Category Archives: General

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Super Service Award 2016

Every year, Angie’s List gives the Super Service Award to the top A-rated companies in their category, within their market. Angie’s List may give the award, but customers determine the winners based on reviews. This year, we the people decided that G&C Plumbing and Heating was deserving of their second consecutive Super Service Award.

Congrats guys! We know you work really hard to provide superior service to your customers. Way to go, you really deserve this! What do you have to say?

“We’re pretty proud,” said Grand Master Plumber Greg Sheck as he installed a new bathtub for a client. That was all we could get out of him.

Greg is humble. Greg makes writing exciting articles about awesome service hard.

Here is what it takes to be awarded the Super Service Award

  • The award honors excellence among service and health providers who maintain a superior service record. Each year, fewer than 5% of thousands of businesses earn this award.
  • To be eligible for the Super Service Award, businesses must be in good standing with Angie’s List and maintain an “A” rating in each of the following areas:
    • Overall Grade, which averages all reviews received
    • Recent Grade, which averages reviews from the last three years
    • Review Period Grade, which averages reviews received since the previous November 1st to October 31st

Basically, winning the Super Service Award is a great badge of honor that companies can display to show clients they are honest, respectful and really, really good at their job. Look for Super Service award stickers and graphics when you are hiring people to do work in and around your home. The seal lets you know these professionals are safe and reliable, care deeply about what you think, and are the best in the business.

“We’re proud of our award because we set high standards for our business when it comes to customer service and satisfaction. Angie’s List Super Service Award confirms that we’re making our customers happy and that’s our goal,” said Brandon Sheck who is not much better than his father is when it comes to soaking up a little praise.

Well, congratulations guys! We can make a big stink about your awesomeness even if you’re too busy or modest to join in the fun. To help us celebrate, please drop a note on the G&C Facebook page and share your stories about how Greg and Brandon have helped you.

Here is an example:

I had this really strange space to add a bathroom on the second floor of my old farm house. It was basically a closet. Greg and Brandon turned it into the most amazing space. The design they came up with and the outcome surpassed my wildest dreams. Thanks guys! – Sarah Solomon Uxbridge, MA.

 

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G&C Plumbing & Heating Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

 G&C Plumbing & Heating has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.

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This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the Plumbing companies in the Franklin, Massachusetts area were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”

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 Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

 

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How to Determine If Your Plumbing Team Is… Good

There are ton of talented plumbers out there! Unfortunately, when it comes to customer service, sometimes even the most talented shoot themselves in the foot. The guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating believe that customers deserved both – talented plumbers with amazing customer service skills.

Calling a plumber usually means you already have a headache to deal with. Don’t let the person who is supposed to be helping you add to that headache!

“I’ve been in the plumbing business for a while now,” said Grand Master Plumber, Greg Sheck. (25+ years) “Plumbers are in high demand, and are sometimes let off the hook for some pretty dismal business practices because of sheer demand. Brandon and I are very busy helping people with their plumbing, bathroom remodeling, and heating issues, and could probably cut some service corners if we wanted to. But, the one thing I decided to do, long ago when I started this business, was always uphold the highest standards of customer service.”

That is why Greg and Brandon put together a little list of sneaky tricks to watch out for when you’re looking for someone to help you with a plumbing or heating project. We are not suggesting many plumbers try them – plumbers are good guys; we know lots of them and many are our best friends. But, it’s always best to do your due diligence when selecting a crew that’s going to be coming into your home.

The following are practices that Greg and Brandon consider to be UNACCEPTABLE, and so should you!

1. Hiring the unlicensed and uninsured

“Don’t do it,” says Brandon Sheck. You might be blown away by the price tag on the estimate, but it’s simply not worth the risk.

There are some projects you might be able to handle yourself on the weekend, but most cities require homeowners to use licensed and insured contractors, even when you don’t need a permit. “Keep in mind, you must use licensed professionals for structural, electrical and plumbing work,” said Brandon. If you use unlicensed tradespeople, a building inspector can require you to tear out the job and do it again if it is not done to code. And you are left on the hook for the cost.

