Dozens of plumbers compete for your business. When you perform a search online for “plumbers in Boulder”, you’ll get results for both large plumbing companies and small, one man operations.
There are a variety of steps you must take to ensure you choose a reliable plumbing repair company. You should be wary of inexperienced plumbers who can cause you more trouble than good when attempting to make repairs.
Do They Have a License?
When you’re looking for a plumber, the first thing you should do is check for a license. In most states, plumbers are required to pass state exams and maintain a contractor’s license, especially if they perform repairs that cost you more than $500.
Obtaining state certification isn’t easy, so having this license tells you that he’s an experienced plumber.
How Long Have They Been in Business?
Plumbers, like other business owners, have to get their start somewhere. Ask the plumber about their previous experience and how long they’ve owned their business. If they recently opened their business, make sure they’ve completed an apprenticeship with someone else or have worked for a different company in the past.
Can They Provide References?
Any business owner, especially contractors, know that the best form of marketing is word-of-mouth.
If they’re confident with the work they do, they’ll be able to give you at least two solid references from previous clients. References might be difficult to reach, so the simple action of giving you the contact information might be a good enough sign that they’re trustworthy and that they will provide quality plumbing repair services.
Request Quotes from Multiple Plumbers
Similar to buying other services, different plumbers will charge different amounts for the same job.
Try not to get a quote over the phone. A reputable plumber will want to come examine the issue first and then give you a quote for the repair. While this process is time consuming, it could save you hundreds of dollars in charges for repairs that weren’t necessary in the first place.
How to Spot a Sketchy Plumber
During your search for a great plumber, you’ll likely come across one or two companies and individuals who are inexperienced at best.
You can weed out the bad plumbers by looking at a few key details:
If a plumber doesn’t offer some type of warranty on their repairs, they might think the repairs won’t last. If the plumber doesn’t offer some type of warranty, then move on to the next candidate.
Overcharging for Materials
Homeowners are always looking to spend money on the best materials for their properties. Some sketchy plumbers will try to pull a fast one on their customers by overcharging for the materials. You can avoid this by getting a list of the materials upfront, the charges for each one, and comparing them at your hardware store. If there are major discrepancies, chances are he’ll try to pull other tricks as well. Move on to the next guy on your list.
Every plumber has a helper or an apprentice, but do they really need 10 additional guys on the job? Smart consumers know that it doesn’t take 10 guys to install a toilet, so ask what each of them are doing. If he can’t give a good explanation, tell him to either get rid of the unnecessary expenses or leave your property altogether.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.