Fair price to replumb entire house?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by katrina, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. katrina

    katrina New Member

    Messages:
    1
    We just had a $3500 quote to replumb our 1927, pier and beam, 2bdrm, 1bath, 1330 sf house. Is that a good price? He is also throwing in a hot water heater for the washer we will put into the garage (we are having him put water out there). We are in Texas.

    Please! I have NO idea! :) :p

    We also have to replace the shower pan in our completely tiled stand-up shower. He said that they have to tear out the tiles. That whole deal would be $1200. Is that a good price?

    We are doing this asap, so I hope you nice people can help!

    All the best,
    Katrina
  2. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Katrina,

    It is SO hard to say what is a fair price and what isnt without seeing the house firsthand and knowing what prices in your area are. Perhaps you should get a couple more estimates to be sure.

    Good luck!
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,309
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As stated in the post prior, it's difficult to judge what a fair price for work is partly because of different labor rates in different areas, but the complexity of a job can not be determined just by x many square feet, x many bathrooms, etc.. I does seem to me to be very reasonable compared to my area. The cost of the shower is due to the tile work. If it was mine, I consider a fiberglass one piece stall.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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

    He gets his money unless the customer decides he does not like the price after all, and files a complaint. Then he has to negotiate to prove that the work was done properly, etc. That is a job I might not want to do with "plastic" even for an additional 5%.
  5. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Amen to that hj. I know some people have the attitude that the world (sic plumber, electricians, HVAC, etc, etc, etc) is out to take advantage of them. Well what about the honest tradesperson who gives a bid, does the work then said homeowner decides that the job "wasnt worth it"? Suddenly that person is now the one taking advantage of an honest tradesperson. Secondly, what qualifies the homeowner to decide if the job was worth the price or not after the entire job is finished? The time to decide if the price is worth the job is before giving the go ahead for the work to be performed.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,805
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    This in reply to what master plumber mark said.

    Most long term healthy companies, those that "stay" in business do take 50% before they will book out time on a large job like a repipe or bath remodel.
    Large remodels may go with 35% down and several draws.
    A contractor should have an assurance from the homeowner if he is going to block out time from his schedule.

    Why wouldn't a contractor expect to get paid up front for materials that he is buying for the job?

    The home centers don't just "give" credit to anyone that walks in their door.
    Why in the world would contractors?

    I've found that if the homeowner expects to pay for the work, then it isn't an issue.
    People that are working angles and are not trusting? This is a quick way to sort them out.
    Contractors are licensed, bonded and insured for their work, are the homeowners?

    Have you ever walked into a carpet store and said, Hey! Just bring out that roll of carpet, cut it, install it, and then we'll talk payment.
    Doesn't happen.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2005
  7. Plastic Is Good, Its Very, Very Good

    boy, I really lit a fuze under a lot of peoples seats with this idea..

    I am simply saying that taking plastic is a very good way to '"get the job moving" and if they want to pay you this way it really shouldent be any problem.. And being a company that accepts plastic also makes you look
    "more legit" in many ways....

    Terry, you have been in business for quite a while, so I know you have had to have taken a few "large hits" already...its simply the cost of doing business.

    if you have not had a builder go bankrupt on you by now, then you havent done much plumbing ..I am pretty sure you have done plenty...

    In the construction world, its pretty easy to have a builder owe you a substantial amount of money , even after you get that "up front" money handed to you..
    Though most builders dont work that way anyway,
    they expect you to "trust them".. and you know what can happen here..
    you fiel a lien if you can, and wiat in line for a few pennies on the dollar...

    trust is a four letter word, aint it??
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I dont know how to say this , so here goes.

    After you have been in business for a while, you sort of get a feel for customers that are going to be nothing but trouble, and you simply either walk away , or bid it so high that its worth all the pain and sufferring you might have to put up with. You probably know alreadywhat I am talking about...after a while you can just sense trouble customers.

    I know for a FACT through my own experience that
    master card is not a majic parachute that everybody is going to use to "weasel out" of their obligations through... Honestly if they want to do that, all they got to do is file bankruptsy, ect, ect . But it is a really good tool to build trust with and a great way to get all or most of your money.

    I get probably about anywyere from 5k to a max 18k a month comming into my place on master card.... the reason is people today LIVE on PLASTIC..

    PEOPLE DONT HAVE THE MONEY TODAY< but they got the CREDIT . I have done whole bathroom re-models on a credit card, 6900.00 worth... They didnt have the money that month, but they had the credit.....and I did the job.. no problems..

    Most of you know this, already.. If you dont take plastic, they will simply go to someone else that does. Even if they have to pay 875.00 for the same water heater that you want 675 check or cash for , that water heater is going to get put in NOW, ...its just that simple.

    The small 2% commission you got to pay can be added to the bill or you simply absorb it as cost of doing business.

    I have NEVER had anyone put a stop on the bill 60 days later.....



    Honestly, Plastic has literally SAVED MY /SS many times already.....


    1 . when you got a deliquent bill or a bounced check for lets say $500, and they dont have the money, and arent really interested in paying anytime soon..... you can drag them into small claims court and maybe get your money someday, or you can give them a way off the hook by offering them a "Plastic discount" of lets say $475.00 .
    They get you off their back, and now its masters cards debt.
    Its off your books, and you got most of your money... and its better than spending your day in court.