When hiring a plumber…

Ask to see identification, a state license and proof of current insurance. If you get that weird feeling in your gut that you always get when something is not right, you can check licensing and insurance credentials by calling your state’s licensing department and/or state insurance commissioner.

2. Lowballing a bid

You know it, we know it – the cheapest route is not always the best. But, it’s always tempting.

“A wicked cheap bid should spark that gut feeling again. Something’s probably wrong,” said Brandon. There is just no way around it, plumbing is expensive and fees can vary widely, so this is something that’s sometimes hard to judge. The best way to get a sense of what a project should cost is to get one or two bids for a project.

Angie’s List, which charges a fee to access reviews of local businesses and professionals, says: “A common plumbing scam is to give a low estimate that doesn’t account for all of the labor needed. You will then need to pay for the additional labor before the plumber finishes the job, putting you in a tough situation.”

Funny thing – G&C Plumbing and Heating has an A+ rating on Angie’s List! Just a little extra proof that they play by the rules, and then some.

3. Showing up uninvited

We don’t even like it when our neighbors show up uninvited these days. “If a plumber shows up, out of the blue, to tell you to hire them, this is a bad sign,” said Greg.

Don’t invite anyone into your home whom you have not first checked out. Find trustworthy plumbers by collecting recommendations from:

  • Friends and colleagues. – This is how Greg and Brandon get most their work.
  • Review sites like Angie’s List (paid) and Yelp (free).
  • The Better Business Bureau. – This is great for verifying complaints or suspicions you have about a company.
  • A Web search. A reputable company should have a helpful and accurate website. Everything should be spelled right, contact information should be up to date, and the best companies will have free, helpful advice for customers right on their website.

4. The bait-and-switch

“If you have a conversation with your plumber about using a certain brand for your project, but a different product is used without consulting you on it- that is not nice,” said Brandon.

Bait-and-switch is a deceptive marketing practice. “When you obtain bids, get the make and model of parts or equipment that will be included. This will help you compare with the final product,” said Greg.

Like Mr. Rogers said…

Look for the helpers!

We don’t mean to sound scary. There are more great, amazing, talented and good plumbers out there ready and willing to help you with your headache of a plumbing project than there are bad. You just need to do a bit of homework to make sure you’re picking from the good pile, so to speak.

Hey, we happen to know two of the best in the industry, and suggest you call Greg and Brandon at G&C Plumbing and Heating for yourself to find out why they are just so…Good.

G&C Up Close and Personal (Brandon)

He Was An All American

(Sung to the tune of David Bowie’s Young Americans)

Last time we shed some light on the founder of G&C Plumbing and Heating, Greg Sheck. Now we take a moment to get to know the other half of the story. Let’s shine our spotlight on Brandon to better understand what this hard working young man brings to G&C Plumbing and Heating that makes it so awesome.

Brandon has a killer work ethic.

In high school, he was an All American wrestler and one of the team captains.

His junior year team won the MA State Championship in Division II and then they moved up to Division I where they again won the MA State Championship – by a landslide.

That’s pretty cool because no other team in the bay state has ever won back to back state championships in different divisions before. (If you see those hard to read signs getting off of the Franklin exits, Brandon is part of the reason they’re there)

Brandon participated in wrestling year round and it taught him a little something about having a strong work ethic to getting things done and having fun.

“I had a few cool jobs in high school, one was being a beer hawker at Gillette stadium where I got paid to attend all the Patriot’s games and concerts like country fest,” said Brandon about finding fun in his work.

Brandon took his work ethic to Westfield State where he was regularly on the Dean’s List and eventually graduated with a 3.3 GPA in Business and Marketing.

Applying knowledge and work ethic.

“During summers and school vacations, I would do plumbing with my dad to earn spending money for the next semester,” said Brandon. But, after a few years of working with his dad, he started to realize he was incredibly talented at the practice. He enjoyed figuring out the best way to solve plumbing problems and became serious about learning the trade and family business.

