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charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

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  • #16
    Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

    Falt Rate??? What`s that?
    http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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    • #17
      Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

      Originally posted by CAROLINA PLUMBER View Post
      yes for me because I am FLAT RATE(only way to fly!)the price book has a difficulty level to add lvl1,lvl2,lvl3 roof =3.I also charge per drum.Never had a complaint about my prices and I make WAY more than hourly like I use to.Hourly promotes laziness in my opinion

      I agree, hourly breeds laziness, excellent opinion.

      Besides, I usually clear a drain in under 20 mins, so does that mean I will make 20 mins of a full hour service charge?? so the drains I clear in 2-3 mins, I will charge $10.00 ???

      I refused to cheat my self because of my experience and the fact that I can get the job done in a timely and effective manor, with a full warrenty.

      oh wait, is this a time and material against flat rate discussion popping up again??
      sigpic

      Robert

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      • #18
        Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

        To those who flat rate,



        If you're giving the "blueprint" over the phone *price*, doesn't that set you up to be beat if they don't commit?


        If I gave set prices over the phone for everything I did, that means they can shop my numbers and find someone cheaper, using the shock and awe or bait and switch to no fault or deception of their own.


        I get brow beat on heaters, disposals, drain cleaning like this all the time and when I give set prices......it makes it easy to find a cheaper price, especially if I'm charging to make a profit.


        What I do include though in my thought process is I always say on any task involving a request for a set price, "It is $$$.$$ for the install/cleaning/replacement which covers up to the first hour, this task usually takes XX.X time to do.

        Secondly,

        When you hear of flat rate, and those who do it, it usually sounds like a sales pitch being conveyed in print more than a logical method of practice to make a business thump.


        I've never heard of time and materials guys try to "sell" the opinion of its use, just discuss and defend its use for whatever reason suits the end user of the labor practice.


        Thirdly,

        If the design of flat rate is an instant way to make significantly more money than before *percentage increase substantial to prior method*, wouldn't it be true that the customer is definitely paying more for a service you once offered at a cheaper rate? And if not, how so?


        The only derogatory remark to time and materials seems to be the ability to be lazy.

        I got news for the young and talented; do this profession long enough and you'll value the ability to take your time, not rush to that first job because you got numerous to follow, you're still getting home late no matter what. The older I get, the pickier I get and the easier the job the more interested I am to do the job. My attitude may be of the fact that I have a second business I'm pumping money into but believe me, the first company has to be making something to have it support the legs of the second.

        Haven't touched a water heater in weeks, thank god. My closet auger is getting more work than anything these days and that is awesome. In/out and gone with $85 on the regular and $130 on the emergency. I love drain cleaning because it never involves spending a great deal of money to make it. Got good equipment and it's a sunday drive to and from the job knowing you'll be available for whatever else comes in. Grabbing 3 service calls in one hour isn't impossible but it's been months since I've managed my truck in 3 driveways in one hour. Realisticly speaking, 2 driveways with a fielding of call 3 enroute to the call is more the way it works.

        My boss from years ago wanted us in 10-12 driveways a day, wanted us to make a minimum of what we made in a week, in a day. Back then we made roughly $1000-$1200 a week gross so we were expected that daily.

        The most I've accomplished was 8 in one day, really it was 9 but it was a check and see for a future call. That day beat my *** into the ground and took days to get my med intake straightened back out so I could get back in gear.

        Okay I'm done, trying to figure out why I just typed all this out. Name:  740ca5831ad7b055882dbadc9b48df44.gif
Views: 3
Size:  9.2 KB
        Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 02-01-2008, 12:37 AM.
        Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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        • #19
          Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

          Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
          To those who flat rate,



          If you're giving the "blueprint" over the phone *price*, doesn't that set you up to be beat if they don't commit?


          If I gave set prices over the phone for everything I did, that means they can shop my numbers and find someone cheaper, using the shock and awe or bait and switch to no fault or deception of their own.


          I get brow beat on heaters, disposals, drain cleaning like this all the time and when I give set prices......it makes it easy to find a cheaper price, especially if I'm charging to make a profit.


          What I do include though in my thought process is I always say on any task involving a request for a set price, "It is $$$.$$ for the install/cleaning/replacement which covers up to the first hour, this task usually takes XX.X time to do.

          Secondly,

          When you hear of flat rate, and those who do it, it usually sounds like a sales pitch being conveyed in print more than a logical method of practice to make a business thump.


          I've never heard of time and materials guys try to "sell" the opinion of its use, just discuss and defend its use for whatever reason suits the end user of the labor practice.