    2. I had a builder once in 97 that basically got himself into financial trouble, and you cant queeze blood out of a turnip,, once they go belly up, %75 of the time you are totally screwed thats even with a lien.

    Due to my parterners poor billing system it added up to $7500 for one completed job and another basement rough inn, and he was sinking fast so we had a big problem here.

    Basically, he told me he was broke and had no money, so go ahead and file a lien if I wanted to (what good it would do)
    I asked him if he had a visa or a master card, and of course he said he did, then I told him that we TOOK PLASTIC and would take a discount if he would pay us today...We agreed to 7200. I got $5000 on two different master cards....that very day. Of course he claimed when he got his cash flow problem solved, and back on his feet he was going to pay us the rest .


    he went under before we could get the rest. Yes, I did take a 2500 loss,

    So I roughed in his basement for free, ok price of doing business.

    but its better than a $ 7500 one...

    Wether he ever paid his bill to the credit these companies is none of my concern, maybe he did and maybe he didnt, I dont know for sure and thats his moral dilemma.

    Can you see how plastic is a great and wonderful business tool?

    also, he never cried foul and protested the bill 60 days out either..
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. I had another jerk builder that was a screamer, and that did not go over too well with me... WE bid a job at $3800 , and made very good money
    for what we did.. Of course you are not going to get money up front from builders, so you have to "trust them" . The contract is worthless but you can still file a mechanics lien on the property.

    anyway, its rush , rush, rush to get it done by Thanks giving, then you never hear from them and eventually they claim that they are having a "cash flow" problem....

    I thereaten them with a lien on the job, they cry like babies because they dont want the homeowners who still owe them about 40k to know about their problems. They want me to take 1000 a month till the 3800 is paid off.
    Just do not file a lien. right. yea, sure, I'll turst you.

    Well, you know whats goint to happen here, I will get my first 1000, and maybe my second too, but after the 60 day lien period is over they will simply "spit in my face" and I will never see another dime. I refused to do this.

    I went the "WAY OF THE PLASTIC" I told them I would accept $3650 on a master card and they could keep the rest.... and I got the money the very next day........I licked my woulds and moved on.

    I realize I have to pay a small fee to get this money ect, but its still better than having to fool with these people for the next year or two.


    Even though they were truely skumbags, they never put a stop on the plastic either, . And I honestly dont know wether they are still in business any longer .... I have never found out and its not my problem anymore..
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I learned all this through the school of hard , hard knocks.


    Does anyone see how PLASTIC IS GOOD and could come in very handy some day ?? Its a great way to really get the ball rolling on many different types of plumbing jobs , and also to get your some or all of your money out of deadbeats???

    I sincerely hope that I made a few points here that might be of value to some of you some day when you are in a tight jam. :D :D

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


    Honestly,
    you guys should really be paying me for this education (LOL)

    just kidding
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2005
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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

    The most likely customer to challenge a payment made by credit card is the one who thought he had a "hard" job so your quotation, which should have included a factor for unforeseen problems, is fairly high. But then you do the job and everything goes the way you hoped it would and you get done "quickly". The customer then compares the amount of time it took you against what he paid and decides you must have taken advantage of him and charged like you were getting lawyer's wages. So, he disputes the payment, and you have to take the time to justify it. Of course he could stop payment on a check also, but at least if you think he is making noises like he intends to do that you can cash the check immediately.
  9. whatever fella, a deal is a deal.

    what if this, and what if that....
    what if the customer dies while doing his work??
    Have you had that happen to you yet??


    hey, they can also claim they got the money, only to have the first draw for you.

    You arent going to make them PROVE they actually have it all before you start a job , are you??

    You have a contract with them, and thats about it. Wether they will keep their word only god knows for sure.

    Then the big big check bounces like rubber ball!!!

    Checks bounce every day...you know.

    I got one on my shelf for $600 that I try to get cashed at the mans bank every so often. If the funds are there , and I am there, its a go.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Master cards get declined, yes, but generally they got a back up card, and usually more than one.

    Like I stated in the last long winded
    post, even the scum bags never complain..never try to get out of the master card debt.
    .
    I think that they somehow feel better about themselves knowing they are
    going to stiff a big bank instead of a little guy like me.

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

    also, about lawyers wages.... a deal is a deal, a contract is a contract

    You are always going to get some that are going to cry whatever you charge.

    Usually, when I do someting pretty quickly and they cry and complain, I usually say

    "thats the price we both agreed on, and if this job would have taken me all day and half of tomorrow instead of only 2 hours, would you have been willing to pay me a lot more than we both agreed to??""


    a deal is a deal wether it be with plastic , cash or check

    a contract is a contract and it is usually binding to both parties

    plastic is my best buddy. :D :D :D
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    deposit

    Under California law, a contractor can only collect 10% of the contract price, or $1000 whichever is LESS , as downpayment. Of course, you can schedule milestone payments, and request payments on DELIVERY of material. If material has to be ordered ( on a no-returns basis) the owner could be asked to front that money.
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