How to Choose a Plumber
If you've never had to do it, you've probably
never thought about it. But choosing the right
plumber can actually prove to be a pretty big
decision to make, especially if the job you need
done is a big one. It's easy to overlook, but the
plumbing systems in your home are important to
your family's comfort, safety, and health. When
you do have to pick a plumber, you'll really want
to think about hiring a qualified, full-time professional and not just a "handyman" that does this
type of work on the side. Again, this applies especially to bigger jobs, but even the smallest job can
quickly turn into a big (and expensive) one if not
handled correctly. Paying a little extra for quality
may save you a bundle in the long run. Here are a
handful of helpful hints to consider when looking
for a plumber:
Check For A License
There are plenty of people out there, in every
profession, who are ready to pretend that they
are what they aren't. What the 'faux' licensed
plumbers don't know could really cost you. Just
ask for your plumber's license number. This can be
hard to do; no one wants to look like they're
accusing complete strangers of being charlatans,
especially if they're going to be working on your
house. But, besides giving you peace of mind in
the knowledge that you truly do have a licensed
plumber, you'll be showing your prowess at finding the right person for the job, and be giving off
signals that you aren't to be trifled with (aka
So what does the plumber who showed up at
your door look like? Is he clean, shaved and in
uniform with a company logo and a name badge
on his shirt? Does he/she smell good, wear protective shoe covers, and look you in the eye to say
hello and introduce themselves? Is his truck clean
and neatly lettered with the company name and
phone number? Does his truck run quietly and is
it free of leaks that will make a mess of your
driveway? If the plumber doesn't care about himself or his truck, what kind of care will he take
with your house?
Get An Appointment Window
You may be surprised at how busy these guys are,
especially if you've found someone reliable and in
demand. Make sure you get an appointment window so you are not waiting all day for the plumber to show up. The plumber should offer to call
you before dispatching a truck to your door, and
the plumber should arrive in less than 45 minutes
after that call.
Talk To A Person
It may seem obvious, but did you get a live person
when you called the plumber? Or did you talk to
an answering machine? Did one of his kids
answer? Did the phone get answered at all? Your
time is valuable and your plumbing concern is real
so call a plumber where a professional answers
the phone live, 24/7, 365. How can you know that
help is on the way if you haven't actually talked
to anyone who can help?
These days many plumbers offer service agreements, which provide periodic check-ups of your
plumbing system and discounts on repairs and
services. These check-ups can prevent big problems and really be lifesavers. And those discounts
can add up in a hurry when problems do occur.
Warranty and Satisfaction Guarantee
Any job worth doing is worth doing right, and a
job done right should have a warranty. A well
trained plumber using quality parts should offer a
warranty on the products they have installed.
How to Choose HVAC Company
In the summer, there seems to be nothing
more important than good air conditioning. In
the winter, nothing is more important than an
effective heating system.
The key to getting great heating and air conditioning service is finding the right HVAC company.
It’s been said that an HVAC company is like a
spouse. Good ones are helpful, reliable and there
for you in your times of need, whereas bad ones
will cost you a lot of money, cause you many
headaches and put you in uncomfortable situations.
Word of mouth will provide the best recommendations for an HVAC company. Ask your family and friends who they've had good experience
using. When you hear the same name more than
once, that's a good sign.
Make sure that you let the company know that
they were recommended by people close to you.
This will let them know that they need to do a
good job or other customers will hear about it
and maybe consider taking their business to
When researching any sort of company, you'll
want to check with the Better Business Bureau.
For an HVAC company, check with your state's
board of contractors. You can also check the local
mechanical inspection office to be really thorough.
You want to make sure any company you use is
reputable. Unfortunately today many are not as
reputable as we’d like to think.
Ask the difficult questions. What are their prices? Do they offer a guarantee or warranty? What
are their usual turnaround times? What manufacturers do they use?
You'll also want to know if the company has
insurance and is bonded for accidents that are
likely to happen occasionally. This can save you
from having to file a claim on your homeowners
insurance should any mishaps take place that
cause damage to your property during the installation.
HVAC companies that are quality businesses
will usually have a membership in a reputable
professional organization. Some well-known
organizations include the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers, the Air-Conditioning and
Refrigeration Institute, and the American Society
of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning
Engineers. Belonging to one of these organizations shows that the company you’re considering
knows their business.
Make sure to check for proper permits. An
HVAC company getting the proper permits can
save a homeowner many headaches. Load calculation is another thing that will save you from plenty of problems in the future.
It’s a good idea to have a load calculation performed before installing a new system in any
building. The company that you select should be
willing to do so. There are HVAC companies that
will use a general rule of thumb to size the necessary equipment instead of double checking, and
some companies will just install the same size of
equipment as equipment that is being replaced.
These methods can cause unnecessary problems for you. Many times you don't know if a
load calculation was done when the first system
was installed and changes in the building have
probably taken place over the years.
A system that's too big will be inefficient and
cause big problems. A system that's too small
won't be able to heat or cool the larger area.
When you have the system that is installed to fit
the needs of the building, you will save money
and be much happier.
Following this advice will help you find an
HVAC company that will help save you some
money and leave you satisfied with their work.