If you have never hired a plumber, it is crucial that you work with a top professional. You may have an uncle or cousin that thinks he can fix any type of leaky faucet but you would be far better off to pay a one-time fee for a professional than to spend $20 for an unprofessional job only to end up with hundreds or thousands of dollars spent in correcting a mishandled problem.
If the problem is minimal such as a clogged sink or stool, you might be able to fix it yourself. You will find a number of great do-it-yourself books at the local home improvement store but anything beyond that may need professional help. If you want to save money, your best bet is to build a professional relationship with a plumber before you find yourself in an emergency. For example, find a plumber in your area and have him do some non-emergency repair on pipes or installations during the normal 9 to 5 business day. After a few jobs, you will have a good connection so that if you need his help on a holiday when the basement is flooding, he will be much more apt to put his holiday aside to help.
When choosing a plumber, it is important that you always make sure he or she is currently licensed, which is a requirement. Second, check the Better Business Bureau or local union to ensure there are no outstanding complaints. Additionally, a reputable plumber will have current worker�s compensation insurance as well as liability insurance of no less than $500,000. Finding this information out is truly to your advantage.
You can start by asking family and friends if they know of a licensed plumber. If not, ask your neighbors, realtors, and remodeling contractors. You can expect to pay high fees for a good plumber. Typically, you will be charged on an hourly basis with a one-hour minimum. That means if the plumber charges $75 per hour but the job only takes 45 minutes to complete instead of the one hour estimated, unless a special deal has been worked out, you will pay $75.
Keep in mind that the fee will vary depending on the job and your geographical area. For instance, for a clog, you would expect to pay from $70 to $80 while fixing sewer lines would run from $100 to $130. In most cases, a plumber can take care of problems in about an hour unless the job is extra tough. For calling a plumber out on the weekend or during the night, you can expect an additional fee of $30 to $50 to be added onto the base rate.
It is important that the plumber has the property schooling, has the right understanding of residential plumbing systems, and can work in a home environment. In other words, you want a plumber who will put wood down to protect your flooring or carpet, cut the pipes with precision so he does not cut holes incorrectly, and that he or she has a general respect for your home.