The question gets asked quite a lot, and if you read many different articles on how to find a good local plumber, you will most likely find a similar answer everywhere.
The best way to find a good local plumber or any other tradesmen or tradeswoman is to make sure you look into the company and see their reviews and testimonies from other customers.
The best way how to find a good local plumber is, without doubt, the internet however there are more than one ways to find local plumbers or any other trades such as trade platforms or review companies such as reviews.co.uk
In detail, these companies that will help to find a good local plumber are:
- Google Reviews
- Trust a Trader
- My Builder
- Companies Website
- Gas Safe Register ( for gas work only)
I am going to dig a little deeper into this for you first by looking at a couple of the companies that offer a multitude of different tradesmen and women.
If you look on Google, there are several different companies such as Checkatrade, MyBuilder, and Myjobquote that all promise you the best tradesmen around – but is that true?
I'm sure they have a lot of good tradesmen and tradeswomen but are they the best?
Let's take a look at the first one – MyBuilder, they have a straightforward trade sign up which is a bit worrying as all tradesmen need to do is complete the MyBuilders trade application form which consists of
- Name and address
- Question and answers
Let me explain more – once tradespeople have entered in your full name and address and company name and address, the tradespeople will then need to question and answer form – where the MyBuilder website randomly gives the tradesmen questions on their given trade such as plumbing the rules MyBuilder give as
- Only the carrying out the work is to answer the questions
- It may take 10 minutes to complete
- Cheating may result in a declined application
- You can only able to take the questions for a trade twice
Ok let us look at these in more detail
Q1 - first question anyone can answer as they have NO way of finding out otherwise
Q2 – 10 Minutes - any professional tradesmen would take 5 mins to answer the questions and pointless as Google also has the answers
Q3 – They have no way of finding out if people are cheating
Q4 – If you need more than one go you should not be carrying out the work in that trade
For a round-up here about MyBuilder – I'm sure they have a lot of excellent tradesmen and women; however, their sign-up processes beg to differ as anyone can sign up and pretend to be a tradesman.
However, you do need to show you have insurance, which is at least one saving grace.
The reviews are also real, as the reviews can only be left by real customers that have had work carried out by that tradesmen, so if you are going to use tradespeople on this platform, go through and read all the reviews first.
MyJobQuote - is very similar to MyBuilder with no real background check to make sure the tradesmen are qualified or even have the experience required to carry out the work you need.
Now let's take a look into Checkatrade – This is much better as their sign-up process is much better with stricter checking methods in place; they will look at the following.
- Website reviews if any
- The company and background check on the company
To sign up as a company, you have to have the following
- And at least five customers that are happy for Checkatrade to contact to get a review
With that said, the reviews are not that great as I'm sure many people already signed up would have just had their friends and family members give the first five reviews.
If you are going to use Checkatrade to find tradespeople go through each one reading the reviews to make sure you have the right tradesmen for the job.
I have reviewed these tradesmen platforms as they are different in some ways. Still, the same in others, I'm sure each platform has many fantastic plumbers, carpentry, painters, and many other tradesmen.
But out of the three, Checkatrade would be the way to go just because of their sign-up processes in checking each tradesperson that signs up with them.
Many tradespeople won't be on any of these platforms, not because they are not good but just because of the costs associated with joining them or getting work from them.
Checkatrade is a yearly subscription paid monthly at between £84 and £144
Whereas MyBuilder and Myjobquote are free to sign up, but tradespeople pay per lead.
If you do want to use one of the trade platforms above, then the best way to find a good local plumber is on the internet. However, there are still many cowboys on the internet, too so, here are my six helpful tips for finding a good local plumber with the skill set you required for the work you want like to get completed.
Not all plumbers are the same as many have different skills and qualifications; the difference between plumbers are:
- General Plumber
- Bathroom Fitter
- Gas engineer
- Unvented Plumber
First, you have the general plumber – they will carry out your day-to-day plumbing such as changing taps or leaking pipework
Most general plumbers will also carry out other work such as blocked toilets, and some will even work on blocked manholes.
Whereas Bathroom fitters will only carry out new bathroom installations, some will carry out the bathroom renovation from start to finish, including tiling and plastering.
Gas engineers will most likely just carry out boiler installations and boiler services. Some will carry out general plumbing repairs, but not all.
Table of Contents
Unvented – What Is Unvented?
Some hot water cylinders are called unvented; this is where the water from the hot and cold is pressurised and therefore not vented.
Any plumber working with these types of hot water cylinders will need to complete a training course before they are allowed to use directly with the unvented hot water cylinder.
While plumbers vary by skill set and experience, most good plumbers do have a few things in common.
For more details about unvented hot water cylinders including all the benefits and costs I have a guide for you
Six Helpful Tips On How To Find A Good Local Plumber
- Giving Out Your Details:
- References and reviews
- Association and Affiliations
Now I will go into more detail on each
Giving out your details: Most larger plumbing companies will ask you for your card details upfront to confirm your booking, the reason they do this is to make you feel stuck, so you don't cancel.
In my option, this is wrong as a customer you have every right to cancel a job before the plumber arrives.
