Ask around. The best way to find a reputable plumber is to ask people you trust who they might recommend. Also, call local builders, real estate agents, and plumbing supply stores to find out who they use and/or send their clients to.
Research online. You can round out your list of candidates by searching for local plumbers online. Additionally, you should be able to find a great deal of information to help you weed out the good from the bad by searching online for customer reviews.
Licensing. Ask candidates for their license numbers. Then go online and search your state’s licensing board to verify the validity of the license. Plumbers must submit to a background screening and pass a plumbing competency examination in order to obtain licensing, so this is a great place to start when narrowing down your candidates to a list of favorites.
Interview candidates. Ask about years of experience, type of experience (commercial or residential, for example), and specializations. Also, make sure to get references that you can call on.
Call references. Remember that a plumber’s level of customer service, workmanship, accountability, and timeliness are just as important as years of experience. Therefore, when you call on references, be sure to do a thorough job of asking questions, so that you get the complete picture regarding your plumbing candidates.
Obtain bids from the remaining candidates. Your final step in choosing a local plumber should be obtaining bids from those few that you have left after narrowing your candidates down to a manageable list through the previous steps. A complete bid should include number of labor hours, types and amount of materials used, and an estimated time of completion for the job. If you do all of your homework before you get to this part of the selection process, then your ultimate decision should come down to choosing the most reasonable bid.