(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 40

Thread: Another estimating/pricing question

  1. #1

    Default Another estimating/pricing question

    I had another contractor ask me to give him a quote (price per fixture) on a luxury home nearby... all he said was 21 fixtures including the icemaker and other small stuff...plumb from meter and to septic tank... all copper water, pvc waste. As a 1 man plumbing company how much time should I allow to get a "normal" project as this done? It is a house on a slab with a second story....conventional stick built lake home....high dollar gated community ....pricing is to include stops & shower valves....???????? Any guesses out there? All I have to compare to is that it takes me about 3 days to do the same for a remodel on a single bath house I can flip when I install all new plumbing. I need to pick up this job really bad.......

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    Only advice I can give is to bid the job like you have tons of work and you are following standard procedure.

    In my first year of business I can look back at the invoices in relation of time where I was struggling to make ends meet and stop the borrowing....and every job I took out of desperation, I lost my ass completely and to this day I don't do work for the clients I got the bums rap on.

    It was tough no doubt and hope I never end back up in that situation again.


    What I'm getting at is if you low-ball that bid, you'll spend a good deal of your time exchanging money in your accounts with no real profit to speak of. Everyone needs to make profit and small margins drive you out of the biz.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Posts
    4,243
    Blog Entries
    1

    Talking 2 RULES you shoud always remember.....

    If you can remember this rule you will

    always do good with builders.....

    the #1 rule is 95% of all builders are SKUM

    and usually they are looking for their next "boy"

    to use and abuse.....


    so if you come begging the guy for work with your

    hat in your hand ..... like going 40 miles out of your way to pick up
    some plans ect ect.....and then bid the plans 10 different ways ect ect


    you will get the screwing that you certainly deserve

    ----------------------------------------------------------


    #2 rule....ALWAYS PRE- QUALIFY THE BUILDER

    think of yourself like you are a bank and
    this UNKNOWN Builder has walked in your door
    and wants to borrow money from you....


    Remember you are like a bank and he is asking you for a 5-9k loan,
    for your materials and time....


    Basically HE is a total stranger and wants you to give him
    a LOAN with a "kiss and a promise" of paying you back
    once the job is done....someday..........




    ask him a few polite questions like.....


    is willing to tell you who is last plumber was
    and the reasons why they parted ways...????
    (he will probably lie through his teeth)



    call around and find out who his last plumber was....
    CALL THE LAST PLUMBER.....DONT BE SHY....

    find out who his electrician , ,hvac man....

    carpenter is, and ask them if he pays his bills

    call the local plumbing supply houses and ask the billing department



    if any of them have been screwed , ------they will certainly let you know..




    If this fellow is not willing to give you any of this info,
    it should tell you he is probably SKUM...


    then you will know how to bid the job......
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 03-08-2007 at 04:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,615

    Default price

    I NEVER price by the fixture. Calculate the materials you will use, add at least 15%, calculate the labor, add 20%, then add your profit margin. That is your price. If he wants a per fixture price divide it by the number of fixtures. If he eliminates any fixtures, deduct the base cost and labor that you originally used and then give him a new price, do not deduct the "price per fixture" or you will probably lose money on his deletion.

  5. #5
    DIY Member coz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    92

    Default

    I base my jobs at 1000.00 per fixture with allowances for fixtures :
    dish washer + 200
    faucets 125
    toilet 150
    sink 100
    water heaters are extra

    example

    2 full baths 6 fixtures 6000
    kitchen sink 1 fixture 1000
    dishwasher 200
    laundry 1000
    so for plumbing soup to nuts 8200 Base price with extras if customer chooses fixtures over allowance
    I get paid 1/3 up front
    1/3 after rough but before inspection .That way if you dont get paid you can stall the project.
    1/3 day of finish
    this system works for me and my builders have no problem either
    Last edited by coz; 03-03-2007 at 02:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,615

    Default price

    I would lose money at that rate. I just did a job with a shower, tub, toilet and lavatory, plus moving the water heater for $5,500.00 and they supplied the fixtures.

  7. #7
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Posts
    829

    Default RANDY I'm worried about You !

    I'm guessing your a great tradesman ,and not so good A businessman.

