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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    93

    Default Plumber's Rates

    I followed this post and glad to hear the original poster found what he was looking for. What caught my attention was how much attention the "price" issue gets.

    My question to those that posted is. Do you shop your doctor, lawyer or similar professionals? Should a family doctor charge the same as a spe******t? Why does gas cost less in one state and more in another? Same goes for groceries and just about anything we purchase as consumers.

    Plumber rates are dictated by one thing. The cost to operate your business while making a profit. Hourly rates are not what he is putting into his pocket. Been to the gas station, paid workmans comp, sales tax or insurance premimums lately?

    For consumers to think that the price in California is the same or should be the same as the price in NY is fooling themselves. I'm glad the poster found someone who was affordable to him.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
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    1,168

    Default Re: Plumber's Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by hvhehcca View Post
    I followed this post and glad to hear the original poster found what he was looking for. What caught my attention was how much attention the "price" issue gets.

    My question to those that posted is. Do you shop your doctor, lawyer or similar professionals? Should a family doctor charge the same as a spe******t? Why does gas cost less in one state and more in another? Same goes for groceries and just about anything we purchase as consumers.

    Plumber rates are dictated by one thing. The cost to operate your business while making a profit. Hourly rates are not what he is putting into his pocket. Been to the gas station, paid workmans comp, sales tax or insurance premimums lately?

    For consumers to think that the price in California is the same or should be the same as the price in NY is fooling themselves. I'm glad the poster found someone who was affordable to him.
    Unfortunately today it seams for every three honest business owners out there, there is one that isn't. The rule of thumb at one time was 30-35 percent over cost was a fair profit. That was the way I ran my business for 50 years. I provided a service for my customers, and at the same time provided for my family and my self. The way it seems to-day is to get what ever the traffic will bare. The only way to protect yourself from these people is to get prices from more then one contractor. Just be sure your comparing apples to apples.

    John

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Plumber's Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by hvhehcca View Post
    I followed this post and glad to hear the original poster found what he was looking for. What caught my attention was how much attention the "price" issue gets.

    My question to those that posted is. Do you shop your doctor, lawyer or similar professionals? Should a family doctor charge the same as a spe******t? Why does gas cost less in one state and more in another? Same goes for groceries and just about anything we purchase as consumers.
    Let me counter your question with a question. You need gas in your car, you can pay $5 a gallon at the first Shell station you come to or you can pay $3.50 a gallon at the Shell station around the corner, which are you going to choose?

    If you're like any other sane person, you're going to pay as little as possible to get the product you desire. Same thing goes for construction or any other service in life. I personally try to balance price with the person that is right for the job.

    Using the OP's experience, ONE tradesman's pricing was out of line, and if the story we were told is correct, there was some shady language being used to sell a gullible (no disrespect intended ) client a line of bull excrement. We were asked our opinions, the OP followed our advice, and low and behold, we were correct.

    I don't fault anyone trying to earn an honest living, however, I make great exception for fly-by-nighters and holier than thou tradesmen who are trying to bilk the populace of their hard earned money. I personally hope that there is a special place in hell for folks like that.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Plumber's Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by hvhehcca View Post
    I followed this post and glad to hear the original poster found what he was looking for. What caught my attention was how much attention the "price" issue gets.

    My question to those that posted is. Do you shop your doctor, lawyer or similar professionals? Should a family doctor charge the same as a spe******t? Why does gas cost less in one state and more in another? Same goes for groceries and just about anything we purchase as consumers.

    Plumber rates are dictated by one thing. The cost to operate your business while making a profit. Hourly rates are not what he is putting into his pocket. Been to the gas station, paid workmans comp, sales tax or insurance premimums lately?

    For consumers to think that the price in California is the same or should be the same as the price in NY is fooling themselves. I'm glad the poster found someone who was affordable to him.
    I wasn't quite sure what your point was, but nevertheless, it seems misinformed, and all your examples are off base.

