How do plumbers decide on what to charge?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Maxine, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,054
    Location:
    Maine
    We get $ 197.50 to change that flapper now. Traded the E150's for Sprinters two years ago, all 13 of them.
  2. dev7

    dev7 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    new york
    Better field....

    New York: Urgent Care - $90+ p/h - Full Benefits - Malpractice - 401K


    I am a physician - above is the title of email I received in my email box.
    This is after 11-13 years of study, clear cut record, no malpractice issues.
    If there is One lawsuit - I have to report on every licensing application and every job application. If I accept new job they would require my life story before I was born.
    Everybody thinks I am rich - I bought a house which is in a good neighborhood. It had plumbing issues I ended up paying unusual amount of money - I am pretty sure that price was raised up because he thought I am filthy rich and just ripping off my patient.

    I had a guy mowing lawn for me, he started at 70 dollars and in 3 months increased to 150 dollars everytime he cut grass with his tractor. His reason for increasing price is "diesel price went up".
    To collect 90 dollars from insurance I have to be on the phone for 20 minutes and send tons of documents. I work 80-90 hours a week and my kids and wife are angry. When I calculate my hourly salary it turns out to be 45-50 dollars per hour.

    I guess I was better off as a plumber or a car mechanic. Only consolation I have and fuels me to work everyday is "blessings" from my patients and smile on their face when they get better. My two kids have decided not to become medical professional after looking at my life.
  3. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Sorry to hear you are having it so tough. I am a cancer patient. Infact, I am living with it as we cannot cure it. In 2005, I paid a huge amount of money after my husband died at age 49, because I was on his insurance, and it was cancelled the moment he took his last breath. I had to be treated again after I buried him, so, I had to spend that kind of money. Not an easy thing to do. I spent so far, 5 years and 3 months on different chemos, just keeping it in check. Through the years, I paid for the education of my GP's kids, and for the oncologist I probably paid his house off, being his patient. I also, know, the average pay for onc's are in the ballpark of 350 to 450 a year. Not bad money. Sure, he spent alot of time in school learning his trade, and he can charge what he does because of his knowledge, the same as plumbers, electricians, contractors, mechanics, you name it. You are lucky you can pay someone to cut your grass, I am out there pushing a mower, while watching my neighbors ride on theirs, let alone pay someone. I do work on the side for the medical field, insurances, and transcribing the notes, and I have to wonder why your office help is not spending the time on the phone instead of you. I guess if you have a malpractice suit the patients are not blessing you, and being I had been misdiagnosed 2 times and told, " I was just not on the choice drugs" I can understand both sides of this. There is a movie, which I recommend if you have not seen it, it is called, The Doctor.


    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101746/reviews


    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101746/plotsummary

    I consider myself lucky. I have many consolations in life, I am alive and basically, a very happy person who is grateful to be able to work, think, breathe, and do for others. I got a good doctor, he is not perfect, but, he is smart in his field and I am very thankful for this.


    I should also add, that my husband died from high blood pressure, he was never diagnosed even though he was chronically, at the doctor's for an eye problem. Probably, related to the high blood pressure. I was not able to sue over this due to I was asked, " why didn't you come here ( the lawyers) before the statues ran out?" I think, it is self-explantory. So, you may have to pay malpractice, you have may lawsuits, but, try to see the other side of this. People like me.

    I can also, always tell the people who are IN the medical field for the wrong reasons. They, ( nurses, doctors, etc) went into it, with $ signs in there eyes. Those are the people who make me suffer physically, and emotionally, when I am under their care. They have total disregard for the patient's concerns; and if something hurts.

    No field is perfect, and if you are looking for one, you will not find it, for it doesn't exist.

    Tell your kids to be RE agents, lol, oh, yeah... :) they will thank you. But, the job has really lousy days to it, you show homes in rough places, rodent infested even in the best of neighbors, and I will drive you around at 370 a gallon for regular unleaded, and, I may drive you to 10 places at no charge, and you decide to wait until, " things pick up." OH, yeah... Times this by 30 people in a month. I am out there at their convenience on my dime. They don't buy, we make nothing. Then, there are those who want you to lower your commission. Would I go to your office and request you to lower your fee? Yet, their are those who do it to us, and to plumbers, and electricians, and then, want an itemized sheet showing down to what the 56 cents was for in tax money.

    Please do not think I am anti-medical people, for I am not, I have put off marrying again, to an oncologist, until, I am more ready in life to do it again. Getting married. My kids love him, but I got cold feet. He is a great guy, I just need more time. So, I am not anti anything, just being very honest with you. The grass always looks greener on the other side. But, it is not.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Location:
    Maine
    Moral of the story "Be a Plumber"
  5. dev7

    dev7 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    new york
    Sorry to hear about your husband but clearly there are certain misconceptions.

