Angie’s List Award Winner 7 Years In A Row!

Super Service Winner For 7th Straight Year!

Angie's List 2016 Super Service AwardAngie’s List has again chosen Wilson Plumbing Austin to receive their 2016 Super Service Award, an honor that recognizes the hard work and professionalism of our dedicated staff and technicians.

Thanks to our wonderful customers for your trust over the years and for making us a Super Service Award winner since 2010.

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When Dream Homes Become Nightmares

Know What You’re Buying

money pitThe British call them follies. Hollywood made a movie about them. Reality tv has dozens of shows devoted to them.

What are we talking about? Money pits, like the horror story featured in this 2016 New York Times article.

When you’re shopping for an existing home, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and lose track of the cold facts that often lurk in the background of virtually any property that’s been around for more than a New York minute.

Before You Say “I Do”

There’s a basic list of considerations every buyer should be aware of after they’ve gone through the listings, found a few favorites, and are actively engaged in the inspection stage. This is when the adrenaline starts kicking in and reasoned judgement tends to give way to the excitement of your very own dream home.

Typically you’ll be escorted by the seller’s representative, whose job it is to focus your attention on the positives while minimizing the negatives. And if the property you’re inspecting happens to particularly strike your fancy, their job is that much easier.

Ask Hard Questions, Demand Good Answers

Keeping a clear head about what could be hiding in the shadows can be challenging. As you move through the process of evaluating your potential new home, you’ll weigh the neighborhood, shopping, schools, work commute, and dozens of other location related factors.

At the same time you’ll be influenced by the fresh coat of robin’s egg blue in the halls, the crisply folded French hand towels in the kitchen, and the sparkling white brilliance of new subway tile in the bath.

It’s when you’re most vulnerable that you consider the condition of the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, gas lines, roof structure, insulation, and several other factors when coming to a decision. Hopefully you’ll be able to set emotion aside and make a decision that’s aided by a well-qualified home inspection. Here’s a short list to help make the job of sorting wheat from chaff a lot easier when it comes to understanding the commitment you’re about to make.

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Celebrate World Plumbing Day March 11

World Plumbing Day Promotes Water Preservation

world plumbing day poster

World Plumbing Day was first observed on March 11, 2011. Since its inception, the site has compiled a collection of FAQs, press releases, and activities to promote and encourage a responsible approach towards preserving clean, safe water.

Coincidentally, the New York Times published a long overdue article on the “flushability” of hygenic wipes, and the enormous amount of damage they cause to municipal waste processing systems.

“I agree that they’re flushable,” said Tim Haapala, operations manager for the Charleston Sanitary Board. “A golf ball is flushable, but it’s not a good idea.”

We’re Ruining Our Own Water Supply

World Plumbing Day looks at both technology and passive conservation methods that can, and should be, used to preserve and protect our dwindling reserves of potable water sources. By now, most of us are familiar with low flow mandatory toilets and limited flow faucets and showerheads. Increasingly, these methods of conserving and preserving are being augmented with digital technology and software that can help maintain greater control over wasteful useage.

Even though western countries face increasing threats to their water sources, both in availability and in quality, under and undeveloped countries are bearing the brunt of easy access to safe drinking water.

We’re All In This Together

How we react to current and future challenges to our dwindling supplies of safe, clean, drinkable water depends entirely on the actions we take today. Wilson Plumbing’s first greywater home is proof that efforts at the local level can pay dividends all the way up the line.

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Award Winning Austin Residential Remodel

Another Team Project With A.R. Lucas

Performance Plumbing Stands Out

The Austin chapter of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) recognized the architectural vision of Clark Richardson Architects and the workmanship of our friends at A.R. Lucas Construction in awarding this Hyde Park residential addition their 2016 CotY (Contractor of the Year) award.

Quality projects, quality partners, quality products: we couldn’t ask for anything better!

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Metallic Accents Warm Up Kitchen

Options For Lighting, Backsplashes

Upgrade Your Space With Metallics

There are times when the thought of one more stainless appliance, light fixture, cabinet pull, or side-by-side sink can put the brakes on any thought of a remodel or rehab that breaks with tradition. Today, there are plenty of options which, if chosen carefully, can transform the clinical environment of all stainless into a warm, homey atmosphere with just a trace of copper, bronze, or some other warming finish.

Quick and easy? Go for cabinet and drawer pulls. Lighting can either be DIY or installed. There are several high quality, high appeal alternatives to the same old Big Box sink options, especially the Native Trails line of copper for kitchen and bath.

Sheet Goods Extend Range of Hard Surface Choices

Want a source for real visual excitement? Investigate Chemetal’s unique line of beautiful metallic sheet goods for custom cabinetry, backsplashes, or accent wall surfaces, below.

chemetal samplesThere’s no denying a big part of stainless’ appeal over the years is that simply put, it doesn’t clash. If you’re going to try an alternative look, you can avoid the potential cacophony of too many colors and finishes by limiting your palette to one dominant hue.

In the end, a simple approach probably works best, by letting the intrinsic color and finish of your choices speak for themselves. Coupled with sound layout, quality construction, and professional installation, the results will leave your visitors impressed and your daily lifestyle refreshed. For more on how to use mixed metals in the kitchen, read this Kohler rundown on when and where to apply accents and finishes.

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Your New Bathroom Is All About Digital

Bathroom’s Future Is Electronic

Toto neorest 750h

There’s An App For That

Last week’s internet outages really drove home the point that our lives now revolve around the web and connected digital devices. The server attacks that temporarily disrupted PayPal, Twitter, Amazon, and dozens of other high-profile sites were caused by a variety of what we now consider household items: web cams, apps that control garage door openers, t.v. remotes, WiFi routers, and more.

