Plumbers who won t drain you #sf #plumbers

Posted On Oct 13 2017 by

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  • SFGate


    Plumbers who won’t drain you

    Jul 6, 2013

    Whether it’s repair or remodeling, when it comes to plumbing most of us give up on any do-it-yourself notions and hire a professional.

    For good reason: Do it wrong and you’ll have a costly mess. On the other hand, if you don’t choose a plumber carefully, it can also cost you dearly.

    Bay Area Consumers’ Checkbook and evaluated 136 area plumbers and found big firm-to-firm differences in both quality and price.

    For example, on service quality, 39 of the 136 plumbing outfits Checkbook evaluated were rated “superior” overall by 90 percent or more of their surveyed customers. But some companies received such favorable ratings from fewer than half of their surveyed customers – and some had 10 or more complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau during a recent three-year period.

    Checkbook researchers, without revealing their affiliation, collected price quotes on carefully specified jobs. They found big differences:

    — To install a customer-supplied American Standard Champion “Right Height” elongated toilet, prices ranged from $96 to $600, with an average cost of $181.

    — To supply and install an InsinkErator Badger 5 garbage disposer, prices ranged from $195 to $595, with an average price of $304.

    — The price for replacing the wax seal between the floor and the base of a toilet ranged from $87 to $336, with an average cost of $159.

    The good news: As is often the case, Checkbook found no relationship between quality and price – some of the companies that charge the least rated very high for quality.

    Regardless of which plumber you choose, how you deal with the firm can make a difference. The most common consumer complaints involve overcharging; poor customer service; subpar work; worker incompetence; and promptness issues. To avoid problems, Checkbook has this advice:

    — Do your best to get a fixed-price contract. Some plumbers may argue that you’d be better off going with an hourly charge. Don’t go for it. If a company knows you’ll be getting several bids, it can’t take the chance of bidding high, and the fixed-price contract will spare you possible surprises.

    — Do your homework and specify in advance exactly what you want done. Include makes and model numbers; what kind of pipe will be used; and exactly where fixtures are to be located.

    — Specify clearly who is responsible for doing what – for example, for breaking up the floor, cutting holes in the wall, and carpentry and patching floors and walls.

    — To protect yourself against shoddy workmanship, get a warranty – at a minimum, expect one year on both materials and workmanship.

    — Arrange to hold back as much as possible of the full price until the work is complete. Most firms will allow holding at least a third and some firms will let you pay 100 percent at completion. Never pay it all up front.

    Some of Checkbook’s top-rated plumbers for quality

  • Last Updated on: October 13th, 2017 at 11:16 am, by

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