How do plumbers decide on what to charge?

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

  1. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    countless repairs

    in my area if I had to fix everything I saw

    before me every day, I would not get anything

    done... bailing wire and duct tape everywherre.....


    And something I have noted too......

    when you tell someone that thier plumbing is bad and it needs

    $$ repairs about 90% of the people you tell dont want ot hear it,

    dont want to believe you,

    and they also think you are just trying to "grease them"



    so I mention things when I stumble on them,

    and letting them know is about all you can do....
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
  2. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    I do think I sold my customer on adding clean outs after he paid me to pull to toilets to snake the lines to the septic tank.
     
  3. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    If I worked all day every day I'd probably make as much as Cookum's.... untill all the bills come due for insurance, taxes, new tools, repairs to vehicles....yadda, yadda, yadda...
     
  4. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Occupation:
    industrial service plumbing foreman
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    Cookie, how do you know what I make? I took a pay cut to start my business. I make less than I did as a 4th year apprentice.
     
  5. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Occupation:
    industrial service plumbing foreman
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    Cookie, all plumbers make less than they charge. We couldn't pay ourselves what we charge the customer. I charge 90 an hour but sure as hell don't make it. I pay myself 25 an hour, while journey scale in my local is 37.50 an hour.
     
  6. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    Obviously you are going to live forever! But I think you might find a hubby on Yahoo personals tho'....... Hey...I do wish what I charge were ALL PROFIT! And I didn't have to report it on my income taxes! I'm lucky if I get to keep 1/2 of it even if I only get 1 call a week!
     
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    I help people when I can and a lot of it is based on their attatude.

    Case and point I had a new customer call with a stoppage. I went a guessed 1-2 hours max. of work. 3" PVC C/O in finished basement utility room under slab running 35'. I quoted 150.00 for the first hour. I normaly don't charge extra if it goes into the 2nd hour. The job took 2 men almost 7 man hours and still needed to be jetted. When finished I explained all that was needed about the job and I asked for an additional $30.00 because of the unusual circumstances and they were first time customer and wanted another steady customer. Husband and wife standing in front of me. Husband looks at me and says I have no more money as he hands me the check. I look at him and asked "so your are flat broke and have no more money?" They both stare at me. Then the wife says but we have already written the check!. I looked at both of them and said O.K. never mind about the $30.00. I gathered up the rest of my tools and on the way out explaned that the going rate was $175-225.00 for 1-2 hours and they needed to call someone else and not me in the future as I walked out of the beautiful $600,000.00 home.
     
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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

    The first rule that you broke was to quote a price for a sewer job in the first place without a bunch of caveats to cover just that possibility. The second one was to make sure they knew that the price was going to change as soon as the first, or even second, hour had passed. Then to charge $30.00 for an additional six hours for two men? Incredible.
     
  9. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

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

    I'll take random pictures to show example of those who ask for charity.


    Hey Cass you can get cheap tickets on **** for bengals and steelers this weekend. News story last
    night stated no one is buying them.


    I think what happened last week put the nail in the coffin.
     
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    On the other end of the spectrum is the guy who I replaced the thermocouple in his heater. It took all of 15 minutes. I charged him $100.00 and he handed me an extra $10.00.
     
  11. worsnup

    worsnup plumbing contractor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Occupation:
    plumbing contractor
    Location:
    phoenix az
    how plumbers figure their price for service/repair

    you have two basic methods one is time and material the other is flat rate.
    time and material is just what it says
    flat rate is lump sum
    included in the price is the time for travel time to repair and typically the (new) cost of item to be repaired worst case just install new
    the repair you mentioned i performed just last week
    it was an addition to some work i was already performing at their home
    it added apx $40 dollars to there bill
    sorry you got hosed
    Shane T. Worsnup
     
  12. MASTERPLUMB777

    MASTERPLUMB777 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Occupation:
    Retired Master Plumber
    Location:
    Texas
    Basically they figure the next truck payment and what

    the grocery bill is for feeding

    five teenage boys for a week and that is what they charge
     
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I roll dice...
    The attitude of the customer determines how many I roll...
     
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Will a dreidel work? I don't have dice.
     
  15. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Occupation:
    Red Seal Journeyman Plumber & Licensed Gas Fitter
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    I only quote jobs if someone asks for a quote. I much prefer to estimate jobs and work for time and material.

    However if I'm doing a larger job for a contractor they are usually quoted jobs, but then again there isn't usually too many suprises.

    The going rate for a plumber in my area is $75/hr so that's what I charge.

    But yes this is not a cheap business to be in. Vehicle costs, gas costs, liability insurance, gas contracting insurance, payroll... the list goes on.

    If I didn't charge what I charge I'd be out of business because when yo'ure in business EVERYTHING costs you money.
     
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Quoted jobs ALWAYS have a "fudge factor" to accomodate "surprises". I think I charged $75.00 about ten years ago, but it might be earlier than that. My records don't go back that far. How much is $75.00 Canadian worth these days?
     
  17. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Occupation:
    Red Seal Journeyman Plumber & Licensed Gas Fitter
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Depends on the day!! These days it's about on par with the USD, but it may be down a bit now. Maybe 94 cents to the dollar. But I also live in an area where the cost of living isn't extremely high.
     
  18. Joe Six Pack

    Joe Six Pack New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Occupation:
    Road Crew
    Location:
    Anchorage AK
    quote; You don't want to be unfriendly here, everyone's got a gun.

    And all it takes is a frozen over lake, and a stick of dynamite to make a hole in it, and then the evidence is gone, at least still Spring or Summer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2010
  19. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Since most of these posts are from 2006, when you could get 150$ to change a toilet flapper, and a tip, now that we are in a classic depression, I'll just bet you guys are running on a sliding scale and answering the phone from the barca-lounger in front of a TV show. And many of you had your big beast truck repo'ed and plumb from the family van now.

    Here, you can buy a house on 5 acres for what you would have charged to just plumb it up new in 2006.
     
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Pizza Hut cut their price for all pizzas to $10.00. Then other companies did the same to compete. People then began to wonder WHY pizzas cost $15.00+ before if they can sell them for $10 and still make money. It will be very hard to raise their prices again. The same with plumbers. My price has NOT gone down regardless of the economy, or what others charge, and I only have ONE price regardless of who the customer is.
     
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