumbing repairs is to be very selective about whom you choose to work with. Nowadays, there are very many people and businesses that are out to rip you off. You cannot afford to just hire anyone and let them into your property. You should have criteria that you use to screen all the home improvement professionals you hire and this include plumbers.
Here are 5 tips that can help you to find a plumber that is both affordable and reputable:
- Hourly Rate or Fixed Rate
The way a plumber charges you for their services is very important. First and foremost, you do not want to hire a plumber who charges on hourly rate only for them to take forever to fix a broken sink. This is a big mistake. You should not only look at the hourly rate alone when hiring a plumber. Their hourly rate may be affordable but the number of hours needed to fix the problem may drastically increase.
When looking at cost implications, you should preferably speak to several plumbers to find out on the average rates and costs of doing certain repairs. This will ensure that you are well informed and no plumber will attempt to rip you off your hard earned money.
- Active and Valid License
An active and valid operating license should be a mandatory requirement for any plumber that you choose to hire. A license shows that you are indeed working with a trained professional who has been approved by local authorities to do business in the area. Lack of a license or any valid certification is an indicator that the individual is not qualified and lacks the necessary skills to deal with your plumbing problems. Working with an unqualified person can have negative implications such as shoddy work, use of poor quality materials and even severe damage to your property. You can avoid such scenarios by asking for relevant papers such as operating licenses and certification.
- Insurance Coverage
A plumber’s insurance coverage is needed in the event of serious damage to your property. Sometimes disasters do happen. A big sewer or plumbing problem can cause severe water damage in your property. Such scenarios cannot be predicted so it is best to be safe than sorry. It is important to always hire plumbers that have a good insurance coverage that caters for unexpected damage to parts of your plumbing systems as well as sections of your home.
- Preventive Upkeep
Preventive upkeep is a neat way of making use of a plumber when they do pay a visit to your property. A plumber who performs preventive upkeep can clear drains to prevent clogging, clear grease accumulation from hot water boilers and other appliances as well as performing maintenance check on other plumbing utilities in your home. A plumber can also check on water pressure to ensure everything is working just fine.
- Recommendations and Referrals
Last but not least is asking for recommendations and referrals from trusted individuals such as friends, family, neighbors and colleagues at work. This is a no-brainer as working with someone who has done a good job elsewhere is more reassuring as you know the quality of work they do as well as their rates or charges. Many people fail to ask for recommendations and referrals and instead put their trust in TV commercials, newspaper ads and even the ads in the yellow pages. Here, you may end up falling victim to malicious plumbers who use big posters and attractive signs to lure you into their trap.