    I think you paid more for insurance executives healthy paychex than anybody else.
    Hem Onc physician spend 14 years straight to study if they do not take any break. To study mechanical, plumbing or any technical trade typically requires 2-4 years at the most. When your hem onc physician got out of college he has atleast 180k to 250k in education loan. He is already atleast 29-30 years in age. He studied when everybody was enjoying. Even today if anybody wants to become hem onc doctor, he/she can not become one because it is extremely competitive to get in and once you join the program there is no leaves except one vacation a year. There are no standard work hour rules apply.

    I do not have any malpractice lawsuit on me and I do not charge patient based on their capacity to pay or based on their background or their neighborhood address. I was just mentioning about malpractice suit if that is on your career your entire hard work is judged by one negative online comment/presence of malpractice suit.

    We all now know that having a law suit on your profile does not mean you are a bad doctor. All you need is a dissatisfied patient and a willing lawyer to sue a physician. There are billboard out there advertising this. It is an industry which has actually raised the cost of medical care not the physicians.

    If I can go back in time, with my intellectual capacity I would rather go for IVY LEAGUE MBA and work for major corporation on a ladder to higher management position or work for financial corporation.

    I do have help but that is not enough, I can not afford more help so my wife helps me in the office task and you will find this more often in a physician's office now a days. I am already working 80-90 hours - which I do not think many can work.

    I still am happy doing what I do because I bring "smile and health" to my patients. I am just wondering how some of the folks have determined how to charge.

    I am not sure how long does it take to become a plumber but certainly does not take 11-14 years.

    My kids are definitely not becoming doctors and I am in no position to convince them to be doctors anyway.
  6. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    I see you are in NY, so I wouldn't send them to PSU either; you may have to crunch some figures in their futures and foot the bill for them or else, they might have the school loans to pay back like yours. And, as a parent I know you cannot dictate what your son or daughter will be or not be, to pay their way through life. Once, they turn 18, they will do what they want.

    What does a plumber charge? It depends on what they are going to do. How long it takes, what is all involved. Do you realize that this type of job takes just as much intelligence as someone like you? If it didn't, when you flush your toilet water would shoot out of your shower like some comedy movie. Alot of it, is on the job training, not just sitting in a classroom. It is the same with all professions, you are paid for what you know. It does not matter how long it takes to learn it, or how much it cost to learn it, but, simply, the knowledge itself.

    I guess, you could call 10 places and get 10 different prices, but, the plumber, electrician needs to see the job, variables could be present which the average layman is not familar with or recognize, but, when a plumber starts to rip it apart he can see the what else... which needs to be replaced or fixed.

    And, so far as the lawn mower help, that you can get someone out and give you a quote. Call a RE company, we have lists of people who provide reliable services. And, where I studied RE at and what I paid for 4 years, I might as well been a doctor. It was very expensive.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    26,258
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; The plumber that came was in the area (like 10 minutes away),

    That has NOTHING to do with it. I can be working next door, but your price would be the same as if I were several miles away. EVERY JOB is a separate entity. You do not get a bonus because someone else paid my gas to get there.
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Yeah. 13] e150s went to auction and the one used sprinter needs to keep a battery charger on it. I think more like $19.75 for the flapper including a pencil with your name on it.

    Don't you guys read the papers? Buy food, not pipe dope. When every third store in a strip mall is closed, you got problems.

    The 10 acres I sold for 220m$ cash before the crash, could get maybe 40m with long owner finaincing today and no down... Sold a 5 for 120m and the owneres cant get 15m for it today.

    Maybe they are making payments on their toilet flapper.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  9. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    382
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    I do almost everything myself and save a boatload in the process.

    However, on the rare occasion I pay someone to do something, I pay the full asking price and don't lose any sleep over it. Anyone running a legitimate business deserves to be paid handsomely for it, after accounting for overhead.
    The only time I can remember feeling cheated was buying tires ... $75 each, buy three get one free ... and the total is something like $700???
  10. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    850
    Location:
    ct
    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.
  11. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    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: Jul 26, 2012
  12. God said Let There Be Pug

    God said Let There Be Pug New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, Earth
    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
  13. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,054
    Location:
    Maine
    What I do is take a look at their house, cars, property and such and adjust the bill accordingly :cool:


    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: Jul 26, 2012
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Here ya go:
    http://www.thedailybibleverse.org/bible-verse-every-good-and-perfect-gift-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: Jul 26, 2012
  15. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Yep, I charge by looking at what they are buying, or selling, lol, :) I like your sig line, Tom.
  16. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Send that photo to the DNR. A fed deer is a dead deer.
  17. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    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.
  18. Hackneyplumbing

    Hackneyplumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Alabama
    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.
  19. carlosgon2004

    carlosgon2004 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    san diego
    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
  20. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,054
    Location:
    Maine
    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.
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