His father was very supportive.

During his last few semesters at Westfield, Brandon decided to team up with his dad to run the family business. “College helped me see the potential in applying your craft and your education.”

Along the way, he’s learned some key business strategies, and here is what he has to say about them:

  • We believe in treating people how we would like to be treated.
  • We get a lot of work from word of mouth so we want to keep those words positive.
  • Being polite and personable with customers and even their pets goes a long way to sustaining an organization.

Although their personal and professional approach to business has blessed the guys at G&C with a dedicated client base, Brandon has applied his business and marketing education to help bring G&C Plumbing and Heating’s marketing strategies into the now. His efforts have made finding G&C Plumbing and Heating much easier by focusing on their website design and search engine optimization. He also pushed the company to utilize social media and was the guy who came up with writing this absolutely amazing (award winning potential) blog. Go Brandon!

So, there you have it: The Winning Team. The Dynamic Duo. The Starting Lineup.

Ok, you get it, the guys at G&C are awesome, not only at what they do, but who they are. Give them a call, you’ll see what I mean the moment they CALL YOU BACK – Yes, a plumber calling you back, can you imagine?

Try it.

G&C Up Close and Personal (Papa Greg)

Greg and Brandon of G&C Plumbing and Heating are great guys, but don’t take my word for it. Let’s take a moment to get to know a bit about each of them. This way you’ll understand the stellar work you’re getting and feel even better about the referrals you’re making to friends and loved ones.

First up:

Papa Greg

In 1985, while pumping gas for $5 hour, Greg Sheck was offered his first plumbing job for $5.50 hour. “I didn’t know anything about plumbing at the time, but I was pretty into a .50 raise, so I started plumbing on weekends until I graduated high school.”

After high school, Greg started plumbing full time and discovered he really liked it. “My boss pretty much handed responsibility over to me, so I had to learn how to do plumbing the hard way, which usually meant doing it wrong, getting yelled at, and then doing it again.”

This was before cell phones, so “if I did have a question it was either figure it out myself or find the nearest bar because chances are that’s where my boss was.” Despite the learning curve, Greg managed to stick it out and in 1990, he passed his Journeyman’s plumbers license. He was offered a great job, got married to a lovely lady named Christine, had a beautiful baby boy named Brandon, and a sweet baby girl named Tayla.

Greg worked for the same plumbing company for 14 years and was fairly happy until his boss changed his business model in an attempt to make a quick buck and “things went downhill real fast,” said Greg.

In 2005, G&C Plumbing and Heating was born. “The “G” is for Greg and the “C” is for Christine in case anyone is wondering how I came up with the name.”

Now a Master Plumber, Greg worked for well-known builders and general contractors in the Franklin, MA area until the crash of 2009, when “five general contractors filed for bankruptcy all at the same time -that was tough,” said Greg who decided to use the time to change the G&C business model.

A family business through and through, Brandon came on board later that year as an apprentice to Greg. The father and son team started working exclusively for homeowners doing residential service and repair work. “Turns out it was the right move, business has never better,” says the happy papa!

And that’s the story, well half of it: A father and son team working hard to serve their community. They know your name, and you recognize the G&C Truck as it travels back and forth across southern Mass. It’s a great story when you think of it: A successful local business that helps friends and neighbors.

Great job Greg!!

Stay tuned next time to hear about Greg’s son, Brandon – the other plumber who prides himself on keeping his backside covered (poor plumbers and the plumber’s crack jokes that plague them)

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Who are these Plumbers Without Cracks?

Master Plumbers, A + Customer Service Providers, Father & Son, and Major Award Winners!

These are a few ways to describe the “crackless” (get it) team from G&C Plumbing and Heating, but who are they really? Well,

Greg and Brandon of G&C Plumbing and Heating are a father and son team.

You can tell by the quality of their work, level of respect, and attention they give to detail that this relationship runs pretty deep.