          Thirdly,

          If the design of flat rate is an instant way to make significantly more money than before *percentage increase substantial to prior method*, wouldn't it be true that the customer is definitely paying more for a service you once offered at a cheaper rate? And if not, how so?


          The only derogatory remark to time and materials seems to be the ability to be lazy.

          I got news for the young and talented; do this profession long enough and you'll value the ability to take your time, not rush to that first job because you got numerous to follow, you're still getting home late no matter what. The older I get, the pickier I get and the easier the job the more interested I am to do the job. My attitude may be of the fact that I have a second business I'm pumping money into but believe me, the first company has to be making something to have it support the legs of the second.

          Haven't touched a water heater in weeks, thank god. My closet auger is getting more work than anything these days and that is awesome. In/out and gone with $85 on the regular and $130 on the emergency. I love drain cleaning because it never involves spending a great deal of money to make it. Got good equipment and it's a sunday drive to and from the job knowing you'll be available for whatever else comes in. Grabbing 3 service calls in one hour isn't impossible but it's been months since I've managed my truck in 3 driveways in one hour. Realisticly speaking, 2 driveways with a fielding of call 3 enroute to the call is more the way it works.

          My boss from years ago wanted us in 10-12 driveways a day, wanted us to make a minimum of what we made in a week, in a day. Back then we made roughly $1000-$1200 a week gross so we were expected that daily.

          The most I've accomplished was 8 in one day, really it was 9 but it was a check and see for a future call. That day beat my *** into the ground and took days to get my med intake straightened back out so I could get back in gear.

          Okay I'm done, trying to figure out why I just typed all this out. Name:  740ca5831ad7b055882dbadc9b48df44.gif
Views: 3
Size:  9.2 KB

          Some good points....Here is a possible solution to your 1st problem....There is a thing called Customer Protection Policy, or whatever you want to call it. If i give you a quote over the phone, and your going to call someone else, i will tell the customer over the phone that i will do the job, if you can find someone else cheaper, then get a written estimate from the company, and i will charge you what that company gave you the written estimate for.

          Here is the catch to that, how many people are actually going to keep calling different companies to find a cheaper price?? You will get some, but not alot....Ive never had to honor that policy.

          2nd i would rather quote over the phone and have them tell me im to high, then drive all the way out there at midnite to give them a price and have them tell me, they will have to think about it.

          My philosophy on the whole hourly thing...i dont mind it, i dont prefer it, i worked on hourly for yrs. with a company....and guess what are boss use to tell us TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! imagine that. So i would get in trouble for clearing a drain in 10mins, and rolling out for only an hours worth of pay...I would be told to milk it. Im not down with that at all....Now as far as owning my own business, i have intengrity and honesty that if i was T&M that wouldnt happen...but then again T&M in Drain cleaning, your not going to be making any money unless your getting 7 8 jobs aday everyday, and your charging over 175 an hour...its just a fact. By the time you spent the money on gas, insurance....ahh you guys know the deal, you need to be able to cover your billable hours, not your drive time hours, not your equipment costs, not your insurance costs, but your billable hours 1st, then you have to cover your overhead......I prefer Flate Rate for numerous reasons....

          For 1. Every customer i do will get treated fairly. 2. You can easily flat rate DRAIN CLEANING...i think plumbing is hard to flat rate, but drain cleaning (after youve been doing it long enough, just ask Rick) you pretty much know what your going to run into and how long its going to take. 3. Why should a customer have to pay for my mistake, if i take longer on a job because i misdiagnosed a problem and now it takes me 2hrs past the time i have alotted...Just not fair...Now if there is problems with the pipe, then there are different charges on flat rate that are going to go in there.

          You will never hear me argue that Flat Rate is better then T&M and that T&M promotes laziness....I go by what works for me, what i feel is honest, what i feel will be more profitable for me (obviously im doing this job for profit).

          I never had 1 price complaint since ive been flat rate...T&M i would get harrassed on all the time by customers..."Oh man here comes the rape" or "So how long you gonna take" to having people tell me that, "Well since your done in 20 mins, and im paying by the hour, can you snake this, that , this that...if its still under an hour, then do this....

          Just doesnt work for me. Do what you feel comfortable with, what works for you...There really shouldnt be an arguement on T&M vs. Flat Rate if you dont use Flat Rate , how can you judge it?

          Sorry i caught Dunbar syndrome, im going on and on LOL
          The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

          www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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          • #20
            Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

            Greg and Dunbar both wrote great posts on the cons and pros of each pricing system. If we ever get a "post hall of fame", I think both of these certainly qualify.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #21
              Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

              Originally posted by Drain Medic View Post

              Sorry i caught Dunbar syndrome, im going on and on LOL
              LOL! I'm rubbing off on people. Say it like ya mean it!



