Finding a plumber is easy--you can find dozens of them listed in the phone book. Finding a good plumber is a little more difficult, but is well worth the effort because the consequences of shoddy plumbing work can be disastrous.
Ask Around One of the best and easiest ways to find a good plumber is to ask people who have lived in the area for a long time. When asking friends and neighbors for recommendations, find out what kind of plumbing services they received. The plumber who saved your neighbor's carpets by making an emergency midnight call to repair a ruptured pipe might not be the best candidate to install your new bathroom because repair and installation are separate specialties. Some plumbers can do both, but not all.Other good local resources include building contractors and real estate agents. And if you have a locally-owned hardware store, the proprietor may know a number of competent plumbers in the area.
Do Your Due Diligence After you've compiled a list of potential plumbers, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed against them. Many states also require plumbers to be licensed or certified, so you should also check with the state licensing board to make sure your candidate is properly credentialed and has been for some time. Your town's planning or building departments can also tell you if potential candidates have had complaints or citations have been filed against them for work that doesn't meet local building codes.
Ask Questions, Get References Finally, you should speak to potential candidates before hiring one. Find out how long they've been in business and ask for references from people who have received plumbing services similar to what you need. Also make sure that your plumber has workers' compensation and liability insurance, and ask for documentation of coverage. Having done your research, the odds are good that your plumber will do the job to your satisfaction. But if something goes wrong, the last thing you want is to be on the hook for the cost of repairs.
About the Author Brett Freeman is a freelance journalist. He also owns a landscaping and irrigation company in North Carolina. Previously he has worked as a beat reporter, a teacher, and for a home improvement company, and he used to own a bar/live music venue.