5 Tips for Finding a Great Plumber

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How to Find a Great Plumber

How to Find a Great Plumber

By: Daniel Cruz

It seems we never think about our plumbing until it’s too late and there’s water spraying all over the walls. If you really want to be prepared for a plumbing emergency then you’ll start preparing a list of prequalified plumbers right now. Having a list of prequalified plumbers when an emergency does hit leaves you in a great position because all you have to do is call the plumbers on your list for an estimate and check their references. From that point, picking the plumber that gives you the best value is usually pretty easy. Let’s talk about prequalifying plumbers so you can be prepared when a plumbing emergency strikes:

Get Referrals from People You Know

One of the first things most people do when looking for a plumber is turn to their friends, family and associates – and that’s a good idea as always. Use this as a starting point to gather the names of plumbers until you have a list of about three to five plumbers depending on the size of your repair job. You can also get referrals from real estate agents in the area as well as your local home improvement store. The underlying message here is that the best plumbers in most towns obtain the majority of their business through word-of-mouth advertising and these are the plumbers you want. You’re looking for plumbers who know how to keep a low overhead and focus on keeping their existing clients happy.

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Check for a License

When you develop a good list of plumbers, we usually recommend you prequalify the plumbers to make sure you want them bidding on your repair job. One of the first steps in the process is checking to see if the plumber has a license to operate in the state. In states that require a plumbing license, the state will typically finger print the plumber, check his background and test him for general competency in plumbing. All of this amounts to a pretty good start to the prequalification process if you ask us.

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Look for Feedback and Reviews

With the ever-increasing popularity of the Internet, more and more homeowners are leaving reviews and feedback online of their experiences with contractors and plumbers alike. It’s a great idea to look for reviews and feedback online for any plumbers you are interested in hiring. The quickest way to do that is by entering the plumber’s name or business name into a Google search. You may also want to add words like “review” or “reviews” when doing a search to increase the chances of bringing back results with reviews in them. You can also search for more reviews on local websites like CitySearch.com, InsiderPages.com and Yelp.com.

Check for Complaints

When you start to move along in the process, at some point you’ll want to check to see if the plumber you’re considering hiring has had complaints filed against him. A great place to check for complaints is with your state’s licensing board. Your state’s licensing board is one of the first places disgruntled homeowners will go to to file a complaint about a bad experience they had with any licensed contractor. Another great pace to check is with the Better Business Bureau.

Ask for and Check References

Before you hire a plumber you’ll definitely want to ask about references. Any good plumber should have several references for you to look at and preferably communicate with. It’s really important that you check and call the references because these are basically people vouching for the quality of the plumber’s work, so you want to take the time to ensure that they are real and legitimate. Checking references is one of the best things you can do to prevent the hiring of a bad plumber.

Prequalifying plumbers prior to having them bid on your repair projects is a bit cumbersome and time-consuming but it’s one of the best ways to ensure that you find and hire a good plumber when you need one. Be prepared the next time a plumbing emergency strikes! Have a list of prequalified plumbers ready and take the stress out of your next plumbing situation.

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Daniel Cruz is a self-professed home improvement weekend warrior and writes on plumbing and about plumbers for HandyAmerican.com. Plumbing is his weak spot so he’s a pro at finding and hiring good plumbers!

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