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7 Insider Tips You Need When Hiring a Residential Plumber on a Budget
Choosing a plumber when you’re on a budget becomes a little more challenging, especially if you’re facing a plumbing emergency and need help fast.
Instead of hiring the first or cheapest plumber you can find, do a little research to make sure you’re also getting a qualified contractor.
Hiring someone who doesn’t do quality work or doesn’t know much about plumbing opens you to much more costly damage and plumbing needs.
Check out these seven tips for finding a plumber that fits your needs.
1. Know What You Need
Before you check with plumbers, think about what you need. Do you have a clogged drain, frozen pipe, or low water pressure? Do you need a new plumbing fixture installed?
Being clear on the scope of the plumbing job helps you explain what you need to the plumber. This results in a more accurate quote.
It also helps you find a plumber that can do the work. Some plumbers specialize in certain types of plumbing jobs.
If you have a unique plumbing situation, you want to find someone who has experience with that situation. For example, some plumbers might not handle sewer line repairs very often. If you’re having issues with your sewer line, you want someone who works on them regularly to get the best service.
2. Get Recommendations
Tap into your personal network to find affordable plumbers in your area.
Check with other homeowners you know, including neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members.
Make a post on your social media pages, or request recommendations in a local community Facebook group.
Getting those personal recommendations can help you narrow down the options in your area. You can get an idea of the quality of work and the affordability of different recommendations when you choose this route.
3. Check With Multiple Plumbers
Your instinct might be to call the first plumber you can find, especially if you’re facing a plumbing emergency. But you might not find the best value with this route. You also might end up hiring someone without much experience or high quality standards.
Contact three or four plumbers to get quotes. This gives you more options to compare to see which option is affordable and offers quality service.
When you talk to the plumbing companies, you also get a sense of their customer service. If the person answering the phone is rude or doesn’t seem to have time for you, try another company.
4. Verify Qualifications
No matter how cheap a plumber is, you’re not getting a good value if the work is poor quality. One way to increase the chances of getting the work done correctly is by checking the qualifications of a plumber.
Always hire a licensed plumber to protect your property from unnecessary risks.
State-by-state plumber requirements can vary. Check for a state license to verify that the plumber meets the basic requirements.
Some plumbers go beyond the basics to earn a master plumber license. This shows an advanced level of knowledge in plumbing.
If you’re hiring a plumbing company with multiple employees, look into how they hire. Do they do background checks and drug testing? Do employees undergo training and continuing education?
You also want a plumbing company that is insured and bonded. When a plumber has the proper liability insurance, any damage done to your home is covered. This protects your financial interests if something goes wrong during the work.
Basic plumbing insurance should include general liability to cover damage. If the company has employees, they should also have workers’ compensation insurance. That pays for injuries any employees might experience while working in your home.
5. Look at Online Reviews
It’s a good idea to see what kind of experience other people have had with a plumber, even if you’re dealing with an immediate plumbing need.
Online ratings and reviews give you a general look at how well the plumber performs. If hundreds or thousands of people have rated a plumber and the rating is low, it could be a bad sign.
If you see the same complaints about a plumber from multiple people, you might want to keep looking.
When the overall rating is high and the majority of the reviews are positive, you can feel better about choosing that particular plumber.
Look on the Better Business Bureau website to see if the plumber has any complaints. Some complaints are resolved successfully, so having a complaint filed doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid the company.
6. Compare Costs
Even when you’re on a budget, it’s not always best to go with the cheapest plumber. Someone who charges significantly less than other plumbing companies may not be a true value.
The low price could mean the plumber isn’t qualified or isn’t actually licensed. Avoid the temptation to hire a general handyman without plumbing experience to save money.
Paying standard plumbing rates for your area means you’re likely getting a qualified plumber.
Taking your chances on someone who isn’t qualified puts your home at risk. If the work isn’t done correctly, it could result in more serious damage to your home.
When looking at the quotes, make sure you’re comparing the plumbers equally. Look at the total cost and the breakdown of charges.
7. Ask About Warranties
You find an affordable plumber and hire them to do the work. But the fix doesn’t actually work. Does the plumber you hired guarantee the work?
If not, your plumbing situation could become a lot more expensive. If the original plumber won’t come back and correct the issue, you’ll have to pay for a second plumber to fix the work.
A plumber who guarantees the work can be a financially responsible decision. You know your investment is protected even if something goes wrong with the fix.
Choosing a Plumber Well
Choosing a plumber can seem stressful, especially if you’re on a budget or facing a plumbing emergency. But doing a little research can help you find the most cost-effective option and quality plumbing.
If you need plumbing help for an emergency or a planned plumbing project, contact us to get a free quote.
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