Choosing the Best Plumber for Your Project
The plumbing in your home is very much like your own intestinal track. You know it’s important, you know that it can get uncomfortable or smelly when it doesn’t work quite right, but you don’t really know how it all connects or even the best way to make sure it runs smoothly.
Good plumbing ensures the correct water pressure in your shower, clean water from your faucet, and the smooth flushing of your toilet fixtures. In some cases, plumbing is also running through floor and driveways to keep them warm in the winter. (But that is not much of a problem in sunny Florida!)
Plumbers should also be your go to for heating and cooling. (Something we DO care about in Florida!) Your HVAC system is directly tied into the same inner workings that plumbers are familiar with so it is only natural that a plumber also carries their HVAC certifications. In fact, it is in your best interest to have one person managing the inner workings of your home.
If you are looking for a plumber you may need a small job done like unclogging a drain, a medium job like installing a backyard kitchen, or a large job like new construction. No matter the size of the job there are some key things to look for when selecting a plumber:
Choose a licensed and insured plumber. Sometimes we overlook the obvious. After working in the installation industry for 15 years I was still shocked as to how few times I was asked, “Are you licensed and insured?”
Perhaps you feel awkward asking, but don’t! If a plumber is licensed in your area that means they have taken the time to fill out proper forms with their local municipality. Not all areas require a plumbing license specifically, but they may be required to hold a general contractors license and if they are working with HVAC systems, an electrical license is a must.
Insurance is the second part of the question. “Are you licensed AND insured?” If they are licensed, the plumbing company is licensed they likely had to present proof of liability insurance to obtain that license, but insurances can lapse. So, it is good to ask.
Lastly, ask for proof of both the license and the insurance. The plumber will be able to fax or email you copies of their license and a form called a Certificate of Insurance that will show you how much liability coverage they carry.
When you are choosing the best plumber for your project remember to always ask if they are licensed and insured and to present documents certifying that they carry the proper licenses and liability insurance coverage.
Choose a plumber that asks a lot of questions. Before giving you a quote, your plumber should be asking you a lot of questions. No one likes surprise bills at the end of a project and a way to avoid that is to have a plumber that is asking detailed questions about your job. They may even ask questions you have not thought about or realized you need to consider.
A contractor that is willing to take the time or have a person on staff who is willing to take the time to ask pertinent questions while answering all of yours shows that the organization values customer service and wants to make your experience as pleasant as possible by employing effective communication.
Not every job requires FBI level questioning, but for the most part questions you should always ask are:
- What are your rates?
- Do you charge for travel time to and from my location?
- Have you worked on a project like mine?
- Do you have any testimonials or reviews from customers with projects like mine?
- How far out are you scheduled? (If it is an emergency ask if there is an additional fee for urgent services)
- How do you charge for parts?
Questions the plumber may ask you will pertain to the part of the building the problem is in, the problem itself, any history of work done, age of the building, etc. Depending on the size of the project it may be necessary for a person from the organization to do an onsite quote.
Lastly, when you are choosing the plumber that is right for your project you want to know that the person or organization you have hired is the one that will be doing the work. In today’s home improvement environment, it is not uncommon for large organizations to quote a job, take the customer’s money, then hire sub-contractors at a much lower cost. This can quickly lead to a gap between the quality of work the customer expects vs. the quality of work the customer receives.
After all, if you’re paying $100/hour for service, but the company is paying the sub-contractor $20/hour for the service they quoted you. Well, you are not getting $100/hour service. You will get $20/hour service.
When talking to the plumber or company, ask if they use subcontractors or employees. If they do use subcontractors, is an employee of the company always on site to oversee the project? How does the company ensure that quality work is being provided by the subcontractor? Will the subcontractor be able to provide proof of license and insurance as well?
Not all subcontractor relationships are bad. You simply want to hire an organization that will have someone available to take responsibility quickly should the need arise.
To sum it all up, when it comes to choosing the right plumber for your project you want some one licensed and insured with good communication skills and who will take personal responsibility for your project.
If you are in New Port Richey, FL or Pasco County a great organization call is R.J Kielty Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling. They have been servicing the area for over 48 years and have received several awards including:
- Pasco County’s Economic Development Council “Service Industry of the Year” award
- Angie’s List “Super Service” Award, and Best of Suncoast, Best of North Tampa, Best of South Tampa, and Best of South Shore awards.
- Plus, they have an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau.
They have extensive experience in every size of project and the customer service know how to ensure that your experience is a good one. You can visit their website at www.rjkielty.com to see all of their services and set up an appointment. You can also call 1-800-330-5486.