Imagine working with your dad…

Imagine working with your son…

That was a regular occurrence like 100 years ago, but…

That could be a nightmare nowadays, right?

Somehow, it works swimmingly for Greg and Brandon. That’s right, they’re old school.

And,

it’s incredibly refreshing to know that when the guys come into your home they are acting not only as excellent customer service providers, they are also acting as a father and son – there is a level of respect and care in this working combination that elevates the service they provide to something pretty cool.

Don’t you think?

Brandon thinks so. “My dad taught me from a young age to be respectful. That’s why we both think it’s important to wear booties on our shoes in our customer’s home, place mats on the floor for our tools to protect our customer’s floors, and pick up after ourselves,” said Brandon who probably takes his shoes off at home too.

A few other awesome qualities about these guys:

  • They believe in treating people how they would like to be treated.
  • They get a lot of work from word of mouth and strive to keep those words positive.
  • They are polite and personable with customers and even their pets.
  • They feel It’s a lot easier to be nice to people than to be mean to them.

“One thing we hear very often is how we’re the only plumbing company to answer the phone or to return a phone call. Not just within a day or so, but to return the phone call at all,” said Greg.

It’s polite to return someone’s phone call.

“We’re also able to explain the pricing we give – with a reason behind it in a detailed list of parts and labor, so you won’t have any questions about the bill. If you do, we’re happy to answer them,” said Brandon.

Sensible billing is good business sense.

That’s a quick look at this legit father and son team. Their good ole guys, and you’d be happy to have em help you with your plumbing and heating issue. They might even be able to teach other members of your family to pick up after themselves and take their dirty shoes off at door.

Next time we’ll take a closer look at how G&C Plumbing & Heating came to be. Spoiler Alert, the story involves a nice guy, we call Papa Bear, and his entrepreneurial spirit during a short stint as a gas station attendant.

Hollywood is working on the file – we’re sure.

And the Major Award Goes To…

And the Major Award Goes To…

That’s right, New England’s premiere father and son plumbing and heating team, Greg and Brandon Sheck, who pride themselves in being professionals that return your call, show up on time, and keep their glutes completely covered…..

WON A MAJOR AWARD!

Angie's List Super Service Award

The Angie’s List Super Service Award

The award honors excellence among service and health providers who maintain superior service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List!

G&C Plumbing and Heating is pretty stoked.

“We would like to thank our customers for supporting us,” said Greg. “This is such an honor and makes all of our hard work worth it.”

To be eligible for the Super Service Award businesses must accomplish the following:

  • Maintain an “A” Rating in each of the following areas:
    • Overall Grade, which averages all reviews received (3.5 GPA)
    • Recent Grade, which averages reviews from the last three years (3.5 GPA)
    • Review Period Grade, which averages reviews received since the previous November 1st to October 31st (GPA varies)
  • Must be in good standing with Angie’s List

Who is this Angie, you might ask.

Well,

Angie’s List is a consumer-driven organization that collects customer satisfaction ratings on local service companies in more than 720 categories. They provide an exclusive list of these companies based on feedback from local consumers who know who to turn to when the gray clouds of disrepair loom. It’s the word-of-mouth network solidified into one handy “who can I call” list. We now have well over 3,000,000 members! – That’s what Angie said.

If the boys at G&C could have Angie over for dinner, they would – that’s the sort of guys they are. In the next installment of Plumbers Without Cracks, let’s find out all we can about this father and son team at G&C Heating and Plumbing – now that they’re AWARD WINNING and all!

Congratulations guys!!

 

Tankless Vs. the Same Old Thing

We are nearing the grand finale of The Plumbers Without Cracks series “This Old Water Heater.” In this installment, G&C Plumbing experts, Brandon and Greg Sheck, get down and dirty about when it’s worth investing in a tankless, on demand, water heater and when it’s best to replace your dying or busted traditional storage heater with a newer model. Yes, tankless is the rage, but it’s not always worth it.

