Let’s face it, finding a good plumber or tradesperson can be a nightmare. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be! Keep reading to learn Pro Plumber’s 7 tips on how to find the best plumber in your area and save yourself the hassle of dealing with cowboys and dodgy workpeople.
Table of Contents
- The Benefits of Finding a Reputable Plumber
- A Service Company Versus A Local Plumber
- How to Find a Local Plumber You Can Trust
- How to Avoid Common Plumbing Scams
The Benefits of Finding a Reputable Plumber
Did you know that water waste in Australia amounts to an average of hundreds of millions of litres each year? The main reason is that even the smallest of leaks can waste many litres of water. Leaks can not only cause damage to your home but can also be costly and have a negative impact on the environment. Hiring a “cowboy” handyman to do the job of a professional will only contribute to these adverse effects. Here are a few reasons why hiring a reputable plumber in your area is worth every dollar.
- Local plumbers are familiar with the area, the parking situation, the hardware stores, and any local council requirements.
- Hiring a local plumber often means we can come out quickly and offer you a full-package service – from diagnosing the issue to sourcing materials and completing the job. Sometimes even in one visit.
- An expert plumber can provide helpful tips on how to prevent issues from recurring. We can help with trusted recommendations, such as how to maintain plumbing work in your bathroom, laundry, kitchen and yard.
- Buying local means you help hard-working professionals pay the bills and you keep your money circulating in the community.
A Service Company vs A Local Plumber
While it’s tempting to hire a “one-man-band” and possibly pay a lower rate, it’s worth examining the idea from all sides. For example, a one-person business might find it difficult to complete a larger, more complex project on time because they’d be doing the job on their own. However, the flip side is you may get a more personal approach with a sole owner-operator and for small jobs, the turn-around could be faster.
Benefits of A Larger Company
Hiring a larger, more established company can come with a lot of benefits. Firstly, they have multiple people working for them, usually split into teams of experts, that often work around the clock. In addition, you may find it easier hold a larger company accountable for their work as opposed to individuals that could become difficult to get hold of if things go south.
Is Smaller Better?
On the other hand, while larger companies often have dedicated Customer Service departments, this doesn’t necessarily mean they have better communication. Sure, you may speak with someone about an issue but companies can sometimes have a detailed hierarchy that has various escalation points. Whereas a sole-trader only has themselves and their suppliers to deal with.
Best Of Both Worlds
In the end, we suggest a “best of both worlds” approach and consider hiring a small business with a few employees that focuses on doing great things in and around your area. This way you can expect your plumber to have the required certificates, qualifications, and proof of licenses and be up to date on the newest skills and trends in the plumbing world AND get great personalised service, fast turn-around times and ability to handle jobs at any scale efficiently and effectively.
How to Find a Local Plumber You Can Trust
1. Ask another tradesperson
Have you had tasks done by a handyman, builder or electrician whose work you were happy with? Ask them to recommend a plumbing specialist. Other tradies often know each other and sometimes work together on complex projects. Professional people enjoy working with other professionals, so they are likely to recommend someone reliable and good at what they do. After all, it’s also their reputation on the line.
2. Look for a trusted company
Choosing a reputable plumbing service company over a relatively new and unknown one is the better option in most cases. The company’s reputation often speaks for itself, and you can’t just ignore other people’s opinions.
3. Plumbing Trade Associations
Most knowledgeable plumbers are members of a trade association. A trade association membership is a sign of quality and dedication to the craft, as they encourage focus on technical ability, customer service, and delivering top results. Being a good plumber is more than being technically adept and doing the job. It’s about communication, reliability, and trust. There is no use for a plumber who doesn’t respect your home. Good tradesmen deliver all-round professional services.
The Master Plumbers Association is the most well-known association in Australia. Those plumbers who are members of this trade association are unlikely to jeopardise their good reputation by doing shoddy or shady work.
4. Ask friends and family
Another great source of plumber recommendations can be your friends and family. Chances are they’ve experienced similar issues and can recommend a tradesman you can count on. Perhaps have a chat over the fence with your neighbours. They might have also used a local plumber. We feel that word-of-mouth recommendations are still the most important referral you can have.
5. Search through directories and rating pages
Browsing directories and rating pages will improve your chances of finding a plumber. Here are some tips when searching – look for authenticity, always take anonymous reviews with a grain of salt, as they cannot be verified either by you or the rating pages and beware of overly gushing praise – while it could be real, the chances that a client takes the time to write a review like this is relatively low.
Some of the most popular and credible directories and aggregator sites are:
Don’t rush the decision unless you’re in an emergency. Search the second and third pages, since forward placement doesn’t guarantee better service quality – it just means they’ve paid more for it.
6. Read reviews and testimonials
Most advertisements claim that you get the best service for the best price. These ads are catchy to hear on the radio or read on the internet, but they rarely provide more than brand recognition. While this is important, it does not give you the security and peace of mind that your home and family are in good hands. Take the time to carefully evaluate reviews and testimonials on aggregator pages or the company website. It is important to look for authenticity and honesty, so better look for the following information:
- What was the project?
- When was it carried out?
- Were there any issues?
- What is the result?
- Would the customer consider hiring the same plumber again?
7. Compare rates and collect quotes over the phone
Like with any other service, the general rule of thumb is to get 3 or more quotes to compare costs and services. The more complex the job, the more quotes you need and the more questions you’ll have to ask. Depending on the requirements of a specific situation, you might get you a quote over the phone or after an online questionnaire. More often than not though, a visit to your home is required.
Beware of suspiciously low rates. Most good plumbers know what their work is worth. It’s unlikely that the prices quoted will be wildly different from one to the next. The big difference will be in the service you receive and the knowledge your plumber brings to the job. An inexperienced plumber may fix the job at hand but could miss something that would avoid another visit in the short-term. Another major trick to watch out for is quoting for only part of the job and then charging for “additional related work”.
To avoid these situations, use the following checklist:
- Does the plumber have Public Liability Insurance?
- Is the plumber a licensed professional?
- What is their guarantee?
- How is the service charged – by the hour or is it a fixed price?
- Can you get a quote in writing? Does it include a description of everything included as part of the service?
- Does the professional bring their own tools for the job?
- Are there identifiable additional costs (ie hidden initially)?
- Do you get an invoice and does it include GST?
A good plumber will:
- Make sure they understand your goals and concerns;
- Explain what they do to fulfil the request to the highest standards;
- Clearly explains how the price is formed and what it includes;
- Be patient, friendly, clean, and professional.
The work of the plumber you hire might affect the health of your family. Saving a few dollars is rarely worth it. It’s important to remember that you are paying for a lot more than just the time spent on the job, you are paying for expertise, skills and training.
How to Avoid Common Plumbing Scams
Unfortunately, there are some rogue plumbers or even just plain scammers out there. To avoid falling victim to a plumbing scam, we recommend that you consider the following guidelines:
- Ask for identification, proof of license and insurance;
- Ask for company contact details and opening hours;
- Do not give money “under the table” – ask for a receipt for every payment you make;
- Do not trust door-to-door plumbers;
- Ask for a written quote with details about the work;
- Never sign a blank document or a vague contract.
A good plumber is someone professional, trustworthy, and dedicated to their craft. A great plumber is someone who will offer feedback and suggestions to ensure the safety and longevity of your plumbing system. Quality is of the utmost importance for you and your family’s comfort and safety. Take the time to thoroughly research plumbing companies and be mindful of your choice.
Need help? Hire a Pro Plumber expert today by giving us a call on 0421 779 324.