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Thread: How do plumbers decide on what to charge?

  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by craigpump View Post
    What most people don't understand is just how much it costs to do business. Vehicle purchase and maintenance, insurance, licensing, employees and benefits, advertising, phone bills, office staff, accounting, continuing education, rent or mortgage on office & shop, inventory, tool replacement etc. How about my time in the trade?

    We charge $1xx.00 per hour for a licensed mechanic and an apprentice dressed in company T shirts, clean shaven, no tattoos, no piercings, non smokers. We come to the job in a clean, well maintained truck stocked to handle anything we come across on a regular basis, pumps 5 & 7 gpm 1/2, 3/4 & 1hp. Wire, 12/2, 12/3, 10/2, 10/3. Drop pipe, pressure switches, control boxes, gauges. fittings, tools, UP Z DAZY, generator, welder, torches, casing etc. Because we keep the truck stocked, we typically have the job done before the competition gets back from the supply house. We NEVER leave a mess behind or puddles of water on the floor.

    We always collect (check or credit card) before we leave the job, if there any issues that is the time to deal with them. Rarely do we get complaints about the work or the price, in fact most people can't wait to ask for business cards for friends and family.
    Yep. Office space, multi-list fees, E&O insurance, phones, office supplies, continuing ed, advertising, web space, gas, wear & tear on my car, and my stilettos. ( shoes) lol. I am sure... I am overlooking some fees, oh, yes, when the time for the closing comes? There are those who come up short and our commissions get reduced to just close the deal. Afterwards, a nice parting gift ( thank you gift), so, also, postal charges. Oh, yes, the lunches. Dinners. Drinks. Yes, these are tax deductioins, but, you still lose money. There isn't a profession that I know of that is not without imperfections. The cost basis is always higher than one would want and the profit less than you desire.

    ...and, jobs always comes with injuries, accidents, and less than wanted happenings. I have fallen off decks, fallen UP stairs, out of attics, in holes in yards, I met with some nasty looking spiders and big-eyed rodents, (some humans); I have doors open in my face, closed in my face, been yelled at, sworn at, cursed at all over pricing; I have held client's babies for them and got peed on, pooped on, and puked on. Believe me, it may all sound funny, but, I earn that buck I chase.
    Last edited by Cookie; 07-26-2012 at 12:26 AM.

  2. #92
    DIY Junior Member God said Let There Be Pug's Avatar
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    dev7, You sound like a doctor I would seek. God has other plans for our kids perhaps. .....going to Bible....can't find the verse and going to paraphrase now. "Every good and perfect gift is from above."
    Terri

  3. #93
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    What I do is take a look at their house, cars, property and such and adjust the bill accordingly


    It's a really asinine question and pisses me off. Plumbers charge the same way all businesses charge. We cover operating expenses and add profit for future growth. Doooohh
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 07-26-2012 at 07:53 PM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by God said Let There Be Pug View Post
    dev7, You sound like a doctor I would seek. God has other plans for our kids perhaps. .....going to Bible....can't find the verse and going to paraphrase now. "Every good and perfect gift is from above."
    Terri
    Here ya go:
    http://www.thedailybibleverse.org/bi...-is-from-above

    Welcome Terri, and that is a beautiful verse.

    Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17

    James is contrasting God’s nature with our nature in previous verses. Whereas we are fickle, God never changes. He gives good (earthly) and perfect (heavenly) gifts to us. Sometimes we see God giving only heavenly gifts – salvation, guidance, peace. But he also gives earthly gifts – prosperity, success, favor. James balances the earthly and the heavenly when He refers to God as the Father of the heavenly lights, which were seen as trustworthy navigation tools. We may want to exploit the earthly gifts, or only emphasize the heavenly gifts, but our heavenly guide will use all of these gifts to transform us. The God who does not change uses good and perfect gifts to mold us into the children that will change the earth.
    Last edited by Cookie; 07-26-2012 at 08:25 PM.

  5. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    What I do is take a look at their house, cars, property and such and adjust the bill accordingly


    It's a really asinine question and pisses me off. Plumbers charge the same way all businesses charge. We cover operating expenses and add profit for future growth. Doooohh
    Yep, I charge by looking at what they are buying, or selling, lol, I like your sig line, Tom.

  6. #96
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Send that photo to the DNR. A fed deer is a dead deer.

  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Send that photo to the DNR. A fed deer is a dead deer.
    No........ not my deer. But, that one ain't mine.. That was a photo sent to me from a friend I don't know where he got it. But, it is nice isn't it? I love my deer.

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    What I do is take a look at their house, cars, property and such and adjust the bill accordingly


    It's a really asinine question and pisses me off. Plumbers charge the same way all businesses charge. We cover operating expenses and add profit for future growth. Doooohh
    If their not bitching then your not charging enough. Yeah man people think profit is a dirty word. I've told a few people off lately........why not. They need to hear it more than I need to work for them for free.

  9. #99
    DIY Junior Member carlosgon2004's Avatar
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    Maxine sometimes you have to make a call or two because I myself charge $40.00 bucks and hour. And am a licensed professional. There's a saying buyer beware that you might consider next time you need work done, I mean just ask how much a couple of times. I mean to different contractors, or rather get at least three quotes. www.sandiegoplumberonline.com

  10. #100
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I wouldn't get out of bed for 40 dollars an hour. 40 dollars an hour wouldn't cover a quarter of my overhead costs.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  11. #101
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Square root of next boat payment, multiply by cube root of mortgage payment.

  12. #102
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    A few years ago I was at the plumbing wholesaler and waiting my turn. The wholesaler was packed and there was about five plumbers ahead of me. One guy says out loud "Did you hear that Jim got $1,100.00 per fixture?".

    There was some banter and in under a minute all five plumbers agreed to charge $1,100 per fixture.

    Done and done. Like that the cost for plumbing jumps a lot here in North Vancouver.

    Supply and demand at it's best.

    It's not wrong that this happens but when the cost goes up and the quality stays the same - that's not right. I still see plumber's installing the cheapest shit off's, the cheapest shower liners and charging full pop for the work.


    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  13. #103
    In the Trades dwindle's Avatar
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    Is it wrong to charge customers for the time it takes going to a store to buy the part?
    I have had many that felt the time I drove to the store and back didn't count.
    I generally charge $50 for the first hr, and $25 for each additional, for the whole job.

  14. #104
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwindle View Post
    Is it wrong to charge customers for the time it takes going to a store to buy the part?
    .
    A good professional plumber will have a well stocked truck, with parts inventory optimized to what he learns about his service area, over time. Probably no excuse to not have copper, wide selection of fittnings, same for DWV pipe and fittings. With faucet repair, a good selection of Moen, PP, Delta, Kohler and AmStd where appropriate. But with the proliferation of brands and models, that will be more and more iffy.

    If the work could "live" to another day, you could schedule a return trip at your convenience, and pick up the parts on a routine visit to the supplier. Maybe then you do not charge labor for the travel.

  15. #105
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Kordts. You are going to find yourself in the same situation Pizza Hut did. They reduced the price of their pizzas, so the competitors did also, but when the "low spot" was over, people said, "If you can make pizzas for $10.00" NOW, why were you 'overcharging' before and why should we pay you more now"? Lowering prics should be last tactic just before declaring bankruptcy. If customers react to my prices, I tell them I can give them some names of cheaper rate plumbers, although by the time he is done, the FINAL bill will be higher than mine would have been.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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