Reluctant Renovator: Each of my plumbers has a big but

Reluctant Renovator: Each of my plumbers has a big but

With several large plumbing projects behind us, we’ve learned a lot about plumbing.

Recently, we’ve hired plumbers to tackle the installation of our overhead sewers, a new laundry room and master bathroom as part of our Plan A Renovation, and more recently, we removed the last bits of our home’s pre-existing plumbing, replacing everything from our cast iron stack to the galvanized pipes.

However, we still haven’t found our go-to guy.

You see, we hired different plumbers for each project because each of our plumbers has a big but.

The overhead sewer installers did a fine job in that nothing leaks and we have not yet flooded, BUT they literally left a ton of soil and clay (mostly clay) piled on our front lawn. It also took several phone calls over several weeks until they finally provided us with a certificate of lien.

The guys who installed our laundry room and bathroom were our general contractor's choice. This crew was also technically proficient, BUT there were a few customer service mishaps at the end of the project, which prevent us from recommending them.

The bathroom remodelers we hired for our third and final large plumbing projects were also technically sound BUT left half-filled cans of pop in our basement. I'm talking half a dozen cans in one day from a two-man crew scattered about the basement during prime insect season.

See what I mean? Our plumbers always have a big BUT.

It’s not all me being picky. We’ haven’t had issues with all of our tradesmen. In fact, we found an electrician, Martin Kocol, of Martin Electric Service in Northbrook, Ill. shortly after buying the house that we’ve hired for large permitted jobs as well as smaller fixes. He’s good and he always cleans up after himself. Seriously, I think he once left my basement cleaner than he found it. He is our go-to guy.

Alas, our go-to plumber is a more elusive. With more than 2,500 Chicago-area plumbers on Angie’s List, and nearly 900 who are top rated, you’d think we would have better luck.

I still hold out hope for hitting a trifecta: solid workers who clean up after themselves and provide great customer service. But with new plumbing throughout the house, I hope it will be a while before we need the services of a plumber again.


Kim Moldofsky knows how to rock a tool belt, but her favorite technique for fixing things in her home is calling up tradesmen she finds on Angie’s List. That said, she’s learning a few things as she works to turn her “new-to-us” 1950s Cape Cod into a modern home in Chicago’s suburbs. She documents her home improvement projects at Reluctant Renovator.com.

The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.
 


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