How many times have one of your friends or work colleagues asked if you know of a decent plumber? While a quick search on Google or Yellow Pages may throw up countless local plumbers, it can seem like finding a reliable one is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Whether a small repair or a larger plumbing project, choosing the wrong plumber cannot only cause disruption for you and your family but, will also hit you in the wallet. Before you choose a plumber it is worth investing some time to do a little research.This can help you to choose the right plumber, so that the job goes as smoothly as possible. Here are a few things you can do to help you find a decent plumber.
Word of Mouth
A reliable way to find a good plumber is through personal recommendation. It is worth asking your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues if they know of a good plumber that has done work for them before. It is also worth asking for a recommendation from other tradesmen such as electricians, or builders as they often have good contacts in other trades.
Do your Homework
Always check a plumber holds a plumbing license and are registered with a scheme such as the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE). Members of (CIPHE) have to hold recognised qualifications in plumbing and extensive experience. The most basic rule is to be sure that they're licensed, and carry full insurance to protect you and your neighbour's property in the event of a catastrophe.
Official Tradesman Schemes
There are a few online trade directories such as Checkatrade that runs in conjunction with Trading Standards. Checkatrade has a searchable database of plumbers. By just typing in your postcode you can see a list of registered plumbers in your local area. Checkatrade offers the contact details of only recommended, and trusted tradesmen, who have been vetted and monitored to meet high standards of trading.
Online Review Sites
You will find a host of review sites online that enable customers to post reviews and rate the previous work of tradespeople. Ratedpeople.com is one of the largest online review sites which allows customers to post their location and describe what work needs doing. This then allows up to three traders subscribed to the site to quote for the work.
Many tradesmen use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to advertise their services, as do their customers to voice their complaints or compliments about their experience. It may be worth paying their page a visit to see what people are saying. This way you will be able to see, how they are interacting with their customers and maybe even photos of examples of their work first hand direct from their clients.
Quotes over the Phone
When sourcing quotes for plumbing we would recommend that you obtain at least 3 quotes. If a quote seems particularly high or low, you can ask them why their price is set at that level in comparison with the others. Whilst a plumber may not be able to give you an exact cost until they visit your home, the estimate plumber’s give at this stage will allow you to see which one offers an overall plumbing service for the lowest price.
When looking for a plumber always check their availability. Plumbers are generally very busy with jobs that are scheduled based on urgency and priority. Some plumbing jobs cannot wait due to safety and hygiene reasons. Before requesting a quote it can be useful to find out how busy they are as some plumbers are already booked weeks in advance.
Remember, your choice of plumber should not be based on the cheapest quote but the person best suitable for the job.