    What we're talking about here is why plumbers in same metro area are charging a 200% swing for the same work (the same "procedure" requiring the same level of skill). A plumber in expensive-to-live Silicon Valley will charge $100/hour but apparently the market rate is $65/hr in Asheville, SC. What we don't know is that if it takes 2 hours to do the work, why the guy in Ashville is getting quotes from $250 (his final cost) to $880.

    Comparison shopping for a doctor ? -- you should shop because healthcare is 15% of GDP. However, my insurance company does that for me by paying ANY network doctor I chose a narrow range for a "procedure". The procedure is both skill and time based -- look at your EOB -- the doctor gets $85 for an office visit even if the bill is $125. A car mechanic doing warranty work gets one reimbursement from the OEM Manufacturer -- the dealer gets the same reimbursement rate to fix something under warranty whether it took the “average” time, or less or more. Pity the slow mechanic; he won’t work for that dealer too long.

    Gas and grocery prices are bad example - -they are actually similar in all parts of the US because the cost of the product is the same, differing in only the retailing cost. Exxon charges the same for wholesale gas to all dealers and General Mills for cereal to all grocery stores; but the retailer in San Francisco charges a little more because, well, he’s in expensive SF, but not 100%-200% more than the plumbers in Ashville, NC are quoting for the same installation.

    Installing the guy's water heater can be done in infinite ways -- an average plumber can do it in 2 hours, but a hack will take 4 hours, and if both charge the same hourly rate, you will pay a fair price to the professional and get ripped off by the hack. We object to paying for a "procedure" above what's it worth or cost. And since I don't have a 3rd party payer negotiating for a fair price, I have to figure out what it is worth. In my head, I know a good tradesperson should get $90-$110/hour (to cover employer or entrepreneur overhead), but I don't know how long the job takes.

    Here's another point, and it can be called transparency or what economists call "asymmetrical information" -- the 2 sides have different level of information about the same thing. The Plumber knows more about the work to be done than the customer, so if customers want more transparency about price by seeking more data, he/she is being VERY rational.

    In other cases, there are price differences among regions -- a 1,800 sf house in Palo Alto, CA is $1 million and in the most snobbish part of Indianapolis, only $400,000. There are valid economic reasons for this. But the guy in Palo Alto, CA can't sell his house for 25% more because there is too much price transparency, and the guy in Indianopis can't sell his house for the same price as the Palo Alto house for the same reason, price transparency.

    By the way, California and New York are about the same in cost personal services and both are high (having lived in CA 7 years and NY for 20). The bi-coasts are comparable in cost of living and it's only when you get into the interior where prices and politics really change.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Plumber's Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by hvhehcca View Post
    Plumber rates are dictated by one thing. The cost to operate your business while making a profit.
    Everybody's rates are dictated by the cost to operate plus a profit. The thing is, some people want to make a lot more profit than others. That's why you should always shop around. (Besides the benefit of finding somebody that feels right to you, and doesn't give a you a load of fertilizer about "standard rates.")

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: standard plumbers' rates

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Your patience paid off, big time.

    Good you listened to us by getting more bids.

    If you can post a photo, it'll be great.
    Seems like if you've seen one water heater, you've seen 'em all, but here you are.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: standard plumbers' rates

    I'm wondering why this gas water heater is not elevated off the floor. Where I live they are required to be elevated, to prevent heavy flammable fumes from igniting when they reach the burner.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: standard plumbers' rates

    Fencepost, that is was the case at one time. The new heaters have a sealed combustion chamber and are no longer required to be on a 18" platform.

    John

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,073

    Default Re: standard plumbers' rates

    The installation looks normal.

    Question to Johnjh20: In the west coast we don't have basements, and our code requires the T&P valve to extend outside the building. But what's the code when the W/H is located in the basement?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: standard plumbers' rates

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    The installation looks normal.

    Question to Johnjh20: In the west coast we don't have basements, and our code requires the T&P valve to extend outside the building. But what's the code when the W/H is located in the basement?
    Installs that I've seen in California of this nature pipe the T&P to the sump well.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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