How to hire your plumber

If you can’t replace the toilet yourself – do-it-yourselfers swear it’s not that difficult – call plumbers minnesota. The Plumbers Association recommends several steps for choosing a plumber:

1. Ask friends and neighbors for a recommendation. You might join with several neighbors to have all your toilets retrofitted at once by the same plumber, so negotiate a special group rate.

2. Look in the telephone Yellow Pages under “Plumbing Contractors.” All licensed contractors are supposed to list their license numbers, but the directory does not verify this information. Call the Contractors’ State Licensing Board to verify if the licensee is still active and in good standing.

3. Ask if the contractor is a member of the local association. About 60 companies are members, and they handle about 75 percent of the residential plumbing work in the county.

4. Ask the plumber how a toilet replacement will be billed. Many contractors have switched from a time-and-materials basis to a flat, fixed charge.

5. Ask for a bid over the phone. Many plumbers will decline to estimate the cost until they see if there are any complications. They normally charge a trip fee to make a bid.

6. Ask if you can buy your own toilet and have the plumber install it.

7. Insist on a written contract before authorizing the work. And read it. Be present when the work is done or ask a knowledgeable friend to watch the plumber work.

8. The plumbers doing the work are not necessarily licensed contractors themselves. Members of Plumbers & Steamfitters are experienced plumbers but most of them are employed in new construction and commercial work.

9. If additional plumbing work is recommended, it is cheaper to have it done while the plumber is on site. You may want a second opinion.

10. If you have a complaint, call the plumber’s employer, then the local association, and finally, the state contractors board, which processes complaints. Be sure to retain all receipts and copies of correspondence.

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