When we talk about high-tech bathrooms, we’re likely referring to digitally controlled (though not always through the internet) devices that control temperature, entertainment, lighting, and even toilet adjustments. Even old concepts like problematic steam baths are increasingly affordable, dependable, and highly enjoyable.

Self-cleaning toilets are already available, usually paired with self-closing seats and lids, night lights, and a seat warming fan. These aren’t cheap by any means. Expect to pay at least $4,000 and up, depending on manufacturer, make, and model. (Toto’s top-of-the-line NeoRest 750H retails for around $10,000.)

Making The Most Out Of Bath Time

Our baths, showers, and toilets are now available with a wide-ranging variety of options and accessories, all designed to render our time in the bath more relaxing and enjoyable. Enjoy singing in the shower? Kohler has a showerhead that will play your favorite tunes, even if the rest of the house is begging you to stop. And Toto, along with other top-of-the-line brands, has long offered an electronic toilet that users say has to be experienced to be believed.

For pure technical infrastructure, kitchens will continue to maintain a lead over bathrooms, simply because refrigerators, ovens, and stoves offer more and more opportunities for digital adaptation. But bath time, given the combination of today’s amazing range of design materials and finishes, combined with innovative entertainment and function options, is set to become a spa experience that transcends basic functionality.

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Community Support

McCallum Knights Band Boosters

Great Program, Great Cause!

We support a number of local causes, including our McCallum High School neighbors. Keeping it real in Austin, where we live and work!

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Childhood Development Depends On Clean Water

IKEA, Water.org Delivering Clean Water

This short video helps explain the crucial role clean, sanitary water plays in early childhood development, and the important ways small and micro loans are used to create safe water sources.

Healthy hygiene and proper sanitation depends on ready access to safe water, and government can’t always be counted on to deliver this basic commodity. Water.org has developed a number of programs to create awareness, deliver technology, and fund basic improvements around the globe.

If you take a few minutes to watch this video, you’ll better understand how critical the need is for communities around the globe to create safe sources for this basic resource.

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Plumbing Repairs Range From Simple to Complex

wilson-plumbing-faucetWhat’s The Worst That Could Happen?

To listen to the Big Box stores tell it, the answer to your plumbing problem starts with a trip down one of their tool or parts aisles and a few minutes spent discussing your situation with an “associate” will set things right. Chances are, you just need to tighten a fitting to fix that pesky leak.

How about a water heater that’s finally given up the ghost? Water plus electricity usually doesn’t end well if the necessary precautions aren’t taken. And working with gas can have severe consequences that far outweigh the potential savings if even the smallest detail is overlooked. Even finding the right faucet aerator can prove challenging.

Plumbing Fittings Date Back to 1864

There’s more. The range of unique thread counts, beginning with the NPT description that has nothing in common with the usual SAE or ANSI nuts and bolts used around the house, is confusing at best. Guess wrong, and you’ll crossthread a fitting before you know it. And if that fitting’s on the wrong end of the solution, you’ve just swapped a small headache for a big one.

The reality is that from garbage disposers to shower heads to water softeners to toilets, your home’s plumbing is a complicated and complex system of interconnected parts that rely on one another for peak performance. Making sure all those components are operating efficiently often goes well beyond the free advice you get from a part-time employee.

Licensed And Qualified Technicians

As with any mechanical device, plumbing repair and installation requires tools, knowledge, and quite often strength to make sure the job is done properly. Add in the fact that a lot of the time you’ll probably be working on your back in very cramped quarters and it’s easy to understand why those plumbing repairs that look so easy on the Saturday DIY reality shows are often anything but when you get started.

In addition, there’s a growing number of so-called “smart” devices that are finding their way into our everyday lives that, if not installed correctly, won’t fulfill their goal of making life easier.

At Wilson Plumbing, every one of our field techs is tested and licensed by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. This means you have the assurance that both classroom hours and extensive apprenticeship are behind our master and jouneyman plumbing installers and repairmen. The next time you’re facing a drip-drip-drip and aren’t sure if you’re up to the task, just give us a call. You’ll find us on Angie’s List, Yelp, and the Austin Better Business Bureau, and we’d be happy to add you to our list of well satisfied customers.

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Upgrade To Quarter-Turn Valves

Quarter-Turn Ball Valves Best

Install a quarter-turn valve on appliances to simplify service, eliminate problems

Installing a quarter-turn valve on appliances simplifies service, eliminate problems.

Dependable, Reliable, Long Lasting

Quarter-turn faucets are quickly becoming the default control valve used throughout the home, and for good reason. Performance, ease of use, and longevity make quarter-turn valves much more reliable than old style gate and gasket valves that are especially susceptible to failure when used infrequently.

From bathroom fixtures to shut-off valves to outdoor hose bibs to lawn irrigation, the quarter-turn design lends itself to reliable, maintenance free operation, particularly in situations that don’t see that much use over time, like a toilet shut-off that’s always been subject to corrosion and handle breakage.

Simple And Efficient

No gaskets means nothing to rot or wear down. No bushings means nothing to corrode, jam, or otherwise fail just when you need your valve to work. And instead of cranking endlessly to shut off the water supply – particularly awkward in undersink situations – just a quick flip of the lever guarantees no surprises when you break the connection downstream.

Replacing your old style valves with a new, convenient quarter-turn at the time of service could save you headaches down the road. In the case of the water heater shown above, a new valve had to be installed when the old gate valve failed after it was closed in one direction and couldn’t be reopened after the tank had been drained and flushed. The remaining gate valve controls the cold water supply to the refrigerator icemaker, and should be replaced as well.

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