How to hire a plumber
TThink about the last time you purchased a car. Chances are you didn’t go to the yellow pages, choose a dealership at random, and buy your car from the first lot you visited. Many times, though, this scenario describes the way homeowners find a plumber — they look in the phone book and call the plumber with the largest ad or the first one listed. But much like purchasing a car, finding a qualified plumber requires research and comparison shopping.The first step in finding a good plumber is to ask family and friends for recommendations of professionals they’ve hired in the past. Other good sources of referrals include contractors, real estate agents and your local plumbing supply store. Your city may even be able to provide a list of recommended plumbers who are familiar with the codes in your area.Garry Gage, a 25-year West Coast plumbing veteran and consultant for FlowGuard Gold pipe and fittings, points out that it is also important to keep in mind that there are two different types of plumbers those who handle repairs and those who specialize in new construction and remodeling.”Repair plumbers should be called in for such items as clogged sinks, leaky faucets or emergency situations,” notes Gage. “The second type of plumber works on larger projects like replacing failed plumbing throughout the home or plumbing a new addition.”When asking for referrals, be sure to check the type of job the plumber was called in to accomplish. Also, determine if the plumber specializes in residential or commercial work.When you have narrowed the list, ask two or three plumbers to your home to survey the job and provide a written estimate that includes a materials list. The contract should spell out the scope of the project, any items that are excluded and the payment terms.When obtaining a quote, one of the most important questions to ask your plumber is the type of materials to be used. Remember, a plumbing part defect has the potential to cause water damage to your home or create an indoor swimming pool in what once was your basement.Questions to ask a potential plumber include: Length in business/referencesAsk each plumber how long he or she has been in business and if you have not been personally referred, ask to speak to several people who can vouch for the quality of their work and whether they completed the work on time and within budget. PermitsBe sure to ask the plumbing professional whether they will be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits. Service GuaranteesDoes the plumber guarantee the work? This is an important point if there are any problems that need fixing after initial installation. Clean UpAsk the plumber how he or she intends to leave the work area once the job is completed. You don’t want to be cleaning up after a plumber for hours after they’ve left your home. Also, ask about disruption during the project. For instance, if the plumber uses CPVC pipe, you won’t have to worry about metal/copper filings to pick up or oil that may spill on your carpet and flooring.Compare prices, but remember the cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the best plumber for the job. An experienced, qualified plumber may charge more for the work, but could save you money in the end by doing the job right and using the best materials. VT– Courtesy of ARA Content
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