    Here,you're depending on strangers to estimate Your cost of operating. I do not mean to dis. You, Randy! Please invest in some Buss. help before you're in trouble. I'm a remodeling contr. that uses hometech estimator out of maryland.
    Prices include your overhead and profit for the AREA You are working in.
    Much safer route to work for homeowners. DON'T FINANCE a builders project!
    Structure money up front when materials arrive on site,then keep payments
    coming. the goal is to leave as little money on the end as possible. ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT. When they say "We'll take care of You later, on that xtra work " Means You'll never see a cent! good luck watch your 6
    OLD MAN TOOL

  8. #8
    DIY Member coz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    I would lose money at that rate. I just did a job with a shower, tub, toilet and lavatory, plus moving the water heater for $5,500.00 and they supplied the fixtures.
    explain how you would lose money.

  9. #9
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,984

    Default

    It sounds like you do a lot of new construction, I think hj is more of a repair plumber.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,615

    Default construction.

    According to your scale the job should only have been estimated at about $4,000.00 and I would have had to buy the fixtures. I do all phases new, remodel, TI, repair, but I never do projects, (I always tell other plumbers that that is a fast road to bankruptcy), and I only do the jobs where they will pay my price. I do not "negotiate" when someone wants a lower price, I tell them I will give them the name of a cheaper plumber.

  11. #11
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Posts
    4,243
    Blog Entries
    1

    Talking priceing for SKUM BAG builders in the midwest

    HJ ----you have the right atitude when it comes to
    builders.... and it comes from the school of hard knocks....

    just say no and tell them all to go to hell,
    and you are probably going to be right 95% of the time
    Thats better odds than in Las Vegas..


    What we used to price things at long ago - late 80s + early90s..

    per bathroom including fixtures...

    average single bowl bathroom first floor 1300
    second flor 1500
    extra lav bowl 300

    whirplool ?? wildcard 1500

    1/2 bath about 975.00..

    average kitchen 700

    laundry room 400
    x-tra tub 400

    water heater 50 gal gas 800

    run mecahnical gas pipe 400

    hose bibs each 150

    bypass 200

    softener 900

    sump pump 400


    Paying a bunch of DUMB ASS PLUMBERS benefits,
    and a decent wage just to get them to show up
    sober every morning to keep up with the work
    schedule...............

    <<<<<<<<<<<PRICELESS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



    add it all up and an average 2 1/2 bath ranch home with a
    whirlpool would work out at around 7900.0


    believe it or not , as I don not know what people
    around the USA are presently getting but
    that was considered high priced for around here


    their is actually a large plumbing contractor in town
    that has pulled up roots and moved to South Carolina
    where the money is better.....


    and their are some tract home plumbing contractors actually
    subbing out 2 story homes
    ---to piece work plumbers that are willing to do the install
    from the finished slab up for about 850 per unit for their labor
    ... materials provided.... they pay their own sso sec and workmans comp and insurance....


    their are cutting each others throats left and right
    so I am staying out of the slaughter house...
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 03-08-2007 at 04:04 AM.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    I am so glad I'm out of the new construction phase of plumbing. Just reading about the pricing and what I've experienced back in the day was torment.

    Even if I got the work, it seemed that the "actual" number and the "final" number didn't equate to the surprises that would come along the way like:

    Can't get the truck close enough to the house, walk everything through mud

    OR

    Better yet, not allowed to pull the truck to the house because the concrete truck dragged dirt out of the jobsite for 1.3 miles and now everyone has to park on the street in front.

    Tub(s) arrived crack, can't install and no one is getting paid till it does

    OR

    Find the crack after the windows are set and now it's a group effort between the framers/plumbers, and possibly the bricklayers dropping their scaffolds down to get this new one in.........no one is getting paid extra.

    Fighting for space in walls and the heating/air company comes in and whacks your pipes out because they have to through your once owned space.


    Can't get the second rough air test to hold because it's been cold weather, you need the whole subdivision to be quiet so you can hear the leak and of course, that doesn't happen.

    You bring 400 PVC fittings and twice through the job either you or your accomplice has to run and get a specific fitting because the framer doubled up a joist or some nonsense.

    You have a 9 or 10/12 pitch roof and is slick as snot when there isn't rain or sleet and the homeowner or builder is pissed you won't boot the stack and water is roaring into the building warping the oriental strandboard. Roofer not being there for 3 weeks is not a problem???

    No staircase between floors, everything is done with a aluminum ladder and in most cases, dirty slick feet.

