Even if you are a "do-it-yourselfer", there will come a time when you need to hire a plumber. After all, some jobs are simply too tough to do yourself or may even be unsafe for you to do without the help of a professional.
Following a few simple recommendations will ensure that your plumbing problem is fixed by a qualified professional in a timely manner, at a reasonable price. A little pre-planning and work on your part before calling the plumber can actually help save you money and get the most out of your visit from the plumber.
Plan and Consolidate
If you have to call a plumber, be smart about it. You save money if the plumber is able to accomplish multiple repairs with one visit because much of their cost is simply getting to your home. Take time to go through your home to check all of the faucets, drains, toilets... Check anything and everything that has to do with your plumbing system.
Then, organize any problems you find into a list so the plumber can take care of all of the problems at once. This will help avoid additional trip charges incurred by scheduling multiple visits. The plumber's chargeable time is also reduced because you already have a list of the symptoms which will help him diagnose the problem faster.
Can It Wait?
At 2:00am in the morning the dripping faucet that is keeping you from falling asleep may seem like an emergency, but take a step back and think before calling the plumber. Most plumbers charge more for after-hours service. If you can use another toilet or sink until the morning, it will save you money.
Nights, weekends and holidays will often cost you more, so make sure you know what the plumber's rates are and if they vary according to time of day. It's also important to know how his hourly rate works. Does the clock start when he leaves the shop, or does the rate kick in when he shows up at your door?
A little preparation can go a long way to lower your plumbing service bill. Make certain to check all of the areas the plumber will need to access and ensure that they are clear. If the plumber has to clean out the dish detergent, cleaners and sponges under your sink, this is time that will be added to your bill.
All areas that the plumber needs to access should be completely cleared. And look on the bright side – a visit from the plumber just turned into a good reason to organize and do some spring cleaning that you've been avoiding. Following a few simple recommendations will ensure that your plumbing problem is fixed by a qualified professional in a timely manner, at a reasonable price. A little pre-planning and work on your part before calling the plumber can actually help save you money and get the most out of your visit from the plumber.
Save Your Parts
Sometimes the "do-it-yourselfer" in you just can't resist trying to fix the problem on your own. In those instances, make sure to track any work that you have done and keep any pieces that you have disassembled. This helps the plumber better assess what they are working with.
Is the Plumber Qualified?
Before asking any other questions, make sure that the plumber you call is licensed in the state they are in business. This assures you that they are properly insured and registered with the state. All qualified plumbers are licensed by the state in which they work. The plumber you hire should provide you with their state license number to verify their business's legitimacy.
Calling the "friend of a friend" who does some occasional plumbing work on the side might seem like a good idea at the time. After all, they are cheaper, right? Unfortunately, if the plumber is not bonded and insured, all liability rests on you, the homeowner's, shoulders. On occasion, plumbers do run into unexpected problems that might damage your house and property. A licensed plumber that is properly insured and bonded will take responsibility.
Only after going through this mental checklist should you call the plumber. When you set up the appointment, make sure to give the plumber your cell phone number and get theirs. This will reduce the time and frustration in finding your home and allow them to better communicate their arrival status. Waiting is much easier when you have a means of communicating directly with the plumber who is coming out to service your home.