Below are Thompson & Parkes guidelines when choosing a plumber to undertake work for you:
Step 1 – Identify the Contractor
You need to think about the company you are employing and if they are the right company to undertake the work you require carrying out.
Ask yourself these four questions:
Are they members of a trade association?
Have they worked for anybody you know?
Is your chosen company qualified and capable of carrying out the work?
Are they a good business? Do they have a physical address, contact number? Are they established?
Step 2 – Know what you want
Understand exactly what you need.
An estimate is a rough guess of how much the work will cost – contractors may need to provide an estimate for the works when full information is not available at the pricing stage.
A quotation will give you a fixed price for the works. In all but emergency work you should expect to receive either an estimate or quotation in writing prior to the work taking place.
What exact work do you want carried out? – Write down a description of the work or draw sketched of what you want carried out in as much detail as you can. The clearer you about the work you want done, the more likely that you will be able to describe it to the contractor pricing the work.
Get at least 3 quotations – It is normally good practice to get three written quotations or estimates from different companies with a breakdown of work to be undertake. Keep in mind the cheapest quote may not necessarily be the best.
Has VAT been included?
Do they give any guarantees?
Is the price acceptable?
How long will the work take & when can they start?
Are local authority approvals required?
Do they give you confidence?
Step 3 – Commissioning the work and work progress
Before you accept the quotations – For large jobs, you should form a proper contract with the contractor – a simple contract could have quite detailed conditions and clauses. Beware of verbal agreements as they can lead to misunderstandings.
Keep records of what is going on:
Additions and changes – make sure any additions or changes to the work are in writing.
At the end of the work
Be careful about who you are paying.
Don’t make final payment until you are satisfied with the work.
If you are unsatisfied with the work – inform the contractor straightaway in writing, detailing what’s wrong and what you feel would be a good way to resolve the problem.
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