Household Plumbing

Homeownership 101: How to Find a Good Plumber

One of the first questions you ask yourself as a homeowner is “how to find a good plumber?” Hiring a good plumber–one you can trust and rely on–is an important part of owning a home. 

Here are a few things you can do to hire the best for some of the worst plumbing situations in your home. 

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How To Find A Good Plumber: What Should I Ask A Pro I’m Looking To Hire?

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Make sure the pro you hire has the right insurance and credentials.
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Ask anything you want, but these 5 questions are critical to ask a potential professional before you hire. 

Question 1: Do you have license, registration, and insurance?

Your plumber and any of their employees need the right credentials.  

Are there good plumbers who don’t have them? Sure. But if things go south during a project, you’re going to want all the protection things like insurance gives you. 

You can ask to see proof of their credentials before you hire them. Don’t be shy, it’s your pocket and home on the line. 

Question 2: Do you provide a written estimate up front?

Ask your prospective plumber if they charge for driving out and diagnosing a plumbing problem (many do). Some plumbers will do free onsite estimates (not all). And you can usually get a free estimate on the phone; but that could easily change on further inspection of the job.

Get an upfront estimate of all charges before they begin the job as well (after they’ve diagnosed it). This should include parts, labor, service fees, delays, etc.

Never ever pay for a job in full before it is finished. Mile-stone payments are fine, but never in full. 

Question 3: Do you have a warranty or guarantee on your parts and labor?

A good plumber will back up their materials and their work. 

Though it varies plumber to plumber, any good pro will back up their work and fix problems that result from their work for usually up to a year. 

Get warranties and guarantees in print or writing.

Question 5: Referrals?

Ask your pros for referrals. Do your own online research about the business and see what their previous customers say about them. 

There’s always bound to be some negative reviews (can’t please everyone), but overall it should be good. 

A good rule of thumb is that the potential hire has 3-5 good recommendations in different types of plumbing tasks. 

Should I DIY Plumbing Or Hire A Pro?

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A big concern in DIY plumbing is speed; you can’t take too long on a lot of projects before more damage can occur.

Sometimes YouTube is all you need for a small plumbing fix. DIY can be a great way to save some money on small projects. 

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DIY

You may want to DIY plumbing if you have a lot of knowledge or experience in the job you’re looking at. Or you may be up to the task if you have the right tools and the time to look the job up and spend the extra time problem solving and troubleshooting. 

Just make sure you can do the job safely, and that you won’t end up causing yourself more pain and money out of pocket to fix something a pro could have done right the first time. You’ll also want to consider warranties on materials and parts as some manufacturers only cover professional installation. 

Hire A Pro

Hiring a plumbing professional can be the safest way to go. They have licenses, insurance, and training. And manufacturer warranties usually require professional installation if you want the coverage. 

It’s better safe than sorry. If you’re not 100% positive that you’re going to be able to do a job safely, have the time for the research and troubleshooting (speed can be critical when it comes to plumbing), or have the right tools, then just hire a professional.

Though a professional can cost more upfront sometimes, you may end up saving money through warranties, time, correct installation, and insurance. 

How much will a plumber cost?  Homeowners spend between $170-$450 on average for a plumbing job. Obviously it depends on labor and parts needed, and the cost will vary between projects. 

It’s most important that you’re pleased with your results. Whether that’s DIY or a professional route, just make sure you’re doing full research before you officially make a decision. 

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