So our 2017 year started with a bang.
Or should I say splash?
We have two full bathrooms in our home. A master bath and a second bath. Our house is about 20 years old and the décor is… Well, let’s just say that much of the décor hasn’t changed since the house was built. Our bathrooms are a particular sight to behold.
So the plan has always been to remodel them.
Since my husband is mechanically inclined, most of this work will be done by him. (Poor guy) This means that any remodeling is done on a part-time schedule. I’m okay with that. I totally appreciate him for all the work he does.
Last year, he began to remodel our second bathroom. I’ll post more on that later in the year. He began with the second bathroom because he figured it would be a quicker remodel than our master bath.
So our second bathroom was the only thing in remodeling flux. Usable, but still a work in progress.
It started with my daughter opening up an access panel in our bathroom (don’t ask me why, but turns out it was a good thing). She found thousands of ants. I had no idea what the meant at the time, but a few days later, I’m standing near our shower and I notice that our tiled floor is hot. Oh, if only we had heated floors. But we don’t.
What did I learn? Ants are attracted to warm water and a leak in a hot water line under a slab will make the floor hot. In fact, that is sometimes the only way that a homeowner finds out about a slab leak.
Time to contact a plumber.
You learn a lot when catastrophe strikes.
Here’s what you should know about finding a plumber.
- Call around and choose at least three plumbing companies to give you an estimate.
- Get recommendations from people you know (we used NextDoor which is our neighborhood website) or review sites (we used Angie’s list).
- Check reviews by doing an online search (we checked Google and Yelp reviews).
- The company should have a website – even if it is only a one page informational, non-interactive one. Websites are practically free. The info on them is available 24/7. In this day and age, a website is a must.
- Gage how the company works by your initial contact with them. Call and speak to someone. Are they professional? Do they give you more than the time of day? Are they too busy to talk to you? Are they rude? Do they sound knowledgeable? If they don’t know the answers to your questions, do they find out or just tell you they don’t know?
- The estimate should be FREE. Yes, their time is valuable, but so is yours. If they want your business, the estimate should be free. They can look at it as a marketing cost. You should be able to get a ball park figure over the phone for regular repairs, but for things with lots of variables or larger jobs, only use an in-home (they’ve looked it all over) job estimate.
- Did you have to leave a message? A call back should be received within the same day if you call in the morning. If you left the message in the afternoon, then a call back should be received the first thing the next business morning.
- Make sure they have a business license. It will be on their website. A business license is a must for a reputable plumber.
- Research research research. Learn all you can about the problem you are having so that you have some idea of what the plumber is going to tell you and what things you need to ask when they come for the estimate.
- Ask lots of questions. The willingness of the plumber to explain things to you will tell you the type of work ethic they have.
There is too much competition out there for you to settle for a company that is unprofessional or is too busy to deal with customers.
Out of four plumbers that we contacted: one called back TWO days later (unprofessional), one had their receptionist give us a ball park estimate on the phone (no time for the customer), one was old school plumbing (that’s where our research helped us), and one was very professional.
That certainly narrowed down our choices.
What about you?
Have you ever had to find a plumber?
Do you have any tips for finding a good one?