Searching for a plumber to help you transform your bathroom? Follow our tips to get the best person for the job.
Get a recommendation
You can’t beat a recommendation for finding good tradespeople, so ask around or spread the net by asking your friends to ask their friends for someone local.When you speak to your mates, be sure to find out if the work was finished in the timescale they’d originally given, whether the plumber stuck to the original quote and how tidy they were. If you haven’t seen it already, ask to see the finished room so you can see if your friends’ standards are as high as yours.
Use social media
People are brutally honest on social media, so put the question out there: ‘Can anyone recommend a plumber in Leeds/London/Llandudno?’ Don’t forget to ask the same questions of the person on Twitter as you would of your friends.
Use a competent person website
There are lots of trade bodies that you can try to find a recommended plumber, including Rated People, My Builder and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers. Ask the plumber for contacts of people he/she’s done work for – call at least two of them to check they were happy with his/her work.
Always get at least three written, fixed quotes so that you can compare prices to ensure the plumber you choose isn’t over-charging you. If the price you’re being quoted is very low, too, it’s worth asking yourself why – are they including everything you’ve asked them to? If the job they’re doing for you is extensive – perhaps installing a whole new bathroom – ask for the quotes to be split down into the various jobs so you can see how much you’re paying for what – and where the differences lie.
Find out how long they’ve been in business
Why? An established plumber is less likely to disappear halfway through a job and, because a good, local reputation will be important, is more likely to do a better job.
Have they got insurance?
While you’re checking out business credentials, find out if your plumber has insurance, so that if they go out of business while they’re doing your job, you won’t lose out. Plumbing is not without its risks – so find out, too, if plumber’s insurance covers your – and possibly your neighbour’s – property, in case of damage he causes.
Is your plumber a member of a professional trade body?
Whether the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers or the Association of Plumbers and Heating Contractors, these organisations require their members to stick to a code of practice and will offer you recourse if anything goes wrong. But don’t just take a verbal confirmation of this – call up the trade body to double check.
Expect to pay a deposit
A good plumber will probably ask you to pay a deposit to cover the costs of getting the job started, and if the job is a big one, may ask for staged payments, too. However, don’t expect to pay for the whole job upfront.
Get a contract
It needn’t be anything complicated, but you should have the details of the job written down and signed by you both. Include the timeline for the job plus the quoted price, and make an agreed note of any extras that arise as the job progresses. A good plumber will be happy to agree to this.
Pass him on
Found a good plumber? Recommend him/her to your friends and make sure he/she knows you’re doing so – you’ll always need a good plumber again in the future!