              Okay I'm back online! Name:  1784c15176f18425cb1351afa983f5a9.gif
Views: 1
Size:  7.8 KB



              I see your points and agree totally that you can pretty much figure a charge and hang with it when it comes to drain cleaning. So in essence I've been doing both in my biz.....flat rate and hourly. When I do numerous tasks at a home involving plumbing work and drain cleaning, I'll just hourly rate the whole job and figure in equipment charges.

              People always want flat rate for water heaters and there's only so much you can ask to figure out what a safe asessment is. I did one for $290 last year and lost my arse because ventilated shelving, dryer, condensate drain were all in the way and made the job horribly more time consuming. I pray she never calls me for future work because the memory is that bad/painful. 6 hours to do the job from start to finish, giving me flack because a small nick in a cheap door. Wouldn't of happened if I didn't have to move everything to install it.

              But indirectly I've solved the problem completely, stopped doing water heaters and I don't get the headaches with the people or the situation.


              Disposals you can give set prices until you get there and see that the one going in and the one coming out is a total rework of the drain piping underneath, or the product is in such poor shape that you have to replace it, otherwise you'll be owning a leak. With hourly this is just a rolling situation, advise/tell the customer of the situation and continue from there. Most are understanding to the visible deterioration of aging piping systems and say go ahead.

              The only time I've been rushed are on jobs like water heaters or jobs that involved numerous tasks. Rare but of course people want you to fix 8 things in their house for 2 hours labor, good deal!

              I flat rate tub/shower valve replacements $400 including valve/trim plate for 3 handle replacements

              I flate rate PRV & EXP tank installs $400 including parts/material

              Will not flat rate a kitchen sink faucet replacement or vanity faucet; been in situations too many times where I've fought like mad hell to get them out and take longer at times to get it done. A smooth one is 30-45 minutes a long one is usually 1.25 to 1.5 if encountering a lot of trouble. If you price at 1.5 over the phone this will sometimes knock you out of a chance to perform the job because joe's plumbing is hourly too and if that lower number is stated, the customer usually climbs to that before higher.


              That's something else to consider in these discussions; does your market have a higher percentage of flat rate over hourly?

              It seems to me that only the national companies (roto-rooter, ben franklin, mr. rooter) all use this process of billing and I swear on my life that I constantly hear from customers, "I will never use roto-rooter again" and they proceed to tell me what they was charged to do drain cleaning or plumbing repairs.

              Rick said it best about the fact they know that they can market themselves to the impulse buyer and not always have to fear of other estimates. Buyer's remorse. Do they speak for all flat-raters? No...but I've been the one with the phone ringing from someone who is looking for a more reasonable approach of what to expect.

              It's a subject with many cheerleaders for and against, I think it's a market based decision that holds the most weight to what works for each individual.

              I'm positive I've worked for people that will never hire me again all because I took too long. It happened from a physical standpoint, not monetary. If I do a clogged toilet call I always stick around for a bit to ask "is there anything else you'd like me to do" as I state that they've paid for the hour and I'm up to whatever they'd like done next. <<< I get brownie points for that statement.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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              • #22
                Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

                Dunbar, your a stand up guy, and i like you alot. You bring so much to the table, and do not get personable when it comes to agree, or disagree.

                Roto Rooter, Mr. Rooter, Franklin are FRANCHISES. They need to charge so much for drain cleaning, and plumbing. I know they are all flat rate, and maybe for the wrong reasons. Roto Rooter employees are commishioned. Im not sure about the others.

                I totally agree that flat rating PLUMBING is very hard. Flat rating Drain cleaning is not so hard. If i have to quote over the phone on something easy, like i said on my last post on this, i will do it, so i dont have to waste a trip if i dont have to. If i get someone who needs a kitchen sink lined cleaned and says there is a leak under the sink, i will usually say "We are a flat rate company, so what i will do is come out, take a look at your problem, diagnose what the problem is, then give you a proper price of the work that needs to be done. If you decide you want me to do it there, then i can perform the work right then and now, if not, we do charge a $35 diagnostic fee if we are there for more then 15mins, but will be waived if you decide to proceed with the work." I dont get any problems with that.

                Now if i get a job i know that is going to take all day or acouple days, then i procede to my hourly charge which is X amount of dollars and go with a DAILY RATE. I will tell the customer my daily rate includes using everything on my truck to fix your problems, or clean the lines that will take all day. I will figure in the parts as well and charge T&M.