If the work has started, you will need to pay for the work up to the point of cancellation this should be part of the terms and conditions and is also part of the 14-day cooling-off period set out by the consumer's protection distance selling regulations 2000.
Insurance: Any good plumber will have the right insurance cover, which will protect the homeowners and the plumber's business, A plumber that is serious about his or her business will make sure to operate with the right insurance in place.
Most plumbers will have a minimum of £2 million, and up to £10 million, with the most common being, £5 million public liability.
The amount of cover the plumber has doesn't affect general households unless you have a house that is the same size as a footballer's house.
Qualifications: most plumbers would have gone through an apprenticeship or general plumbing training at college; however, to obtain the full plumbing qualification, they must have completed a portfolio of work with an experienced plumber.
Some qualifications do run out and will need to be retaken; these are:
- Use of a High-pressure water jetting machine (for drainage only)
Warranty: A good local plumber will offer a warranty for their workmanship which covers labour and parts typically.
Most warranties will not cover electrical goods such as electric showers as the manufacturer will offer a warranty for their product, which will be anywhere from 1 year to 5 years.
Depending on the work that the plumber has carried out, the warranty will differ from 1 year for more significant works such as bathroom installations to 3 months for drain or toilet unblocking.
Before you have any work carried out make sure you know the length of the warranty, your plumber offers.
References and reviews: Ask your potential plumber for references from recent customers; you can do this by checking out the reviews on the plumber or plumbing company.
The internet makes this much more accessible nowadays as most plumbers and plumbing companies will have some type of review on their website.
There are many different types of reviews, some of which are more trusted than others.
List of trusted reviews to look out for:
Now there are other types of reviews such as:
- Social media
- Written customer reviews
The most trusted reviews will be from Trustpilot and reviews.co.uk because the review companies check these; therefore, they are real reviews from real customers, whereas anyone can do Google, social media, and written reviews without them getting checked first.
Association and Affiliations: General plumbers don't have an association or affiliations as such; however, there are associations that plumbers can belong to, but they are costly, and they don't offer any reassurance to their customers.
Gas engineers will need to belong to the Gas Safe Register, which is the governing body for all gas engineers/plumbers.
You should always ask the gas engineer for their gas safe card before allowing them to work or your boiler or any other gas appliance on your property.
As a plumber myself, my customers have also asked me to show them my gas safe card for changing a tap, which is not relevant as it only covers the gas work.
Where To Find A Good Local Plumber
The best place to find a good local plumber is the internet nowadays, but the companies who show up on the top aren't always the best; they just pay to be there.
Just because they are top of Google doesn't mean they are not good plumbers or plumbing companies, once you have clicked through to the website look.
- Company policy
- Terms and conditions
- Length of warranty
- Service you require
- The trade association for gas work
When comparing plumbers look at the reviews mainly check out the bad reviews first to see if they have a common problem such as
- Too expensive
- Never turned up
- Poor communication
- Poor workmanship
Don't get me wrong any business will get bad reviews from time to time, but you are looking for a common issue, not just one bad review saying they are too expensive because someone thinks it's costly doesn't mean it is expensive.
Pricing: So you have been through a couple of different websites, and you have checked out the reviews online and on social media – you are ready to call a plumber. You should always ask for a price first for small works or emergency plumbing work. Most plumbers will have a price structure in place, but be careful as most plumbers will charge you:
- Half hourly
- By the Hour
The half-hourly charge is to tempt people in – but be careful as they usually will give you the half-hourly price but not saying it's a minimum 1-hour charge, which catches a lot of people out.
Where possible, you would be better off using a plumber with a fixed price guarantee.
As an example, a company such as Localplumber-UK only charges fixed price repairs, but they only work in the Essex area covering work from small plumbing repairs in Essex and emergency plumbers in Essex
Make sure you do your research about the plumber or plumbing company you are going to use and pinpoint the skills for the work you require such as
- Bathroom installer
- Gas and boiler servicing
- Unvented hot water cylinder
- General plumber
After you have done that make sure the plumber has a workmanship guarantee for the work they are carrying out and full company terms and conditions which cover the process for claiming on that guarantee and or an address and contact number if you need to speak with someone.
Check and read the bad reviews first to make sure there is not a common problem with the company and its reviewers.
Check the price to make sure you know and fully understand the price structure so that you know what you are paying.
I hope I have helped you to make an informed decision on how to find a good local plumber.
Never give out your card details to any plumbing company until the work is complete and you are fully satisfied; otherwise, you could become unstuck if you are not happy with the work the plumber has carried out.
If you are going to use one the of tradespeople platforms, use Checkatrade but make sure you read. The reviews and still follow the basic structure I have spoken about in this guide.
- Never give out your card details
- References and reviews
- Association and Affiliations – Gas work
The skills you have learned about today is not just for plumbers, but for every tradesperson, you will ever need I have just chosen plumbers as this is one of the most common trades you will need.
Why not learn how to carry out small DIY projects yourself I have guides on several different plumbing jobs from how to install an outside tap to how to change a toilet float valve Or if you like reading here are a couple of plumbing books for you.