If you need to hire a plumbing services provider, it can be beneficial to have an idea of what distinguishes one company from the next. There are many qualified contractors in the industry, and these four tips will help you find the one that's right for your project.
The two biggest sites on the internet for searching for professionals are Home Advisor and Angie's List, and both offer reviews and ratings for free to customers. You should also take a look through Google Search which does an especially good job of helping you see on a map where different companies are located and what their services hours are.
Given the array of tasks that involve working on any plumbing system, it's not surprising to learn that costs for jobs are all over the place. Hourly rates for a plumber will usually go between $45 and $65 per hour, but many firms also offer flat rates for different projects, particularly plumbing systems installations. Putting in a copper main water line, for example, might run between $1,500 and $2,000. Depending on your choice of materials, there may also be additional expenses.
It's common in the industry to begin specializing. Some firms may focus on doing bathroom plumbing, while others will focus on construction work. They also may or may not handle outdoor plumbing work, such as installing lines for sprinklers.
There is a massive number of professional organizations that offer education and certifications in the plumbing trades, with many focused on very narrow specializations. The two biggest are the United Association (UA) and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC), and there are also a number of local unions.
Within the trade, there are three levels. Apprentices are required to put in about three to four years of work and must undergo training in the classroom and on the job, and they typically cannot handle projects without a licensed plumber present. A journeyman license can be obtained after completing an apprenticeship and passing an exam, and a journeyman can eventually apply to be a master plumber after gaining more experience and passing another exam.
A master plumber often ends up being the business owner, and they frequently handle inspections and direct journeymen. They also take on responsibility for compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. There should be at least one master plumber at any company you're considering hiring.