We’ve all heard the horror stories about cowboy plumbers that spend 10 minutes replacing a tap and the next 45 minutes texting his girlfriend before handing over an invoice charging well over the odds before riding off into the sunset.
By no means are all plumbers cowboys. In fact it’s fair to say that the majority of plumbers most definitely aren’t. But you know the saying … One bad apple! It really doesn’t take much to tarnish the reputation of the entire plumbing industry.
If you want to know how to find a good plumbing service the read the following guide to find a reputable plumber.
Follow these steps
- Recommendations and referrals
- Make sure the plumbers are registered and properly licensed
- Check how long they have been in business
- Male sure they are well insured
- Ask about guarantees
- Read online reviews
- Request a quote or estimate for the work you need doing
1 Recommendations and Referrals
Ask friends, family members and neighbors for recommendations to see if they have any suggestions on a good plumber. You’ll be surprised at just how often a plumber is required, so someone might be able to offer up a name or telephone number that you can call. If you’ve has a good experience with another company or tradesman in the past ask them if they can recommend anyone.
Referrals are the best way to find a reputable and trustworthy plumber to use. It’s much better than opening the yellow pages and choosing a number at random. But not everyone knows someone that can recommend a reputable plumbing service so they you may have to find one yourself. If you can’t find anyone that can offer a recommendation you’ll probably need some time to do a little research in order to safeguard yourself – providing your plumbing emergency hasn’t left you wading through a flooded kitchen that needs fixing fast.
The internet is the perfect resource for finding information that can help you find a qualified and professional local plumber with a good reputation. Your first port of call should be a visit to the the plumber/plumbing company’s website to find out more about the type of plumbing and heating services they offer.
2 Make sure that the Plumber is Registered
Depending on the type of work that’s being carried out, your plumber should be registered with certain organisations such as CIPHE, Gas Safe Register.
These bodies ensure that members are competent and properly trained with the necessary skills and commitment to high standards so they can perform the type of work that you are employing them for.
Approved Trade Schemes
It’s essential to do a little research when it comes to confirming if the logo’s you are seeing on a plumbing companies website are actually legitimate. Anyone can claim to be approved or qualified but it’s not sensible to simply take their word for it. Investigate a little further and find out if your plumber is being honest. A reputable plumbing company should provide you with links on their website to lead to their listing page on the schemes website. If they don’t then contact the trade body to find out if they are being honest and that they are really registered.
Checkatrade is partnership between members and their customers, they bring together the public who are looking for tradespeople they can trust with businesses who uphold and operate to the Checkatrade standard. Customers supply feedback about members – providing their credibility to other potential customers.
3 Check how long have they been in business
It’s always a good idea to check how long the company has been around. It’s fair to say that reputable companies tend to stick around whereas disreputable firms are more likely to fade away.
It’s also a good idea to find out if they have a premises. This can be a good indication that they are less likely to go awol half way through a job.
4 Make sure they are well Insured
Always ask about insurance and how it affects the type pf work that the company will be carrying out in your property. It’s important that your chosen plumber carry adequate liability insurance for work related damages.
5 Ask about Guarantees
Find out about the guarantees that are offered. Plumbers with belief in their own performance tend to offer guarantees.
We offer a 12 month guarantee on the work that we do and parts that we replace. Additionally, we are fully insured up to the value of £5 million.
Read online reviews
Definitely look for online reviews.Companies such as Which? and Checkatrade do often do a fantastic job at ensuring that the reviews left by customers are legitimate.
Not every plumber is going to have a 100% glowing review score. Mistakes do sometimes happen but it’s how mistakes are rectified and how customer complaints are dealt with is what should be taken into consideration.
One thing to note is that when you use most online directories, you are required to enter the type of service you are seeking (plumbers, electricians etc) and provide your postcode. The search result will show a listing of local plumbing companies (or whichever trade you choose) to your postcode. Be careful and don’t assume that the closest plumbing company (usually at the top of the list) is necessarily the best for you. Many other plumbing firms, such as Baker Smith, cover a wide territory and have plumber working as far into London every day.
7 Request a quote or an estimate for the work you need doing
It’s best to try to speak to the plumbing company directly to discuss their charges and ask questions. You’ll often get a feel for the type of company you are looking for just by having an informal chat and asking more about their charges.
We recommend that you get at least three quotes for the work you want done – and don’t automatically assume the cheapest is always the best. If a tradesman claims to be able to do a job cheaply, or will give you a discount for cash, treat them with utmost suspicion. Low prices often mean cutting corners.
Ask about call out charges, extra charges (Such as parking), the costs of parts that may be required, how long it is likely for the problem to be fixed, rubbish clearance fees and about fixed rates. For larger jobs you can often as for the ‘project’ price rather than getting billed based on the number of hours worked.
Be aware that many plumbing companies charge by the hour. For smaller plumbing jobs this can sometimes mean that you are spending over the odds. Look for a company that offers half hourly rates like Baker Smith.
For larger jobs it’s better to get the plumber to come round to price for the job. There’s nothing worse than getting a quote over the phone only to be surprised when the job comes in a lot higher than expected. It’s always best to try to get a fixed price quote for the job.
Be wary of anyone who asks for 100% of the fee upfront. You may have to pay a deposit but don’t be duped into handling over large sums before the work has started.
Need a Good Plumber? Call Baker Smith Ltd today 01727 730590.