How to Choose the Right Plumber

Choosing a plumber for your home or office, can be a little daunting without knowing what to look for. In this blog post, we will go over some of the top things to look for when choosing a plumber. There are many plumbers out there. Some are amazing and some are, well let’s just say not so amazing. 

Hiring a Plumber

When hiring a plumber for a big job, it is a good idea to find a plumber with a solid reputation. Knowing what to look for can make a world of difference in your experience.  Some people shop for the lowest price. Shopping for the lowest price doesn’t always give you the best outcome. Hiring just on price is a big mistake many rookies make. 

What Determines a Plumbing Repair Price?

There are many factors that determine the cost of a plumbing repair. There are generally three components to plumbing prices. First is parts and supplies. Second is labor costs. Third are profit margins.  


Plumbing Supply Prices

First and foremost is the cost of supplies and materials. There are many retailers that sell plumbing supplies to the public. These retailers usually sell at premium or retail prices, so consumers end up paying more. Most plumbers get their supplies and materials from different warehouses where they get trade discounts. This means they are able to buy materials for less than what they cost in stores.  Generally the more frequent they purchase, the better the prices they get. If you are working with a one man shop, they will usually pay more for materials and supplies because they don’t purchase in large volumes. Larger plumbing contractors purchase goods more frequently and therefore have access to better discounts.

Plumbing Labor Prices

Labor prices for plumbers depends on numerous factors. As mentioned earlier, basing decisions on price isn’t always the best decision. Generally the more reputable plumbing shops have union guys working for them. Unions offer plumbers a number of benefits for being in their union. As a result, they get health insurance, fixed wages, access to training along with many other benefits. Unions also require plumbers to earn more money for their experience. This means non experienced or less experienced plumbers usually cost less than an experienced plumber.

In addition to Unions, there are also license and insurance requirements. Unfortunately, there are many people who are not licensed or even carry insurance but still doing plumbing work. Hiring a non insured or licensed contractor to do work in your home or office may be cheaper from the surface but when a problem arises, they always end up costing you more money.

Plumbing Profit Margins

Every plumber has two sets of costs, fixed and variable. Fixed costs are generally costs for building, staff, utilities, bookkeeping, insurance and gas. Variable costs, include salaries, advertising, supplies and so on.  Generally the more expenses a business has, the more it has to charge to sustain. Smaller shops or work from home guys generally have the lowest costs but they are limited on how many jobs they can service. Larger shops are usually bogged down with layers of management and other costs. Then there are those who are right in the middle and are more agile and able to provide better service for less cost.

As each company is different in size, there are tradeoffs to the business owner and there are also costs that must be absorbed by consumers in order for the business to remain profitable.  Generally you may always find someone who is cheaper, but making sure the job is done right is important and making sure they are insured in case something goes wrong will always outweigh the sliver of savings when a mistake happens as they inevitably  will. Therefore it is important to find a reputable and experienced plumber with proper licensing and insurance to make sure your home doesn’t get ruined by some incompetent or unlicensed tradesman.

Licensed Plumber and Insurance

Most businesses are usually pretty good about carrying proper insurance, but far too many often chince out when it comes to insurance. Don’t leave your home to chance, insist on a licensed and insured plumber. If there is ever damage done, you will be glad you paid the extra $25.00 or whatever the difference was then get stuck paying out of your own pocket. Another risk of an uninsured plumber is that if they get injured while in your home and don’t have insurance, your insurance is liable, which again costs you more money.


Insist on a licensed plumber in your area with a good reputation. Generally good to read some of the reviews on Google to see what other customers said.  It is important to know not everyone always leaves reviews. Usually reviews come from the most satisfied or upset customers. So it is a good idea to read many of the reviews.  If you see a company has mostly bad reviews, it might be a good sign to stay away. Ideally you want to see numerous reviews spread out over time.  

Be sure to look up the company on the Better Business Bureau and make sure they are in good standing.  Lastly, when choosing a plumber, ask to see their current insurance and don’t be afraid to call their insurance company to make sure it is valid.  At Fred Glinke Plumbing we have been serving the Hinsdale Illinois and Chicago suburbs for over 50 years and can help you with all of your plumbing needs. If you need a plumber, give us a call.