Whether you’re looking to install a swanky new shower or re-pipe your entire bathroom, odds are, you’ll need professional plumbing services on side to finish the project. But just any old plumber won’t do…we’ve all heard of cowboy builders, and cowboy plumbers exist too. So, to help you fulfil your plans without the risk of a botch job, we’ve shared some handy pointers when it comes to choosing a plumber.
Keep an eye out for…
When you’re doing your preliminary research, there are a few ways you can seek out some initial assurance.
Trade association membership
Although not being a member of a trade association doesn’t necessarily mean the plumber in question is a no-go, it is beneficial to have.
The seal of approval from reputable bodies - such as the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) - means the company adheres to their customary high standards for both technical ability and customer service.
A new established body made up of various regional bodies called WaterSafe can also be a good way of finding trustworthy accredited plumbers in your area.
Seeing what other people have to say about their experience with X, Y or Z’s plumbing service is a great indicator of what you can expect. If you’re not sure where to find them, the business’ Facebook page and website are good places to start.
When you’re scrolling through other people’s reviews, look out for lengthy feedback that paints a positive picture - excess three or four-word reviews could be a sign they are fake.
And finally, don’t run for the hills if you see the odd negative review. Of course, a large number of them is a cause for concern, but it’s natural for any business to have the odd one. Instead of jumping to conclusions, delve into the nature of the feedback and look out for how the plumbing company responded - this can speak volumes.
While a new plumber on the block by no means equates to a bad service, it does mean they have less experience and you have fewer reviews and work examples to go off - which can be more of a gamble.
Establish whether your installer will be outsourcing any of the tasks to a contractor. It’s useful to know if there will be any additional professionals working in your home.
One of the best ways to find the perfect plumber near you is to see if someone you know has a recommendation. Whether it’s a friend, family member or colleague, ask people you trust about who they have used in the past, and use their honest feedback to help steer your search.
Additionally, it can be reassuring if your plumber is DBS checked. This shows all spent and unspent convictions, cautions and warnings held by the individual. Whilst this is not necessary, It may help some people feel at ease.
We’ve already covered one warning sign (lots of negative reviews), but another pretty big one is if the plumber you’re thinking of hiring doesn’t guarantee their work.
Ensuring your work is guaranteed is important because it means if something happens, for example, the plumber you employed can no longer finish the job, the work you paid for will be finished regardless.
Any new electrical work such as lighting, shower sockets or electric shower installations should be certified with an electrical body such as Elecsa, NAPIT or NICEIC.
Contracts are a good way to ensure the installer can be trusted. A contract protects the installer as much as the customer – as both parties can be held to account on the standard of work and / or payment terms.
Before you shake hands with anyone, we’d always recommend collecting a handful of quotes from a few different plumbers. If the costs are similar across the board, everyone’s probably charging you a fair price.
However, if one plumber comes back to you with a quote in the £1000s while the rest only suggest a few hundred, there’s a good chance they’re trying to rip you off - which isn’t the trait of a plumber you want in your home.
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