Plumbers | Finding Good Tradesmen
Building an extension or planning a conversion is an expensive process and you want to make sure that every aspect is taken care of, even for the general maintenance of your property, it is important knowing that you have good tradesman that you can trust and that will give you fair and honest prices for good quality workmanship.
How can I find a good plumber?
Getting recommendations from friends and family is a good way of finding a trustworthy plumber, but unfortunately in the real world it isn’t always that simple. In which case it will be time to head to the Internet and your local phone directory. Look for plumbers in your area, while it will be pot luck you can ensure a certain amount of professionalism by using a plumber registered with the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering; an educational charity aimed at ‘improving the science, practice and engineering principles of plumbing’, who also have an online, searchable directory.
Should I ask my plumber questions before hiring them?
Definitely: before you agree to a plumber coming to your house it is fair to phone your prospective plumber and ask them how long they have been working in the business, asking for references from previous customers. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering and Association of Plumbers and Heating Contractors (APHC) are trade bodies that require their members to stick to a strict code of practice: ask your plumber if they are a member and then confirm their answer by checking with the trade body directly. Of course how much research and background checking you can do depends on the plumbing matter and how much time that you have; even so you can ascertain whether or not they have insurance that would cover your property and if their work comes with an insurance-backed guarantee.
How can I get a plumbing quote over the phone?
Getting a quote from a plumber over the phone can be tricky, especially if they haven’t visited the site. Describe the problem that you’re having (or the work that you want done) in as much detail as you can and get a firm idea of what the plumber will charge. You should also ask about call-out charges, hourly rates and how much they charge for parts and equipment. These are often hidden charges that people forget, making for a nasty surprise at the end of the work.
How can I make sure I don’t get ripped-off by my plumber?
It can be difficult if you don’t have any plumbing skills yourself, but familiarising yourself with basics (easily done through a quick online search) or troubleshooting online will give you an idea of what the problem could be, this will help you explain the situation to your plumber over the phone and will give you an estimate of what cost to expect. Don’t work with a plumber that asks for 100% of payment up front, a deposit is understandable but you shouldn’t be expected to hand over all the money until you are fully satisfied with the work done. If you are undertaking a building project make sure that you sign a written contract with your plumber, detailing the work that will be done, the cost, the start and finish dates and guarantees for the work.
How can I complain if I’m unhappy with my plumber?
If your plumber does disappoint put your complaint into writing and send it to the plumber. Explain why you are unhappy and how you would like the situation to be resolved. Usually this is enough for the plumber to come and sort out the problem. If they are unwilling to redo the work then you will have to take your complaint further: this could involve contacting the trade body of which they are a member or you could take your plumber to court through a small claims court. During the complaint process keep a record of everything that you write and phone conversations that you have with your plumber – you may need them as evidence later on.