It’s something you need to know before you need to make the call. A burst pipe under the sink doesn’t leave much time for deciding on who might be the best. If you’re planning on remodeling the bathroom, you want someone who knows their way around faucets, fixtures and pipes.
When you need a plumber here in Chicago, where do you start? What should you look for?
We help residents deal with water damage every day, so we see the difference it makes when you know who to call before a plumbing repair emergency. That same professional is your go-to tech for everything related to your home’s plumbing system. How do you find the best plumber in your area?
10 Ways to Find a Good Local Plumber
When customers ask us how to find a local plumber, we’re happy to share tips that can make the process a little easier. We’ve put together this list of pointers as a guide to locating the best local pros for your home or business.
1. Sometimes, Older Is Better
We applaud the shop that just opened its doors, but we’re more likely to recommend a company that’s been around for years. Santucci Plumbing in Northbrook is a great example of why good plumbers stay in business. Four generations and 35 years add up to experience you want when you need a plumber.
2. Real Pros Show Their Credentials
Whether you stop by headquarters or greet the plumber at your doorstep, professionals always have their paperwork in order. Ask about liability insurance and license compliance. Established plumbing companies usually carry workman’s comp too. If a business won’t share this kind of information, be very cautious.
3. You Can Find Out a Lot Online
From Yelp to Home Advisor, online customer review sites help weed out the bad and spotlight the good. Take a look at a potential hire’s website. See how the company interacts with people on its Facebook page or Twitter feed. This kind of online detective work gives you a good feel for a plumber’s attitude towards customer service.
4. Size Can Make a Difference
Before you hire the biggest business on the block, compare their rates with other plumbers. A smaller shop can quote lower rates, but it might not offer extras like new plumbing installation, hydro jetting or pipe lining. A mid-sized company like Wilmette’s Lucke Plumbing is usually a budget-friendly choice offering a good range of services.
5. Ask Other Trades for Recommendations
Local plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians often know each other, and many of them work through the same general contractors. If you have a favorite handyman or trusted tech, ask him or her about recommendations for reliable plumbers who operate in your neighborhood. This network can be a great source for solid references.
6. Know What You Need
Do you need a plumber to fix a leaky pipe or replace a bad sewer line? Not all plumbing businesses handle big jobs, so be clear about what you expect. Look for a company like Reliance Plumbing with capabilities for handling all kinds of projects. They take care of residential and commercial properties in Skokie and the surrounding areas.
7. Get It In Writing
We don’t give estimates for water damage restoration services over the phone. It’s very hard to accurately size up large projects without an on-site inspection. Think twice before hiring a plumber who gives you a quote with a phone call. Be cautious of handshake agreements. If it’s more than a quick repair job, get all the figures down on paper.
8. Compare Quotes and Ask Questions
Unless you’re facing a plumbing emergency, get bids from at least three different companies. Compare the numbers, but don’t assume the lower quote is a bargain. The plumber with a high estimate might be using better materials that last longer. Ask why the quote is higher, and reverse that strategy when you talk to the low bidder.
9. Look For Honesty About Hourly Rates
Small plumbing repair jobs are often priced by the hour based on an estimate of the time involved. Ask about exactly when hourly charges begin. Some plumbers start the clock when they leave their offices, so you could be paying for travel time that increases final costs.
10. Expect Emergency Capabilities
You want to connect with a plumber who takes care of routine repairs and emergency situations. Chicago’s Emergency Good Guys earn their name with 24/7 service that covers it all from burst pipes to foundation leaks. That kind of response makes a big difference in minimizing water damage to your property.
We’re Just a Phone Call Away
We tip our hats to the hardworking pros who deal with everything from leaking hot water heater repairs to clogged drains. If you have a company you’d like to recommend, share a review through our Comments Section.
While we leave the big projects to local plumbers, you can still count on us for many plumbing repair jobs. We offer a complete line of water damage restoration services, and we’re here for you 24/7. When you need help, you can always count on ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. We’re local too, so we’re just a phone call away.