Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, you’re probably going to need to call a professional plumber at some point. While you may be able to handle smaller fixes on your own—like unclogging the kitchen sink or replacing a ballcock—you’ll want a professional for more complicated problems. Hiring a plumber is a good way to make sure the job gets done right, which will save you time and money later on.
Fortunately, hiring a plumber doesn’t have to be an expensive and stressful ordeal. In this short guide, we’ll look at how you can save money when using a plumbing professional, without sacrificing on quality or durability.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting a fair quote is to understand the basics of plumbing. There are lots of how-to books to help you get acquainted with the trade, and the internet is a great source for gaining some basic plumbing knowledge. A basic understanding of household plumbing can be acquired in just a few hours and will serve you for years to come.
If you have a specific project or repair you need done, take the time to learn about the problem and the different possible solutions – a quick search online will usually do the trick. Don’t hesitate to write down a few questions for your plumber: they’ll be more willing to take the time to explain your options to you, and less likely to inflate their rates or try to sell you on extra services.
Think of hiring a good plumber as an investment in the future. After all, you get what you pay for. As plumbers become more experienced, their rates tend to go up to reflect their increased knowledge and skillset, so don’t just go for the lowest rates. Instead, look for a plumber that balances reasonable rates with lots of experience and a good track record.
The problem with hiring a cheap plumber, who’s inexperienced or uses poor materials, is that you’re more likely to have to call them again later. The plumbing in your house gets a lot of regular use, so if the job’s not done properly, it’s going to be a problem later on. Plus, a small problem today can turn into a big—and expensive—complication later on if not fixed properly. It’s much better to spend more now to save in the long run.
Even minor plumbing issues can turn into nightmares quickly. Waking up in the middle of the night to a flooded kitchen or bathroom is not an experience anybody wishes to repeat. But worse than a regular plumbing maintenance hazard is hiring an inexperienced, underqualified or fraudulent plumbing specialist.
When it comes time to call a plumber, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right service for your needs. Plumbers can vary widely in what services they provide, how much they charge, and how responsive they’ll be both now and in the future.
Customer reviews are your best source of information about a plumber you’ve never worked with before. Are their quotes accurate and do they work on budget? Do they typically show up on time and act professionally? Will they go above and beyond to proactively fix problems and do their repairs last?
If you have time, read customer reviews in their entirety rather than just look at star ratings. Many reviewers offer stories about their experiences that can help paint a fuller picture of a plumbing service.
Getting stuck with the wrong plumber will cause your job costs to spiral out of control and leave you with an unfixed plumbing issue for weeks or even months. In a worst-case scenario, an inadequate plumbing specialist might claim your issue is “fixed” when all they’ve really done is put a band-aid on it, leaving you to deal with everything all over again down the line.
For a plumbing specialist to operate legitimately, they’ll need to have a license from your state or local authority. Plenty of specialists work without one, so it’s really important to ask about this.
Rules obviously vary from depending on which area you live in, but it’s never too hard to find the local regulations for your own district or state. Once you know what those are, you can cross-check information a specialist gives you and see whether or not it checks out with your area’s regulations.
If you’re happy with the service, ask if they’d be willing to take calls from you in the future. This will help you avoid having to go through the whole process again, and you’ll be confident knowing they’ve already provided you with excellent service. Having a professional and reliable plumber that knows the particularities of your house and plumbing is an invaluable investment in the future of your home.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to find a reliable plumbing professional with fair pricing, saving costs in the short and long term.