                For me Flat Rate is the way to go. It can hurt you though if you misdiagnose, or are in it to make a quick buck. I do it so my customers are protected by me giving customers the same price for the work, and not getting a complaint saying..."You charged me 300 to clean my line from outside, and you did my neighbors for 200 from outside, why did you charge me 100 more? I like to avoide that. Its all about fairness and protection.

                Within the next couple of weeks i plan to mail out surveys to customers that i performed work at to see where i need improvement, to see how they like flat rate pricing....I will over a monthly 50 dollar drawing to everyone who fills out the survey and sends it in, this way i will recieve alot of the surveys back
                The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

                  I've always been hourly, except for water heaters, but here's my philosophy: it's sort of like flat rate, because I charge hourly for what the job should take. If I make a mistake, make too many trips to the truck, don't have something on the truck I should have and have to make a run to the supply house, if I spend time thinking about something, etc, I charge for the time it should have taken. If I'm inefficient, or made a bad cut, if I turn the water back on and my solder joint didn't take, I make adjustments for all that. I give the benefit of the doubt to the customer. Was my estimate way too low--I eat part of it. Often it's just a vague sense, after having spent four hours, that I probably should have been able to do it in, say, three. So three it is.

                  It's still hourly--it still depends on the situation, but it's what it should have taken, in that particular situation.

                  Firm bids scare me not only because of all the stuff that can go wrong, but also it seems to me that it's implied that the problem will be solved for x price. Whereas the implication with hourly is that I will try this or that solution--not guarantee success. "You said for $xx that you would get my trip lever to work." Maybe not, but that strikes me as the assumption. There would have to some fine print to go along with flat rate, I guess--which is fine, except that a lot of my customers wouldn't know how to evaluate it.

                  I've thought about going to flat rate, or giving them the option--but still thinking. It's good to hear what others are thinking.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

                    I'm planning on going back into drain cleaning, but I'm beginning to see pitfalls. Since I switched to flat rate, I love it, but part of the reason I love it is because, overall, I'm bringing in more money per ticket. Fast forward to flat rate drain cleaning:

                    A property manager I've been working with for quite a few years has gone along well with the flat rating. In fact, I don't give him a price up front. I show him the book and he's familiar with it and I just bring him a bill based on the book.

                    But he's got two local companies that will clean drains for him. He only has them do main drains because he considers the renter to be responsible for smaller drains. They dump grease, they pay for cleaning it. They both charge about $65 per drain.

                    It's been many years since I cleaned drains, and back then I was only charging about $25 per hour. Because there are so many bad drains around here, plumbed with water line fittings and so on, I was consistently wrecking the 3/8" cable and it cost more than I made on the job. When the equipment began to fail, I realized that I wasn't making enough money on the jobs to replace or repair it.

                    So I quit.

                    Sure, I heard all the complaints about Roto-Rooter and how they would charge over $100 just to get to our town and then charge for the job. But they're still doing it.

                    So I don't want to get back into the same old thing twenty-five years later - I don't want to charge so little that the machine maintenance uses every dime I make. I certainly think it's idiotic to charge $65 a drain. If that's the case, I'll simply stick with plumbing only and let the drain cleaners live in shacks.

                    But no, I'll price drain cleaning at what it costs me to do it, not what the customer thinks I should charge. If I get less work, at least it'll be worthwhile doing it. The machine might last a long time.

                    If I wanted another expensive hobby, I suppose I could try to compete. I know there are companies in the area that specialize in drain cleaning that charge a lot of money for it - I've heard of some charging a $340 minimum, pulling up in a trailer with lots of expensive equipment - jetters, cameras, etc. Companies like that tend to not survive here, but they do come here from neighboring cities. And Roto-Rooter is still expensive.

                    As to franchises - of course they charge a lot - they have to pay a pretty good chunk of money off the top of every job to the franchise company. I believe Mr. Rooter's is 7%. And Mr. Rooter calls me all the time wanting me to join up.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

                      Originally posted by Herk View Post
                      I'm planning on going back into drain cleaning, but I'm beginning to see pitfalls. Since I switched to flat rate, I love it, but part of the reason I love it is because, overall, I'm bringing in more money per ticket. Fast forward to flat rate drain cleaning:

                      A property manager I've been working with for quite a few years has gone along well with the flat rating. In fact, I don't give him a price up front. I show him the book and he's familiar with it and I just bring him a bill based on the book.

                      But he's got two local companies that will clean drains for him. He only has them do main drains because he considers the renter to be responsible for smaller drains. They dump grease, they pay for cleaning it. They both charge about $65 per drain.

