Finding Oakland Plumbing Contractors
If you need to find plumbing contractors, where do you look? You can always check the yellow pages or use the internet directories to locate a plumber in your area, but the best way is to start asking friends and family. Many contractors, especially smaller companies base a lot of their business on their reputation and word of mouth advertising. So, by asking around to people you know if they have had recent plumbing work done you can get an honest and reliable review of the contractor and their abilities.
Be sure to ask what kind of work they had completed and how happy they were with service, price, clean up and the end result. If you don’t find anyone you know who is able to give you a reference, then turn to the internet. The internet is a great way to not only locate but research plumbing contractors. You can browse through sites that offer reviews from past clients as well as visit the company websites to get pricing quotes, portfolios of past work and work experience information.
What To Expect From a Good Plumbing Contractor
Once you have the long list of contractors narrowed down to a choice few you need to start looking at their credentials to help even further shorten that list. Make sure the plumber is licensed and has the paperwork to prove it.
Check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the contractor you choose does not have any complaints against them. Follow up on references, don’t just get them, call them. If they have past clients that have had a similar job done that you are looking to have completed, find out if you can contact them and ask for a personal reference.
You should check that the plumbing contractor you choose has the proper documents to prove they are insured and bonded. Contractors are required to carry Workers Comp and liability insurance. The company you choose should be able to produce the documents for you to review, if they won’t or can’t then there is more than likely a problem.
The insurance protects you, your home and your assets in the event that anything is damaged or destroyed by the workers or the work that they completed. Also, if there is an accident or injury on your premises while work is being completed, the insurance will protect you from any liability.
Questions For the Plumber
A few key questions can really help you to determine if the plumber you choose is the right one. The first important question is the cost, have the contractor write up an estimate and be sure that all the details are included in the estimate. Get more than one estimate, have several companies bid the job. Just be sure to have any and every possible detail included in the estimate when it is written up. This means that any fixtures or parts being used should have model numbers, style choices and colors included in the estimate and type of materials, payment details and any other pertinent information should be spelled out. It will help to relieve confusion later if everything is documented correctly.
Materials and Quality
There is always a difference in quotes from one contractor to the next, finding quotes that are exact is a rarity. So, you have to dissect the estimate to find out what makes one lower than the others and determine if the reason is something you can live with. Material quality is a very common reason why some estimates vary in price. Ask the plumbing company what type of materials they are using, if they are lower grade or higher quality grade. If the plumber is using lower grade parts you will save money in the short run but most likely pay more in the long run. Cheap materials can break, deteriorate and even cause more damage to your home…so think about that before you try to save a few bucks.
Ask the plumbing company about alternative materials that are designed to save money but still offer the high quality that you need. Instead of copper piping, use Gold CPVC and save. Just remember that you get what you pay for and if cheap is what you are looking for, cheap is what you will get.
If you have received a referral from someone you trust then experience may not be up for question. If you have found a plumbing contractor from the internet or any other source, it is a good idea to get some background on their experience level. Find out how long the plumber has been in business, get portfolios of past work and ask for credentials and references.
Be sure that the contractor you choose is capable of pulling the necessary permits needed in order to complete the job. If you’re only having a faucet repaired, leak fixed or something simple then you will not need any permits, but in the event that you do, be sure the plumber can handle it.
Clean up is important. You do not want garbage left onsite, pieces of metal shavings lying around in the carpet or any other mess left behind once work has ceased. Be sure that you speak to your contractor about clean up and include the details of what you expect in the estimate.
Compare the pricing between the several estimates you receive and be sure that you are making the right decision before hiring one over another. If all your needs are met and questions answered by one plumbing company but the price is a little higher, don’t necessarily jump to the lower bid.