Ask About Pricing Before the Job
Pricing often depends on the companies you call. In most cases, the companies with the most advertising are the ones with the higher charges.
Some companies charge a trip fee to come out. Usually the average trip fee ranges between $25 to $50. Some companies have even higher trip fees for coming out.
Essentially, they are two ways for the plumber to charge. Flate rate price or hourly price.
Flat Rate Pricing Systems for Plumbers
Most plumbers today work on a flat rate pricing system. This means that the plumber tells you the price up front (in most cases), and then you can approve the charges prior to them starting. An advantage of the flat rate system is that you know exactly what the price is prior to the plumber starting. A disadvantage is that no matter how long it takes them, whether it be 5 minutes or 2 hours, you pay the same price. So, if the plumber only takes 20 minutes to complete a $300 repair, the cost remains the same. Financially, under this scenario, it is personally beneficial for the plumber to get his work done in as little time a possible. This leaves the possibility for rushed, sloppy work with shortcuts.
Hourly Plumbing Rates
Another pricing approach that some plumbers use is an hourly rate system, or T&M system (Time and Materials). In most cases, plumbers generally charge around the $100 an hour mark. Why is that? I’m not sure. I think that it is just a good round number for plumbers. A lot of companies don’t even know if they charge enough or not, they just continue to believe in the $100 an hour approach.
A pro of the hourly approach is that less time equals less money. That could be a great thing if it is a small, quick repair. A con is that if it takes him longer or it is a challenging repair, you could be paying for him to take the time to figure out the issue. The other downside to paying a plumber by the hour is that if you get a plumber that decides to work slow, or take his time, you’re paying for his lack of ambition, or him taking his time.
Here at The Twin Plumbers we like to use flat rate pricing. The reason for this is because out of the thousands of customers we service each year, they favor the flat rate pricing. They always know the price up front, and approve the work prior to us starting. This makes for a much happier customer.