                      It's been many years since I cleaned drains, and back then I was only charging about $25 per hour. Because there are so many bad drains around here, plumbed with water line fittings and so on, I was consistently wrecking the 3/8" cable and it cost more than I made on the job. When the equipment began to fail, I realized that I wasn't making enough money on the jobs to replace or repair it.

                      So I quit.

                      Sure, I heard all the complaints about Roto-Rooter and how they would charge over $100 just to get to our town and then charge for the job. But they're still doing it.

                      So I don't want to get back into the same old thing twenty-five years later - I don't want to charge so little that the machine maintenance uses every dime I make. I certainly think it's idiotic to charge $65 a drain. If that's the case, I'll simply stick with plumbing only and let the drain cleaners live in shacks.

                      But no, I'll price drain cleaning at what it costs me to do it, not what the customer thinks I should charge. If I get less work, at least it'll be worthwhile doing it. The machine might last a long time.

                      If I wanted another expensive hobby, I suppose I could try to compete. I know there are companies in the area that specialize in drain cleaning that charge a lot of money for it - I've heard of some charging a $340 minimum, pulling up in a trailer with lots of expensive equipment - jetters, cameras, etc. Companies like that tend to not survive here, but they do come here from neighboring cities. And Roto-Rooter is still expensive.

                      As to franchises - of course they charge a lot - they have to pay a pretty good chunk of money off the top of every job to the franchise company. I believe Mr. Rooter's is 7%. And Mr. Rooter calls me all the time wanting me to join up.
                      For $65, i wouldnt even roll over in the bed to answer the phone. Thats the one bad thing around here. In Pa drain cleaning is not cheap. I have several competitors. 2 i use to work for, 1 i use to work with, and the other, just became my partner sorta.

                      I actually rolled up onto a job that one of those $65 an hour cos charge. I laughed my *** off when i pulled up to see their 1986 Red Ford van, unmarked, half primered paint, windows on the side of the van doors. crazy. 2 guys, one of the guys had to be in his 60s and the other maybe 18, using a 1065 from Spartan. So i got out and asked them if they were there at the address i was going to. They said, they were actually at the neighbors house next door. So anyway, i cleared the neighbors line (blocked out curb trap) with my trailer jetter. Meanwhile i went in, got paid, and these guys were still working on the line. So left, about 3hrs later i got a phone call from the neighbor that the other company was at. They could not get the line open. So i get there, told the customer they need to jet it. They said well the other guy charged me $65 an hour. I said, "and thats why im here". so anyway to make a long story short. I charged $350 to jet the line, got it open within 6mins, video inspected the line, nothing happening, just build up in the trap. Gave the customer a 6 month warranty (standard when i jet). and they were happy.

                      Morale is, these guys charge $44.95 per drain, $65 an hour for drains, or the one i like "We will beat anyones price for drain work" on the craigslist.

                      They DO NOT GIVE WARRANTIES. They pull up in their 20 yr old vans, their equipment doesnt work, they do not have water jets or video equipment, I can go on and on.

                      For my flat rate fees your getting, a price that will be the price wheather im there for 10 mins or 5hrs, thats the price. A huge warranty. Everything you need to clear a drain, and i wont have to go to the shop to get another piece of equip or call in another company who has a jet or what not. You will get a Tech wearing booties, bringing in mats, not have stains all over their pants, A van that was made in the 2007s (lol). You will not be quoted $44.95 per drain, then i tell ya its $44.95 for the 1st 50ft, oops did i forget to tell you that......

                      Anyway, i truely believe you get what you pay for. If you want to pay $65 an hour, be my guest, but ask what their warranties are, ask if they have the ability to video the line once they are done.

                      Or you can pay the company who is flat rate, that has the right equip, that will show up on time, that will give you the warranties..

                      I know there are great people and cos that do only charge $85 an hour, and that is fine, It also depends on where you live. what the going rates are, things of that nature, im not knocking anyone. Im going by way of PA where the average co charges in the 100s, but are the ones who get it done. Charging 44.95, or 65 around here and your getting that fly by nighter or who doesnt care about you and just wants their money.

                      These are MOs
                      Greg
                      The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                      www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

                        Drain Medic: do you give the 6 month warranty even for roots?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: charge more for roof, longer than 100'?

                          Originally posted by buyfield View Post
                          Drain Medic: do you give the 6 month warranty even for roots?

                          I do a thing called Root elimination. Its the jetter with the warthog nozzle, video at the same time to remove all roots, then root x the line. It does the trick every time removing 100% of the roots, unless the line is collapsed. If i do that, then the customer automatically gets a 1 year warranty. If i cable the line and remove roots, no video, then its a 30 day warranty. If i just jet the line with warthog nozzle, then yes 60days
                          The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                          www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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