Did I pay too much?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by swvalley, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. swvalley

    swvalley New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I apologize if this is not the appropriate place to ask this question...

    I just paid $450 for someone to install a WC Flange and my existing toilet. Did I get taken to the cleaners, or is this a normal charge? I'm in Redmond, WA. (I don't know how the market bears on pricing).
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pay

    Buyer's remorse can be painful, but we cannot give an answer, because we do not know the prevailing wages in your area, exactly what had to be done, and whether the plumber was a competent craftsman or took longer to do the job because he was unfamiliar with the installation.
  3. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    too many varibles

    did he open up the ceiling below and use a snap cutter to cut sast iron pipe?
    did he crawl 35 ft through rat droppings ect.?
    he has travel time and much overhead. i was taught small jobs are worth 3 times hourly rate. you did ok be glad your problem is fixed!
  4. swvalley

    swvalley New Member

    Messages:
    2
    No hazard pay

    :) The toilet was removed on Monday to install a new vinyl floor. The WC Flange came off with the toilet and the floor guys couldn't put it back, so we called the plumber. He had glue the new flange on, and carry the toilet 15 feet to install it on the exsisting hole in the floor. He did have to saw a little to secure the flange to the pipe, but no, he didn't have to do any serious labor beyond the norm. I am happy to have the work done, and it is a bit of buyers remorse, but 4-fiddy seems steep. Maybe I should trade in my teaching certificate and find out how to be a plumber... on second thought that's a job for people with much more skill than I have.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,804
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Careful there.

    Comparing jobs is never easy.

    Some people will say, that there are popular jobs that more would like to do, based on the satisfaction it brings.
    High satisfaction, can mean more willing to do it for less pay.
    Teaching and some of the arts are like this.

    There are other jobs that people wouldn't do unless you paid them well.
    Less job satisfaction, demands more compensation.
    Plumbing is one of them.
    But even though many wouldn't like to do the work, it's still not one of the higher paying jobs.
    Plumbing did pay about three times more than what I did before.
    I would have loved doing the old job though. I just couldn't afford it.
    Plumbing takes a bigger toll on my body and mind than the other job did.
    And it's not something you brag about.
    I think a good plumber is worth quite a bit.

    My daughter is a teacher and my oldest son works with me plumbing.
    Though his other job is in the arts.
    I think he's going to quit plumbing to pursue that.
    The movie is being delayed a bit, they're casting for it now.
    It seems they're flying him to Miami at the end of August for P-Diddy's party after the MVA (Music Video Awards) to meet some people.
    Hey, Any good plumbers out there looking for work?
    I think I'm going to be losing him.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2005
  6. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Sounds like a very reasonable price to me.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2005
  7. plumbing prices

    450 seems a litle bit high, it depends on how long
    he was there and it sounds like he made another trip
    back out too so just add up the time

    then just try to get over it...
    you can always call the guy up and queston his bill

    I get that all the time... he might give you back 50-100 bucks
    if you whine enough and he is a good member of the BBB


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


    Terry , your looking for a good plumber.


    I am just wondering what the pay scale in Seattle is these days for

    journeymen plumbers, experineced and

    clean looking with no ass crack showing??


    dont get me started...
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2005
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    Too much

    I'm with you smvalley. I'll bet he wasn't there two hours. How much overhead is there to be paid for. I guess its whatever the traffic will bare. Next time ask people in your area who to call. Ask what their rates are and call around to get recomendations of who to call.
  9. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    MA
    Did you agree to the price? I'm just wondering if it was flate rate because it sure sounds like it.
    Flate rate is fairly new to this industry as compared to the automotive repair industry. Example, you need an alternator replaced.. the mechanics book says for you're particular car it is 2.5 hours labor and he multiplies that by his flate hourly rate to come up with a price. Now some mechanics can whip that part in... in about 20 minutes and some it may take them 1 1/2 hours. Do you think that the mechanic that did it in twenty minutes should be penalized or scutinized for his effeiciency?? Do you think the guy who did it in 1 1/2 hours deserves the money because maybe he is a slow worker?? Because that would mean that the 20 minute install was a ripoff and the 1 1/2 hour install can be justified!! I can't believe the plumbers above think this way. So, if they charged by the hour the fast plumber loses?!?!

    That is the biggest problem with plumber's introducing flate rate to their customers. But, when some serious number crunching is done they soon realize that they are not making any money and either need to increase their hourly rate or change to flate rate!!! If we would compare our industry to others then we would'nt feel so guilty! Plus, we come to the customer!! Customers have to bring their problems to the mechanic and if they can't... they get charged for a tow! Plus, if you don't pay you don't get you're car!!!

