When you need the services of a plumber, the best way to go about it is to make a short list and interview them. If you require a plumber on short notice, you might not have time to conduct interviews; you could possibly get a referral or two from a trusted friend.
Once you have completed the interviews, you can contact each plumber or company individually and compare specific details such as their hours and rates. You could also ask questions related to after hours calls, or how long they take to respond to call. They key to finding job satisfaction is to ask as many questions as possible. I am a huge fan of compiling lists beforehand and jotting any additional information down in order to keep track of all your different quotes and those useful different bits of information. When you follow these steps it will be so much easier to make an informed decision.
A general rule of thumb is to look for plumbers who have been in the field for a couple of years, as these are extremely experienced professional plumbers, however this does not mean that a plumber with fewer years experience would not be able to get the job done. Do your research, ask your question and go on your gut feeling in this regard. In the case of hiring a plumber with fewer years experience, get a referral or two so that you can be sure the plumber in question provides service up to the standards you require. The research you do would also involve you going through your home and inspecting your entire plumbing system, even before you start contacting plumbers. As you go, check all your faucets, pipes, drains, basins, and make a list of everything that needs fixing or maintenance work done. This will save you money because everything can be taken care of in one ago, instead of calling a plumber out for each and every fault.
Most plumbers charge per hour, and the going rate can differ from one company to the next. Also bear in mind that hours worked outside the scope of normal business hours such as weekends, public holidays and at night will be more costly than the normal hourly rate. Ideally, you would want to hire a plumber within normal business hours; however, you may be faced with a burst pipe emergency so keeping a record of the various rate structures would help you keep track of your expenses. Also, do not go for the cheapest rate possible. A professional plumber's fee will not be cheap, unless he has special packages on a limited time offer; and you can be assured of thorough service. However, it is still vital to do your home work and interviews, as some inexperienced plumbers could over charge you. When getting quotations, asked for written estimates that include and hourly estimate and rate, as well as all the materials that will be used, possible payment options or any other special agreements that might surface.
If you are not faced with a plumbing emergency right away, you might not see the need to collect information of reputable plumbers. However, you never know when disaster might strike, and you could need a plumber on short notice. By doing your research now, you will ensure that you are well prepared for that eventuality.
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