Just How Do We Find A Good Plumber In Dallas / Fort Worth
Years ago when neighbors actually talked to each other, even in big cities like Dallas and Fort Worth, finding a good trades person like a plumber or plumbing company was as easy as walking across the lawn.
Times have changed, in most major cities with a population over 50, 000 our lives are moving so fast we hardly recognize our neighbors let alone know them enough to ask about home improvement recommendations.
When it comes to finding a good plumber and any other good home services contractor, we are virtually on our own. The Dallas and national news is filled with horror stories of homeowners who have used the wrong plumber or home services company.
For example look how many questions were raised recently in the Dallas area about water line insurance, where residents turn to a watchdog group to try to get the facts.
It Can Be Frustrating Trying Find A Reliable Dallas Plumbers That Will Take Payment From Insurance Companies
A dozen people are asking The Watchdog the same question: Do homeowners need to buy exterior water line insurance?
In the past six months, Dallas-area residents have received several persistent mailings from HomeServe USA, which, despite its name, is owned by a British corporation. These mailings have put some recipients on edge.
The letters are specific. They name the individual address and warn, “This letter is to inform you that as a homeowner you are responsible for the full cost of repairing your exterior water line. We have found that your property at [insert address] is not covered” by us. “The water service line buried underground on your property could fail without warning.”
Then comes a call to action: $4.99 a month for up to $7,000 in coverage. The contract covers damages “due to normal wear and tear” like a burst pipe, but not damage from an “accident or negligence.”
The next letter from the company is a little creepier. “The original water service line on your property was installed before 1963,” a letter to G.J. states. M.F.’s letter informed him that his water line was installed in 1957.
Investopedia, a financial education website, reports that water line insurance is probably unnecessary. “The odds are in your favor that you will never use this coverage, particularly if you live in a newer home. If you live in an average suburban neighborhood and you do need to repair the water line, the distance to the street is short. The likelihood of a problem is low and repair costs are a few thousand dollars or less.”
K.O. writes The Watchdog: “Are these letters factual? Or is it a way to sell you a service that you will probably never need? We have lived in Dallas County many years, but have just received these letters over the last number of months.”
T.D. writes: “I am a 71-year-old and still have all my faculties. Therefore when I see a real scam it boils my blood. … This is a sad story but not many people ever have a problem with their water line. But this will scare some old folks like me who are not endowed with their faculties.”
Bottom line (and this actually is the bottom): Scam is the wrong word because these are legitimate businesses selling an optional service. It’s not a scam; it’s a gamble. Ask yourself, are you willing to spend $60 a year to save several thousand, if and when a pipe breaks?
Thumbnail Image Courtesy of http://www.dallasnews.com/incoming/20150324-waterbreak.jpg.ece/BINARY/original/waterbreak.JPG
You can actually feel the frustration on the part of the Dallas homeowners’ comments and questions cited in the news story, just not knowing if they can trust the information being mailed to them or the company behind the service plan offered.
So how do we protect ourselves when comes to finding home contractors and more specifically “Good Plumbers”?
An online information website called Wiki How to Do Anything, where people share ideas in the community talks section and vote on the best advice, which by the way closely resembles the old method of neighbors talking, puts forth the following ideas.
Nine Steps To Finding A Trustworthy Dallas Plumbing Contractor
How to Find a Good Plumber
1, Check to make sure that they have a plumbing license. The most basic rule is to be sure that they’re licensed and carry full insurance that protects you and your neighbor’s property in the event of a catastrophe.
2. Get two or more references and read online reviews. You can even ask to see some of the work they have done. Read their Facebook page and twitter feed to see how they are interacting with their customers
3. Ask how long they have been in business for. At the very least, this tells you they shouldn’t disappear on you. Theoretically, reputable companies should last, while disreputable ones fade. But sadly, that’s not always the case.
4. Get another bid/quote for the job but make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Some companies strip their jobs back to the absolute minimum so they can come in at the lowest price, but the work won’t last the longest possible time. Ask the company that is more expensive why their price is at that level, so you can determine if there is a difference.
5. Ask about their guarantee. Is it money back? Is it limited in any way? Is it written on your bid/quote? Plumbers with great belief in their performance standards put their money where their mouth is.
6. Finding a plumber who gives pricing for small jobs over the phone isn’t necessarily the sign of a good plumber. Some plumbers prefer to provide quotes only when they are in front of the job so they get it exactly and 100% right. From a plumber’s and customer’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than saying it will cost $X to fix and get to the home, only to find that its really $Y because of some complicating factor.
7. The real key is to get flat, fixed quotes so you know exactly what the plumber will do and exactly what you will pay. The only way this will be truly accurate is if the plumber is in front of the work.
8. Ask neighbors or nearby friends for plumbing referrals. The best way to find a good plumber is to have referrals from people you trust. Ask a friend, relative, or colleague you trust for a recommendation.
9. If you’ve had a good experience with another professional, such as an A/C repair technician, a roofer or an electrician, try asking them for a referral. If they’ve been working in the industry for a while, chances are they’ll have some contacts. And if you call a plumber based on a reference, be sure to let the plumber know immediately who referred you. They might even give you a discount.
Wiki How’s information may seem like common sense, but, it is worth reminding ourselves that many homeowners in the midst of their busy lives have suffered large monetary losses due to poor choices in plumbers and other home service contractors.
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