    Between the torpedo heater and the air compressor keeping you assured of deafness in the future, the carpenter is tied to the same temporary electric pole (if were lucky not to run 400 feet to another house built by the same builder) and now every time we run the hole-hawg one of us has to go hit the reset on the GFCI.

    Water lines to a second floor bathroom that HAS to be ran through the joists, in the center for code reasons, and now you're cutting 18" pieces and sectioning a 20' run thimbling through the joists. I come from the day where you could drill the bottom of the joist and use nail drive guards. Not no more.

    Finding out your accomplice/helper installed the shower valve(s)upside down because they didn't set the arrow up, effin priceless. Finding out at the finish, back to back tubs nonetheless.



    Homeowner involved in the decision making of the construction of the home, wife keeps changing her mind where the vanity mirror is going to go and now the vents are in the way, you submit the cost to make the changes and they look at you like you just took their kid for ransom. No charge of course, it's only a few fittings and some pipe, sheesh.


    On the finish there is a sound in house that is associated to the plumbing system which is a hum or ticking (< we know what that is) and now we're part of the punch list for months after they are living in the structure and can only come when it's convenient for the homeowner between moo-choo's teeth cleaning and daughter Clara's dance class. Bullshnit!

    Reduced water pressure in a few of the faucets EVEN THOUGH you knew to remove the aerators before opening the system, but you didn't have water to the house when you set the finish because the water company is two months behind from making a one hour connect in the front yard that someone has already bent off the copper flush with the ground for scrap and now, NOW it's a two fitting connect at the meter.

    Floor drain backed up in the house (why it's our fault, no one knows) because it's been used as a garbage receptacle and makeshift urinal for the past 8 months even though you left that pipe extended above ground in the basement so this wouldn't happen. Thing is that the carpenters know that you can take a hammer to the base of that pipe and swing at it and knock the pipe completely off at the floor. Pipe cracks longways and instead of using a 3" test ball to test, you're now using one of those long Donkey dongs to get at least into the start of the trap to get the test to hold because no one is going to pay you to jack it up and replace that upright just to get a 5 minute test to hold.


    Been there, done that, any plumber worth their weight hasn't experienced the above at least one time or another in that side of construction, you haven't done enough new construction. You can have those jobs as I've walked the walk in my humble beginnings. In these new homes, these guys only get around $800 after taxes if they are lucky, throw it in lightning fast and MUST COUNT their time for the finishes, the testing off of the system and all associated callbacks on an average 2.5 bath home. That's not making money folks, that's production housing and you are after that income for baseline income only.


    Rehashing all of this in my mind was not therapeudical in the least.
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 03-04-2007 at 10:39 AM.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  13. #13

    Default

    yikes....$8oo after all that?....I'd cut my wrists

    seriously, you made me relive a lot with that post rugged...I did new construction for 18 years until some eye problems caused me to move to service....to tell the truth though, new construction can be a very profitable business....I averaged around $2000.00 on my mark up on fixtures alone...it's like service, you set a high price and you back it up with great work...


    on a side note...it's funny how service plumbers seem to look down on "new construction" guys while the "new construction" guys have always looked down on service guys........go figure
    Just because you aren't paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...

  14. #14
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Posts
    4,243
    Blog Entries
    1

    Talking Wadeing throught the mud

    Rugged.......your post brought fond memories.......


    wadeing through a field of mud just to drag in fittings, tools ladders,,ect.....


    I always enjoyed wadeing out in 100 yards of mud through the rain to the
    power pole every 20 minutes to re-set the breaker box..


    I really liked it when you got a charge back on your bill
    of about $50 bucks or more for
    "not cleaning up behind you"
    --- thats a big scam that tract builders do to these --young -dumb-kids
    they actually charge everyone on the job site 50 bucks for picking up the same cigarette butt...
    (they dont let all the subs know what they are doing)


    the difference between service plumbers and new work plumbers is the new work guys have not been cheated good enough yet out of 25k or more...

    or have not realized that they are hostages
    to the builders, to the homeowners, and especially
    to their employees....who wont show up when you really need them.

    or are simply not old enough to know any better....
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 03-08-2007 at 04:06 AM.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,615

    Default pricing

    I averaged around $2000.00 on my mark up on fixtures alone...

    How long ago has that been. Now all the builders and homeowners buy their own fixtures and the plumber installs them. Most of us prefer it that way so we are not involved in any warranty or service problems with them.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •