Tips For Working With A Plumbing Contractor

Hiring any type of contractor can become a daunting task. I decided to put together a few helpful tips homeowners wearing the general contracting hat in their own bathroom or kitchen renovation projects. Plumbing contractors will be one of the key contractors needed and many of the other trades will be dependent on the timelines set by the plumbing company.

John E. Derossett, an Angie’s List contributor, wrote a great article on this topic titled, “6 Tips For Hiring a Plumber“. In this piece I especially like this tip;

3. Length of time in business – Ask the plumber how long he or she has been in business. A larger company will likely have plumbers with years of experience, but you should still ask. It’s a good sign if the company has been in business for several years because it often means it has a proven track record of quality work.

This tip is one that I find many people bypass and make assumptions. If you’re dealing with a company that has been established, be sure to ask about the experience level of the individual plumbers that will be assigned to your project.  Click here to read John’s full article.

Another fantastic set of tips comes from the Better Business Bureau and these tips should be followed not just for selecting your plumbing company but also for all of the other trades that will be working on your reno project.

*Ask for recommendations from friends that have had similar work done. You can also ask hardware or plumbing supply clerks for suggestions.
*Look through the Yellow Pages under “Plumbing Contractors” or “Plumbing, Drain & Sewer Cleaning” for licensed plumbing contractors.
*Ask specific questions about the plumber’s business, fees, and licensing if applicable.
*Ask for names of satisfied customers you may call for references.
*Check for membership in trade organizations, such as the local chapter of The National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors ( Companies who participate in these organizations are more likely to keep up-to-date on new regulations and codes.
*Confirm insurance credentials. Ask to see proof that the contractor has both liability and workmen’s compensation insurance. If the contractor does not, you could be liable for any accidents on your property, including injury to the technician.

The complete BBB article can be found here: Choosing a Plumbing Contractor. Many times, we neglect the last bullet point but this is one of the most important checks that you can make. You really expose yourself to financial liability if the plumber doesn’t have up to date insurance credentials.

One last point to make is highlighted nicely on this plumbing website,, in an article titled,”How to Hire a Plumber for Your Home or Business

Then, you will need to figure out which one is the best plumber for you and your property. Go to a minimum of three consumer review websites and read several of the recent reviews on each of the companies you have listed. Do not rely upon the star rating alone as these can be misleading. For instance, a person may be upset about their broken pipes and leave a poor review based upon that rather than the service they received. It is unfortunate that this happens and should not reflect upon the contractor who performs the repairs.
It is best to read reviews on multiple sites so that you can get the most accurate picture. Look for things like their customer service record. Have the representatives treated other consumers with kindness and fairness? Also, you need to know if they adhere to the estimated time for service and whether or not the company adds on charges once they have begun.

With all of the resources available online, it is super easy to check on the reputation of your contractors by performing the simple task outlined in the above quote.

I hope that this gives you the ammunition and the resources at your fingertips so you feel confident in hiring a plumber for your next home repair project!

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