Finding good plumbers in the UK is difficult. Need a plumber in an emergency and you've got a real problem.
There's lots of articles available on selecting plumbers. We've all heard the advice - get quotes, follow up references and ask friends and families for referrals. All good stuff but it makes it sound as if people needing a plumber have a choice available to them.
This really misunderstands the issue which the average householder faces. Yes we do want to find a great plumber, that knowledgeable, polite, punctual, reasonably priced paragon of virtue but before we get that far, we have to find a plumber who is prepared to do business with us.
If you need a plumber in an emergency, you'll either find the ones which have priced themselves out of the market and so are often available - Mr or Mrs "It'll cost you!" or their more reasonably priced cousin Dave "Quickest I could get to you is next Wednesday." Not great if you have a leak and it's now Sunday.
Indeed the position is not much better if you are planning routine work such as having a boiler serviced or a bathroom installed. Getting a quote can be a challenge - getting the work started much more difficult.
Now, according to recent reports, the position should be easing.
Over the past few years, the press has run stories about a shortage of plumbers. In 2003, the British Plumbing Employer's Council estimated that the plumbing industry would need to recruit 29,000 new entrants over the next 5 years. This led to reports of City workers leaving their jobs in the hope of earning £70,000 a year as a plumber.
More recently, however, there are accounts of workers with plumbing experience from Eastern Europe filling vacancies on building sites and a surplus of trainees trying to find jobs.
For the householder, this should mean that finding a good plumber who is available is much easier. The logic is fine but plumbers who are available for work are still an elusive breed. So if you have water pouring through the ceiling or your new bathroom arrives next Wednesday, read on for Hot Hints on tracking down a plumber.
Hot Hints for Finding a Plumber
Once you've found a possible plumber, do take steps to check them out. In reality, plumbers are no more likely to be rogues or cowboys than anyone else and mostare extremely professional and hardworking. But erring on the side of caution is probably wise.
Take particular care if you are employing a plumber to carry out gas work. Check that your plumber is registered with CORGI. Registration numbers can be checked on CORGI's website - http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/. Operatives working for a registered installer will also carry a card which can be checked by a householder.
Good luck finding your ideal plumber. If you find a really great plumber in your area, please do let me know via my website.
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