    For the plumbers who think it is expensive, do you think you are making a good living? Can you afford health insurance for you and you're family? How new is you're truck? How is you're retirement portfolio? ETC. ETC.

    As previously stated by Terry this business takes a toll on you're body and mind and you had better make sure you are being compensated and not living on the rumor that "plumbers make a lot of money" !!! It bothers me when plumbers will pick on another plumbers price when you really don't know anything about his/her cost of doing business. I'll bet you they have the above benefits!!

    By the way I did'nt mean to single out auto mechanics but it is a good example and I can't recall any in this area who have not done well!

    Sorry to ramble on but it is just my two cents!!
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flat rate

    In the case of auto mechanics, someone sat down and figured out how long it will take to remove two bolts and then install the new piece. And every car is exactly the same. I don't know anyone who had sat down and figured out how long it takes to replace a flange, especially when every one could be different.
  11. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    MA
    Well, maybe it's time someone sat down and figured it out! Taking into consideration that not all plumbers (speed) are the same!
  12. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Qualified Plumbers are worth every Penny!

    ... and it's the same as with new fixtures, cars, what-have-you: you get what you pay for. Cheaper is rarely, if ever better, and I personally think that $450 sounds reasonable! Although I am in Canada, lol...

    Why should it be worked out? How can you possibly project and standardize what is going to be under that floor/toilet, or behind that wall/cabinet/shower? It's like playing the lotto every time... oh I chipped up this tile and look - there's water underneath it!

    SW, if you're trading in your teaching credentials for plumbing, be prepared for starting at the bottom! YEARS of digging trenches and apprentice style manual labour... but it sure is worth all those years later when you're out on your own.

    PS. careful Terry, you're going to get a flood of resume's coming in! Too bad I'm in the other Vancouver... ;)
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2005
  13. Sounds like you became victim of the ole saying, "Get in. Get out. Charge as much as you can because you are never coming back."
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    rates

    YOu can take into consideration not every plumber works at the same speed, but then you have to factor in that every job will be different. The flat rates have to consider that every job is going to be difficult, since they do not have any latitude for adjustment, especially since their selling point is that they can quote a "fixed" price before starting the job. If the job turns out to be one of those "impossible" ones, then the FR'er takes a bath and the homeowner gets a bargain, but the average job will be an "easy" one so the homeowner overpays, and the "mechanic" makes a good profit.
  15. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    This entire thread makes me so glad I'm a reasonably competent DIYer. I had no idea of "the going rate"..... not having had to call a plumber for service in 20+ years. While I agree that skills are worth paying for - $450 for $5.00 in parts and a couple hours work seems a tad steep.

    Then again - I've got basic skills - and an awesome web site to go to for advice....
  16. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Once again, I'm going to say that the price sounds pretty reasonable to me. Without being there to know what was involved in replacing the flange its rather difficult to call the price into question. I've had customers who thought I did something "quick and simple" when in reality there was alot more involved than the customer understood (until explained 3 or 4 or 5 or 6,,,,, times).
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    price

    Usually if they do not "get it" by the second or third time, they either are not interested in getting it, or don't want to "get it" but want a discount on the bill, and explaining it up to six times is not going to change their minds.
  18. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    This Flate Rate pricing thing has me a little torn too.Yes ,I would make a lot more money flat rating.No, I don't think it is resonable in a lot of cases.
    $ 450. for a pvc flange and toilet re-set ?? IF it was that simple then it seems pretty high ! HOWEVER... Why is it o.k. for a lawyer to charge $400 per hour or a kid doctor to charge $100+ for 2 MINUTES just to LOOK in your kid's ear ??!!
    Are we not highly trained , VERY needed & dedicated professionals ? I mean COME ON ,,,,any plumber out there,,,think back on your apprentice years. We ALL did things that were enough to " Make a Billy Goat puke!" Yes that was the way it was it it made all of us better for it. Should we not be compensated just because we don't wear a fancy suit/tie !!??
    Sorry for the speech,,it just burns my ass crack when we are treated like a "sub-culture" till we are needed .

    Cal
  19. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Thank you Cal.....exactly how I feel, but couldnt have expressed it any better.
  20. Mad Plumber

    Mad Plumber Mad Skills

    Messages:
    223
    I think it's fine what he paid. Me? I'd rather be fishin sumtimes.

    It did seem a kinda simple job for taht. Wen I'm donin stuf like that, I seem to do it fer less.

    I dont like talking money thouh. Makes me think of working agin.
    Wher's my fishin rod woman?
    Hey now, don't be torowing taht thing at me!
    See ya, goin fishin.
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