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Thread: Cost Question (Kitchen sink, faucet and dishwasher)

  1. #1

    Default Cost Question (Please help!)

    Hi, I recently had a Kitchen sink, faucet and dishwasher installed. I supplied the sink, faucet and dishwasher. I was given a misc. parts cost of $300 which does not include the labor. This sounds awfully high to me, but I don't know much about plumbing costs. As far as I can tell, it is the sink drain and trap assembly as well as the sink strainer. The shutoff valves for hot and cold and the line to the dishwasher. Could someone help me out on this? There was also a $250 charge for a dual sink misc charge, where the sinks and faucets were already there. This was only for the drain assembly.
    Last edited by jbusheyvt; 03-27-2008 at 06:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    Sounds like a flat rate manual.

    As far as material, you have 2 angle stops..$10 each, 2 sink strainers...$15 to $50 each, water supply lines, assorted tubular or schedule parts for the continuos waste and trap. Miscellaneous solder and or glue, gaskets, etc.

    $300 sounds a little high for just material.....but realize that any plumber has to mark up his stock material, and he probably buys professional quality items, and pays more for it than a price you would see on the shelf at the home store. Still, $300 is a little high, but if they flat rate the job, then it is what it is.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default price

    He could price like the boy who went to optometry school, and after he graduated asked his father, also an optometrist, how he should charge for his services. He dad said, "You tell them the glasses are $50.00, and if they do not question the price, you add 'for each lens'. If they still do not comment on the price, you say, 'the frames are $250.00 additional. If they still do not comment on the price, you tell them that the case is $10.00". From what you are telling us, it looks like he just kept adding things on until he reached a number that would make his car and truck payments this month.

  4. #4

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    Thanks Jimbo, it definitely wasn't flat rated. But if you say it's within the range, but high, then I'll just choose someone else in the future. But this does make sense?

  5. #5

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    We don't know the entire story.

    Typically, a plumber will add a markup on fixtures. So that material charge could be only for parts that attach to the sink, or it could include the markup. Since we don't know what kind of sink it is or what kind of faucet it is, we don't know what the plumber was bidding.

    Plumbing prices are often figured in a number of different ways. My own prices are flat rate. If the customer supplies fixtures or faucets, the installation price is equivalent to what the customer would have paid a time and material plumber for both labor and markup.

    We also do not know what sort of material is being used. Are we talking about chrome strainers or decorator colors? Polished or antique brass? Do we have plastic tubular for drains or is it brass? How about a disposer? Are there materials involved in piping to the sink or is that already in place?

    And so on.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default charge

    That "dual sink miscellaneous charge", sounds like trying to "dazzle with brilliance" or "baffle with B.S." and definitely sounds like the latter.

  7. #7

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    Nothing fancy. No disposer, chrome fixtures. So it is common practice to add a markup on supplied products as well as labor, even though, it's just labor?

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ?

    Are you asking;
    So IT IS common practice to add a markup on supplied products as well as labor, even though, it's just labor?

    or

    So IS IT common practice to add a markup on supplied products as well as labor, even though, it's just labor?

    In the first case I would say it is with flat rate companies whose main intent is to increase their revenue.

    In the second statement, I would venture that it is not a common practice.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    In my consulting practice, I charge only for my time and my cost for any parts & supplies I use. However, I don't stock anything, so if I have to drive to get something -- that's time.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default service

    Unless you provide a service that seldom needs additional items, that is reasonable. But if you have to pick up parts for every job, then that is irresponsible and unfair to the customer. The only time I have to "go get" parts is when the customer has an unusual situation, such as one that is seldom encountered or needs proprietary parts.

  11. #11
    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
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    When hj says "flat rate companies....main intent is to increase their revenue", I would argue that it is the intent of every company, be it a multinational or a sole proprietor, to increase revenue.

  12. #12
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Unless you provide a service that seldom needs additional items, that is reasonable. But if you have to pick up parts for every job, then that is irresponsible and unfair to the customer. The only time I have to "go get" parts is when the customer has an unusual situation, such as one that is seldom encountered or needs proprietary parts.
    Agreed. It's rare that I have to do that; usually I know from the initial call what's going to be required, and 99% of the time, all they need is my hands on their keyboards. Many times we both get lucky and I can solve the problem from home without getting out of my jammies.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I say flat rate pricing is not the evil many make it out to be...

    It all depends on the honesty of the plumber and how the flat rate is applied. Some can be very creative in their application of a flat rate schedule... If thats what you call it...

    This guy has been known to be very creative!

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Honesty

    The flat rate plumber is like the auto shop with its "blue book". A friend of mine had a Volkswagen. That model had some genetic deficiencies so it had to go into the shop for some repairs, namely three different items. The service man looked in the book and gave him the cost of the repairs. When he questioned why he was being charged for removing the engine three times, since each repair individually required it, when they could all be done once the engine was removed the first time, he was told, "Because the book says it has to be removed for each operation. Period". He told the service writer to schedule him for the next three days, and he would have one repair done on each day, because if he was going to pay to have the engine removed three times the garage was going to remove it three times. They told him to go away and not come back again. Flat rate plumbing will have a labor charge for each item and does not take into considertion the economies of doing multiple repairs at the same time. THAT is why they can tout it as a money maker without increasing the work load. If anyone can justify that as being ethical to the customer then they can justify the auto dealer's attitude also.

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    It's a case of:

    $$$.$$ Install kitchen sink.

    Vs.

    $$$.$$ Install kitchen sink faucet
    $$$.$$ Install angle stop and supply
    $$$.$$ Install angle stop and supply
    $$$.$$ Install basket strainer assy.
    $$$.$$ Install dishwasher tailpiece
    $$$.$$ Install cont. waste drain
    $$$.$$ Install P-trap
    $,$$$.$$

    Its all about greed!

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