How do plumbers decide on what to charge?

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

  1. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    rates

    That puts me right between the run of the mill service guys and the big boys.
     
  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Sump pump charges

    I charge about 300 bucks for a zoeller sump pump installed

    with a check valve....


    Somethiing else I do at every house I go to is plaster my business sticker
    on the WATER HEATER, WATER CONDITIONER, GARBAGE DISPOSAL,
    METER BOX and FURNACE....

    I have been doing this little trick since the late 70s and it pays off very well indeed....

    the HOUSE is my customer cause you dont know how long those
    pesky humans are gong to infest the place before they.
    Die, move, divorce, or simply forget who you are...

    so my birght yellow sticker reminds them who to call.....

    I have probably 200,000 of them out there.

    If you are going to build up your business, go makeup a
    nice eye catching sticker with everything you do on it...

    and a telephone number you plan on keping for a long time..


    got a call back today for a 75 gallon gas heater we installed in 92
    becasue of my sticker...

    the sticker keeps paying for itself over and over...
     
  3. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    Very glad you guys are on this pricing subject. I'd love to have some type of guidelines just so I can make money and not over price the job. Anyone who is willing to send me any kind of pricing or labor guide PLEASE DO!
     
  4. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area

    I'll be the first to admit......I am slow.


    I've only had 3 callbacks this year......as many connections I make that is good.

    I always double and triple check my work.....it's a given because you don't make money coming back twice.
     
  5. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Also depends on your location. I know I've bored you all with this before but here in the Washington D.C. Metro area a customer knows that a good service tech , whatever trade is most likely $120-$200 an hour.

    Again , our cost of living is pretty high !

    We have some BIG BOYS in the area that will charge $150 for a 30 minute service call . NO THANKS , I gotta sleep at night . We do most jobs on a set price, so the customer knows up front . However I am still leary of flat rate pricing ,,,,,,, Around here it is BIG MONEY , but those companies seem to be losing all their customer base.

    I'm starting to do work for children of my customers ,,,,, that feels good.

    Rather have 5 more good customers from a referll then an extra $50 from a flat rate sheet.

    I'm with you Terry ,,,,,,, The BBB is GOOD !

    Cal
     
  6. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    hell has no fury like a ladies scorn...


    well, yours is a special situation...

    I have NEVER had an issue with my stickers.......

    and if ever I did , that tells me VOLUMES about the customer
    and what a problem that are going to be...



    you might want to call the BBB and ANGIES LIST
    just for meanness and spite

    and of course you can tell everyone in a 5 mile radous what a

    butthole he was.....

    file a complaint somewhere...


    call the fellow from a pay booth and make a bogus appointment
    for lots of $$ work to some vacant field 30 miles away....LOL
     
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    rates

    If you can get a copy of PM magazine, Dec 2006, Volume 24, Number 10, ( I don't see a web address to view it online, although they may have one), read Randall Hilton's article on why the amount that Joe Blow charges may be the wrong amount for your services. It details why you can't just call a competitor to see what his prices are and then charge the same thing.
     
  8. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Ya should have told him his pipe wrench wasn't big enough, and wasn't Ridgid the perfered plumber's brand name and why did he have a cheap chinese lookalike.

    Rancher
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Cookie,
    Sorry to hear of your plumber problems in the Mid West.
    We would never want to see anyone treated that way.
    I have a strict policy on how the workers should treat customers.
    The fellow in your town needs to be clued in.

    It's alway poor practice to go into someones home and not be business like.

    The homeowner should always be made to feel safe in their own home.
    The worker needs to get in there, do the work and leave.
    It's that simple.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  10. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    Home
    Well, Terry, I had talked with the people who sued him, and found out that in 3 other occassions he also approached their young daughters, all 18. I asked why on earth they did not do something more than that, and was told they just wanted rid of him and their money back, and he did not hurt the girls just made advances. Wow. Just made advances. Amazes me.

    Now, I refuse to let someone in the house unless I got my neighbor here with me. That's the way it is.

    In all my complaints I mentioned the other law suits, I mentioned the so-called only advances to warn others. They gave their consent, in writing for me to do so, and I did it.

    Plus, I got a really nasty looking Pitbull, who already as learned some of my commands. She is sweet to me, but, alittle testy with others around me. God, I wish he would ring my door bell, lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  11. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    you cant go much lower

    COOKIE ...I cant immagine makeing a pass at the customer daughters.

    or the lady of the house either......

    that is pretty low and that fellow will not last long in any town....



    Their is a small town near Indy , and their is a local small
    town plumber that is a womanizer and word has gotten around .......

    None of the ladies in that community want his truck parked in their
    driveways.......

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

    Now COOKIE ....about your boyfreind....

    Perhaps he just scares the clients so badly that they are afraid
    of going after the bully.... perhaps he has nothing to lose........



    I have found that it is not a very good to get into a

    "Pissing Match" with someone that is insane and psyco too.....

    and has nothing to lose either.....


