It’s a shame when we get calls from people who thought they hired a competent residential plumbing contractor and found out too late that it wasn’t so. When we come in to fix the problem correctly, we’re also under suspicion from the homeowner! Even if you don’t hire Thompson and Thompson to help with your residential plumbing, we’d like you to know a few things about choosing the right plumber that will do good work.
Over the Phone Residential Plumbing Contractor Estimates
Be cautious of plumbers offering price estimates over the phone before they have physically assessed the issue. This could result in a bill that is way more than the original estimate. At Thompson and Thompson, we always meet with our customers and inspect the problem. That is the only way to give an actual estimate of what the repair or installation will cost. Of course, the estimate is free with no obligation to hire us. It’s basic good business, so if a plumber doesn’t offer free on-site estimates, move on!
Licensed & Insured
Don’t even consider a residential plumbing contractor with does not display their state license number prominently. To get that license, a plumber must pay a fee and pass an exam given by the state. The exam, accompanied by references and documentation of experience, shows a proper level of competence in the trade and must be renewed periodically. To keep a license current for two years, plumbers must complete a certain number of hours of continuing education.
Accidents can and do happen! Nobody’s perfect, and in some cases, even perfection can’t predict a crazy outcome. Ask about the contractor’s insurance and what happened the last time they had to use it. Without suitable insurance, you could end up with a financial responsibility for damage done to your land, home, plumbing equipment or even injuries acquired by the workers on the job site. Sometimes you’ll notice that contractors are “bonded” as well as licensed. This is simply a form of insurance indicating that funds have been set aside, in a bond, in case it can be proven that a contractor did not fulfill their contract with you.
Another red flag to look for when selecting the right plumber is not seeing the proper equipment. Professional plumbers will only use appropriate and efficient tools that are able to get the job done without wreaking havoc to your yard or home. A large van, step van or box truck is basic to most contractors and has just about any tool and spare part needed to repair your home’s plumbing. You should see a neat arrangement of tools, bins for plumbing fixtures and parts and some workspace inside.
Additional Services Offered
Does your pick for plumber also do other things besides fix leaky faucets? Better outfits can offer to do residential and commercial plumbing, both repair and installation, sewer repair and maintenance, hydro jetting (cleaning clogs with high-pressure water), grease trap pumping, hot water heaters, underground leak repair. In addition, Thompson and Thompson have become a one-stop agency for all your system needs: HVAC installation and maintenance, commercial refrigeration repair and maintenance, water filtration systems, and more.
Emergencies don’t always happen during business hours. Water is in your pipes all the time and problems can strike when it’s least convenient. Look for plumbers with a 24-hour emergency line that offers their services without a huge surcharge for calls at night or on weekends or holidays. If they can’t respond right away, a good plumbing company will keep in touch with updates on their arrival times.
Going Above and Beyond
The very best plumbers see themselves as a vital part of any community and seek out various ways to give back. Our own Scott Thompson says it this way, “The community comes first. Without the community, I wouldn’t be in business, so we’ve got to look after the people that look after us.”
Thompson and Thompson have the privilege of providing free routine services for the Ronald McDonald House in Savannah. We’re also active in fundraisers for other vital charities in the area because our families live here too, and we want our neighborhoods to prosper and thrive. Does your home services company operate from a bigger picture? If not they may not care for their customers all that much either.
Feeling Good about Contracts
When talking contracts, they only work well when they are honest, thorough, and delivered in good faith that your money is being spent on valuable labor and quality parts. If you feel rushed or uneasy about signing a contract, it may be an indication that you should look elsewhere. Have ALL your questions been answered? And in the case when you need help fast, it helps to have a company you already trust, that has proven to fulfill their contracts with excellence.
If you’re gathering bids, get at least three. Then you can compare them, looking for the right balance of price and quality. It’s true- you DO get what you pay for, so taking the lowest bid is not always the best move.
We don’t want you to end up on the internet in a story about an unhappy homeowner who flushed away a fortune on bad plumbing work. Doing just a bit of homework can save you so much in the long run: money, headaches, time and peace of mind.
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