Most people when starting a search for a professional services business will reach out to family, friends and neighbors for a recommendation. Hiring a home services professional like a plumber, garage door guy, or a chimney cleaning or repair service, etc. is an infrequent purchase that in some cases can span years between use or need. Due to the infrequent use of these service providers your network may not have a recommendation that is top of mind.
When it comes to keeping your life running well and feeling as little stress as possible, one of the most important things you can do is to keep your home as well maintained as possible. When our homes are running well, they can serve as a sanctuary from the rest of the world. When they are poorly maintained, however, they can serve as a source of incredible stress. One of the most stressful issues that can pop up in our homes is a plumbing issue. Plumbing is one of those things that we tend to take for granted, but it can affect many different aspects of our daily lives. Washing dishes and keeping your home clean, for example, can become a nearly impossible task when your drains are clogged. The same is true for your bathroom pipes, which can create unsanitary issues that are disrupt your entire day.
When you experience a plumbing problem, it is important that you take the time to find a plumber. While you can attempt to fix the issue yourself, the fact of the matter is that there are only a few problems that are truly simple enough to be effectively handled by an amateur. If you are experiencing anything that could significantly impact your home or your pipes, it’s time to call in a plumber. It’s truly a good investment that will help keep your home generally well maintained.
How should I pick a plumber?
In today’s world, information is increasingly digitized and organized for easy access via any number of smart devices or laptops. For this reason, you should probably begin your search for a plumber online. You can start by searching for plumbers within your area. Once you have found a selection of potential options, you can then do a more thorough search in order to find any online reviews left by previous customers. These can be invaluable in helping to determine whether or not a plumber really can deliver on their promises.
In the event that you need to find a local service business or plumber on your own, the below are some tips to help you research what to look for in a company or contractor to hire.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH & RESEARCH
First, find three companies to interview and ask questions regarding your issue. When talking to companies, do they seem interested in your job? Can they help you fix your issue? Are they quick to respond? Do they seem professional? Do they seem to know what you are talking about? Often times your gut and intuition can help you during this initial stage.
Do your homework – check reviews and look for complaints
A simple Google search will often times reveal any past issues with the company. You can check / read reviews online from online directories like Angies’s List, Yelp and Google, you can also check the better business bureau for reviews and complaints on the business.
How long has the company been in business?
Obviously a company that has years of experience is more likely to be stable and reliable. We all know experience and past results do matter.
Is the company licensed and insured – this is very important to verify?
A family friend recently hired a chimney cleaning service and repair company. When the business was located onsite and was asked about insurance, the company representative said “yes they had insurance, just call the office”. The homeowner took the representatives word that the company and business was insured. The contractor went on to install a metal chimney cap to prevent water and wildlife from entering the chimney. A few weeks later a wind storm blew the cap of the chimney and the roof. The heavy metal cap landed on the home owners backyard deck. Luckily it did not hurt or KILL anyone. When the homeowner called the company back to have them fix the issue, they also inquired about the insurance they were promised they could get from the company. The office representative told the customer that they have insurance, but they don’t provide it in writing!! It was a lie!! Had the metal chimney cap hurt or killed someone on their property – the home owner would have been liable! Plumbers and many other contractors are required to be licensed and are required to provide insurance in the towns they serve in order to receive a permit to perform the work. Requirements may vary on the need for professional licensing bonds, but all plumbers should have insurance to cover accidents that may happen while on your property.
Where is the company located? Are they local?
We all like to do business with companies that are local for a variety of reasons. Be cautious of service professionals that give you a post office box with no physical street address or office location. We all want to hire someone that we can trust to do the job right.
Ask for references to call
Depending on the size and costs associated with the job – this can be very important. If a company can’t provide you with other happy customers to contact, something is more than likely wrong.
Make three appointments with the companies you found in your research stage
After finding and locating three companies that you feel comfortable with, have each company come out and inspect your problem. What do they recommend should be done? What are the costs associated with fixing the issue? Are the three quotes wide ranging in cost? Why? Do they all have very different recommendations? Why? By getting three opinions from three different professionals or companies – this insight will often times help you understand what options you have, and what needs to be done to address or fix your issue. Think beyond price – value is important, and price is important. However, most important is to have the job done right.