    I have laid off an employee or two in the past instead of outright fireing them for that very same reason... they were scarey and insane I thought it best to just let them think they got the better of me and make it a blow up into something.


    So maybe its best to just let it pass,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    or on the other hand... disguise your voice

    do the "pay phone gag" on him every few weeks. LOL
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  12. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    Home
    I have done pretty much everything I am going to do to him. I could put charges against him for his actions in the house. He has a definiate MO, whereas, the other families whose daughters he made advances against, they were without a male figure in the house. So, sure he intimidated those women. But, I got a couple of strapping huge kids, who bench press cars, a dog with a set of teeth makes you wonder where her eyes are looking at; and I am mighty. He is not nuts anyways, he is just a person who takes advantage of others because, others allowed him to. The buck stops here. I always liked that movie Tombstone, and I will...run him out of town. :D But, of course he will need tires. What is kind of funny, was his response, when I said the word, RAPE, he said, "lady, lets not get nuts here" and, his feet could not move fast enough.

    HEY, he aint no boyfriend of mine! I would date Lucifer himself first. I have fired people, scary or not. You got the laws behind you. I know what you are saying though. Ever see the Seinfield episode where, Elaine keeps promoting this one person, because he was scary? It was really funny.

    Mark, I don't know how I forgot to mention this, but, he has also been ordered to pay me back my money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  13. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    getting blood from a turip

    maybe you will get your money
    out of this loser....good for you...
     
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Unless the floor is rotten and/or moves when you sit on the toilet, it should be possible to get a decent seal at the toilet. It isn't rocket science. If the floor moves, then you might have luck with a waxless seal, since they have some give to them while still being able to maintain a seal. Wax won't... or, if that seal is good, then the toilet is defective.

    Constant moisture will give you grief, and it could do it quickly...either don't use that toilet (if you have a choice) or fix it.
     
  15. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    Dang Cookie... your luck sounds 'bout like mine. If it weren't for getting ripped off and people doing shoddy work and overcharging me I never would have become a DIY professional handyman/plumber.... I got into this more out of necessity than desire. My kids call me a "perfectionist" as if it were a curse word and my last 3 ex-wives call me a "workaholic" as if is a disease. Now I'm shacked up with this woman who loves everything I do and wonders why the hell I don't do more...then her feelings are hurt because I make more in less than a day than she does in a week. Usually I just feel defeated and unable to satisfy anyone... I guess that's why I cry all the way to the bank:D
     
  16. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Your flange is cracked . One or both of the bolts is not being able to hold the toilet down. Sorry ,,,no quick fix on this one. Toilet needs to come up , flange needs to be cut out and replaced .

    Hope you do get Santa-Plumber under your tree .


    We got a guy like that in our circle of plumbers too . He was "the-man " in this one community ( 2600 NICE Homes) I've been trying to get going in.

    Tells ALL the women how bad his marrage is ,BLAH,BLAH,BLAH . Has caused a large ,negative image of himself and his company ,,,,,,,

    Oh well ,,, His BAD ,,,, Gotta strike while the iron is hot !!

    Cal
     
  17. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    Home
    Cal,

    Long story on this one, but, it has 2 new flanges. One I know was put in, the other one, I think he did nothing, but charge me for something I didn't get. I know it is the floor. Around the 6 inch gap is just 1/4 in. Louan Board. It covers the whole floor, but, that is the only thing, covering the gap. I can see the screws from the access panel, in the closet, which I paid twice of by the way, and, the screws dangle straight thru the floor. Only 2 made it into the studs, the floor joists that is.

    One good thing about Xmas, even if I don't find a plumber under my tree, are my neighbors bringing me over candy, I just got a big box, lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
  18. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm coming over for a piece of that candy. Chocolate I hope.
     
  19. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Occupation:
    industrial service plumbing foreman
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    I was at 75 bucks an hour. The next town south has plumbers who charge 40-50 bucks an hour. The next town north has one guy at 110 and one at 120. I moved my shop to booming exurban town 30 northeast and went to 90. I am the lowest priced quality plumber for miles around and don't really advertise. I do a lot of commercial-industrial and would like to get away from residential. Do the plumbers out there know what the MEANs Estimating book says about markup? Industry average is 1.9 times on anything over 1000 dollars. Under it starts at 2.3 times. I decided to start charging proper markup and it really helps. I made more money as 4th year apprentice, I lowered my wages for the last 18 months so I wouldn't bankrupt my business. I still can't afford to make a pension contribution, so when shops charge a lot more than me, I don't think they are greedy, I think they are probabkly making a small profit.
     
  20. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Cookie,

    Sounds like you have this VERY figured out. Sorry someone F$%^ed it up so bad.

    Anyway to get to that 3" pipe that extens up to the flange? Possably some form of a 2"x4" braceing around the pipe from underneath ? Just a suggestion.

    That rocking is going to get real wet soon !

    Cal
     
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