The facts

There are two major types of water heaters: traditional storage tanks that hold 20 to 80 gallons of water and tankless heaters that heat water, on demand, as it passes through the unit. Both can be used with gas, propane, electricity and even solar power with an electric or gas backup.

“Listen, tankless water heaters are great, but they also cost three times as much as a traditional water heater and the piping is different, so they take more time to install,” said Greg. On average, a traditional water heater costs a few hundred bucks, whereas a tankless system can be a few thousand.

But what about all the energy savings? That will makeup the difference of the price and installation in no time, right?

“Depends,” says Greg.

“On average, you will save 20 to 30% on your fuel bill, but ONLY on what you use to heat water, not your heat, that is the mistake some people make.” The Sheck boys suggest basing your fuel bill on what it is in the summer to get a good estimate on what you would actually save with a tankless system.

“If you’re a single guy, with one bathroom, taking one shower a day, spending $30 bucks a month to heat your water, it’s going to take you about 20 years of ‘fuel savings’ to recap the expense and installation of a tankless system,” said Brandon. “On the flip side, if you have four bathrooms with four kids and you want to make sure you never get stuck in a cold shower, tankless is the way to go.”

If we follow the storyline of this water heater series, most people don’t get a chance to do that much research when their rusted-out water heater dumps 60 gallons of water in their finished basement. So, it’s good to know your options ahead of time and have an idea of how much options will cost in the short and long term. Gas storage water heaters last about 10 years, electric about 15 years, so if you’re in that age range and haven’t experienced the water dumping yet, you should investigate your options now.

Keep with the old

The Sheck boys suggest that the most economical option is to replace your busted water heater with an updated model of the kind you have and keep the same fuel source. Traditional storage water heaters have new technologies that make them significantly more energy efficient, they are not as up to snuff as a tankless system, but they are working on it.

Heat-pump technology in electric storage heaters now draw heat from the surrounding air to increase efficiency, and newer gas storage water heaters use condensing technology to keep warm air from escaping. So, a new model of your traditional storage tank would be a serious upgrade from the dead thing laying on your basement floor that you bought 15 years ago.

“If your busted water heater was meeting your water needs before its demise, your best bet is to replace it with the same thing,” says Brandon.

Get with the times

“If you’re sick of taking cold showers just because you like to catch a few extra z’s in the morning and end up last in line for the bathroom, a tankless system is what you need.”

According to the Department of Energy: “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water — around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27%–50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet. ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.”

So, if cool factor, limitless hot water, and efficiency is what you’re after, there is no doubt that tankless is the way to go.

Extra costs to consider

  • A natural gas tankless heater may require a larger gas line, new flue, new water lines.
  • An electric tankless heater is likely to require additional electrical work.
  • You will probably have to pull building permits to complete installation.

You’re confused aren’t you?

“You don’t get satisfaction from a water heater, it’s just a metal hunk, so if you can save money to use elsewhere, do it. On the other hand, tankless water heaters are more efficient and they provide almost endless hot water, so they can be a good choice for new construction or if you’re doing a major renovation project,” said Brandon.

It’s really up to you.

That made you snarl, didn’t it? Sorry. Don’t worry, Greg and Brandon will not leave you hanging. They know you just want someone to tell you what to do.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Stay tuned for the final chapter of “This Old Water Heater,” where the guys give you a simple test to figure out what is the best solution for your water heater replacement. No studying required!

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Plumbers Without Cracks

Welcome to the blog from New England’s premiere father and son plumbing and heating team. Greg and Brandon Sheck have over twenty years of experience in the industry and pride themselves in being professionals that return your call, show up on time, and keep their glutes completely covered.

Over the years at G&C Plumbing & Heating, Greg and Brandon have witnessed it all; from unintended swimming pools in a basement to heating units that spontaneously fell over. This biweekly blog is a gift from Greg and Brandon to their many loyal customers. Enjoy the valuable, and free, information along with a few laughs over stories only a plumber can tell.