How to Hire a Plumber

By Greg

12th Jul 2013

3 mins read

DIY & Technical

We give you some tips we've picked up over the years from our customers who are looking to hire plumbers. Check out this guide and then find a great plumber in your area!

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When renovating the bathroom and turning it into something you have always wanted, you want it to be done on budget, done quickly and most importantly to be done well. One of the most stressful parts is working out how to hire a plumber. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to do this is to hire an experienced and well established plumber. Hard to believe isn’t it? But it’s true. The right plumber can fit everything properly, can be kept to a schedule (for the most part) and can in fact keep cost down by not making mistakes and causing any unnecessary damage further down the line. However, there are a lot of horror stories that get around about jobs gone wrong due to a bad tradesman, so making sure you get the right one is the difference between the bathroom of your dreams and the one in your nightmares. Follow this guide on how to hire a plumber.

How to Hire a Plumber

First things first, we don’t recommend booking a date with your plumber until after goods are delivered and accepted. This applies even when you’ve already arranged a date for delivery because in some rare cases things can go wrong with deliveries and products may not turn up on time. By all means, gather quotes and pick your tradespeople - but if they turn up at your door step with no bathroom to install, you’re going to have an annoyed plumber and a thinner wallet.

Beware of Cowboy Plumbers

A survey carried out by Which? Found that dozens of plumbers falsely claim to be members of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. We all know they’re out there, but how can you know if the plumber you have just hired isn’t the John Wayne of the plumbing world (that’s a BAD thing by the way)? Thankfully, all plumbers must be licensed to carry out any work of this sort, meaning you can check with the relevant authorities whether yours is in fact as well qualified as they say they are. Horror stories are often passed around about botched jobs and bad workmanship, but in our experience for every 1 bad plumber, there has been 10 great ones. There are many websites available now with honest reviews of a plumber’s work – think of them as the TripAdvisor of plumbing!

Process of Elimination

The best way to get the right plumber for the job is to do your research by gather names and numbers for possible candidates. Getting recommendations is often the easiest way of finding a good plumber, either from family and friends or from a reliable website with thousands of reviews. It may be worth asking to visit friend’s houses where their recommended person has made work, so you can begin to understand the quality that is expected of a potential plumber.

Cost of Plumbers

This is possibly the hardest section to give advice about because plumber’s prices can vary so much, especially depending on where you live. Cheap doesn’t have to mean value for money and (sadly) expensive doesn’t have to mean the best. Even the way plumbers charge for a job can differ, some may give you an overall fee for the job and others may charge an hourly rate (beware of hourly rates, however, because they won’t have an incentive to be as efficient as they could be). Gathering a few quotes from a selection of plumbers is the most effective way of finding the right plumber. Also make sure that you receive a written estimate with a breakdown of the costs, this will ensure they won’t deviate TOO much from the original sum. If a plumber is charging you VAT, make sure to check out their VAT registration number!

Important Note: If you hire a plumber and require them to do any electrical work within the bathroom, you must ensure they have the correct skills to do this (such as holding a Part P qualification).

Now you know how to hire a plumber, all you have to do is pick the bathroom you want and speak to some friends. Failing that use the many websites who recommend a tradesman based on local reviews.



Greg is one of our most regular bathroom bloggers here at Victorian Plumbing. He's always looking for the latest bathroom trends and styles and will be posting them here regularly. He'll also be posting practical 'How To' step-by-step DIY advice and reporting on his latest bathroom ideas at Victorian Plumbing.

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