The difference between an inexperienced handyman and licensed local plumbers is not always easy to know. Especially at first glance.
And if you’re a homeowner, the odds are you will need work done at some point. Often the fastest way to finding a tradesperson is to search something like ‘plumbers near me’, or ‘local plumbers’ and click around on the first few that come up. That isn’t always the best option, given that you aren’t necessarily able to verify the quality of work that plumber provides.
It could be replacing a water softener or just fixing a small leak in that ‘thing that makes noise sometimes’. Regardless, you need the job done right at a cost that’s right for you. The problem is that sometimes you get what you pay for, and the cheapest handyman might give you a cheap fix that leaves you with a headache later on.
Here are some tips to help you find a quality plumber!
The Ontario College of Trades Website
If you’re going to hire an independent contractor, this should be your very first stop. Firstly, you can enter the contractor’s name and instantly see if they are registered. Let’s say you called CJ Brubacher Ltd., and scheduled a call that our licensed plumber, Geoff, is going to respond to. When you search Geoff Martin on this homepage, you can see that he does have a license and is a Journeyman Plumber.
Secondly, you can use this website to view all appropriate legislation relating to the trade you are seeking to hire. Why do you need to be aware of this info? For starters, a good tradesperson will be up to date on all of the laws and regulations affecting their trade. Being knowledgeable about potential rebates, government regulations, and proper code means that you can be sure the job is being done right.
Regarding local plumbers, you can click here to read it, then question each potential hire. This ensures they follow provincial regulations and laws.
The Ontario College of Trades is an industry-driven, professional regulatory body that protects the public by regulating and promoting the skilled trades.
The College is also responsible for:
- Issuing certificates of qualification and statements of membership
- Establishing apprenticeship programs and other training programs
- Maintaining a public registry of its members
- The process for determining appropriate apprentice to journeyperson ratios
- The process for trade classification reviews
- Establishing the scope of practice for trades
Google “Local Plumbers”
It’s 2017. You can check a website with a quick Google search. Additionally, you can read reviews left by previous customers. You will want to read both positive and negative reviews, not just one or the other. This will ensure a balanced perspective. Keep in mind that one or two negative reviews does not necessarily mean they are truly bad. In some cases, people only leave a review when they are angry – positive feedback is much more rare.
Also, you can check various Facebook groups for feedback. For example, in Waterloo Region, you can check “Buy/Sell Kitchener” or similar pages and ask for feedback. If you don’t want to be the person posting, go into the Facebook group and use the search bar. Search phrases like, “good plumbers”, “plumber”, or “local plumbers” should yield all the results of past searches by other members.
Call a Friend
Seriously, call a friend. Ask a neighbour. We highly recommend it. Someone who has had work done can speak not just to local plumbers’ rates, but also to the quality and experience a certain plumber provides. You can ask if there are pictures of the work done, or go to your friend’s place and see it for yourself.
Did they install a faucet that has had to be repaired a dozen times since? The faucet they installed 10 years ago works like the day it was put in?! The latter is recommended, while the former might be a service to avoid.
Ask Them Questions
Remember the legislation we mentioned earlier? Now is a good time to put that to use. If you have reservations about the cost of a quote, the parts being used, or the methods your plumber is taking, just ask. Additionally, you can check on them while they are working. A certified professional plumber will answer your questions without being annoyed, and will provide you with any extra information you require.
- Some questions to remember to ask:
- Can you provide me with a written quote?
- In addition to the quote, can you show me examples of similar jobs you’ve completed in the past?
- What is the expected amount of time to complete this task?
Furthermore, will I be notified if it takes longer than expected?
Your Trusted Local Plumbers Since 1923
We at CJ Brubacher Ltd. have been in the trades since 1923, so there are few certified professionals we have not done business with. If you need a quote, or just some advice you can count on — and you aren’t sure which local plumbers you can rely on — feel free to call us @ (519) 669-3362. Alternatively, you can send us a message at our Facebook page or leave an email from our website!
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about electrical work, plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, please contact us at: