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Did I get raped by my plumber - figuratively?

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  • #31
    There's no way this guy could have donated this day's work to me. I wouldn't have expected that. It was an awful job and there's no way he could have just repaired it. I definitely needed a new stack. I like the idea of homeowner's insurance though. I'll give them a call. Man, wouldn't that be great? I know it's a long shot but if that got covered I probably wouldn't be up at 4:30 in the morning worrying about these expenses!

    You guys have been great, offering all of these opinions. I really appreciate it.

    Comment


    • #32
      Most HO policies will pay to repair the ensuing damages but not the pipe repair. With the way things are today the HO Insurance may go after the General and the Plumber in a subrogation claim. By that point you will not be involved.

      Mark
      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

      Comment


      • #33
        Who is the GC?

        If the plumber works directly for you, you are the GC and responsible for his actions. If the plumber works for a contractor (not you) then the GC is responsible for his actions. The bill should go through the GC.

        Homeowners insurance will not pay to fix the failed pipe. You could ask them to fix the ceiling but they will probably charge back the GC (do you see where this is going?). If the plumber works for you, you are the GC and you're gonna pay. But, you could then insist that the plumber's liability insurance pay.

        You did get overcharged, I don't doubt that. You are probably not assertive enough to stick up for yourself, and are paying the price. If you've already paid, it's probably to late, if not, listen to the advice given by others, GET A DETAILED INVOICE. Replacing a stack is neither terribly complicated nor physically difficult. It's just another part of what plumbers do.

        Good Luck.

        Comment


        • #34
          In my neck of the woods, $1,600 for that job would be considered a little on the high side, but not unreasonable...certainly within the $90-$300 per hour that is being charged...average plumbing rate is $120-150/hr...extra charge if working off the floor or under the floor, etc...

          Having said that, who knows what is "fair" without knowing every detail of the job.

          Comment


          • #35
            $$$$

            Pretty steep rates norcal1. Where do you live?

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by BigThom
              Pretty steep rates norcal1. Where do you live?
              North of San Fran, on the Coast.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Norcal1
                North of San Fran, on the Coast.
                Okay I'll bite, who is charging $300 per hour and where are they locate? I do quite a bite of work up there and I have never seen anyone even closae to those prices.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by ToUtahNow
                  Okay I'll bite, who is charging $300 per hour and where are they locate? I do quite a bite of work up there and I have never seen anyone even closae to those prices.

                  Mark

                  I didn't give my location, how can you say you do quite a bit of work up here?

                  I live about 5-6 hours north of San Fran.

                  Without saying the name of the company, I'll just tell you that they are the biggest in the area. They charge using flat rates. My customers tell me how much they were charged for particular jobs and I can figure out the hourly rate.

                  IE: $535 to replace a single handle kitchen faucet. That price included the faucet, which I know for a fact cost less than $200 retail.

                  I happened to find this information out after I had charged the customer to replace 3 faucets for less labor costs than the one faucet that was done by this other company. The customer actually gave me a $40 tip because he felt "bad" for me.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    I work all over California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah so 5-hours North of San Francisco fits right in for me. That far north you must be in Del Norte. We did some work up there at a hospital near Washington and Redwood Highway in Crescent City. The guys at Building & Safety were pretty laid back as I recall.

                    After reading your reply it appears the companymust be a flat rate company. Hence the $300 rate is not because they are charging $300 per hour it is because they are charging the customer something like 4X times the hours they are actually working.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      not that flat rate thing again
                      Charlie

                      My seek the peek fundraiser page
                      http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                      http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                      new work pictures 12/09
                      http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        opcorn:
                        Flat rate is why I get so many repeat calls, I am T&M not flat rate.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          the other point of view

                          I'm a little late to this party but here is my point of view. I am a flat rate plumbing contractor as a lot of you already know (you only thought you ran me off, I just don't have as much time to spend on this forum as some of you seem to have).

                          First of all, no one, unless he doesn't know any better or believes it's his moral obligation to suffer the loss of an hour of billable time (for you t&m'ers) would ever charge you for 7 hrs of labor. Unless he's a work-a-holic and doesn't mind working 9-12 hour day, you will be billed for a full 8 hour work day. What does the plumbing contractor do with one hour at the end of the day? It leaves him with 1 hour to drive to the next job, talk with the customer, diagnose the problem, do the work, and get back to the shop. In other words, you are going to be billed for a full days labor.

                          Now in spite of the heaping abuse I've received from others on this forum for daring to use a flat rate system over t&m, I still believe it's a better system for BOTH THE CUSTOMER AND THE PLUMBING CONTRACTOR. But I'm not going to rehash all of that now. They have some valid points about flat rate abuse. The problem is that they want to paint everyone who uses flat rate with the same brush.

                          For the sake of understanding, I will tell what I would have charged in t&m terms that everyone should be able to understand. My hourly labor charge would have been $150.00 times 8 hours (not 7). So, if I figured it at a full day, the labor would have been $1200.00. I would have calculated what my material costs were, added all the taxes and multiplied by 2. So on a job like this, if the total material costs including taxes were $50 to $100, you're total cost for the repair would be $1300 to $1400. In return for your hard earned $1400 you would have received from my company: excellent, professional work, complete explanation of everything that was being done and why, 20 year limited warranty on all materials and labor which we supplied, and the security of a price guarantee at $1400 whether it took us 5 hrs or turned into our nightmare and took 15 hours, and the guarantee that you pay nothing (not even an upfront "percentage for materials") until the inspection is passed and you are 100% satisfied with the quality of the work that has been done.

                          So, not having been there, and not having actually seen the job but simply based on the information you have given, it's not too difficult for me to see why you got a price of $1600. It's slightly higher than what I would have charged but maybe there was something else involved that you didn't know about that increased the job cost or maybe your plumber's labor rate was $25 an hour more than mine.

                          In the end, the question you are asking is "how much is a plumber worth? What should he be allowed to make?" As long as the market tells me that my services are worth $150 an hour plus twice my materials, that's what I will charge. When it tells me my services are worth $200 that's what I will charge. A lot of people don't like that but if I can't make a minimum %25 profit in this business then someone needs to explain to me why I should go from house to house playing in other people's filth.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            If the market really tells you you’re worth $150 per hour why aren't you up front and tell people you are $150 per hour rather than hiding it you flat-rate estimate? The idea that you are worth more than a Union Shop does not make much sense to me but that's on you. I agree with the 8-hours and that is why I figured 8-hours rather than the 7-hours. With out a detailed invoice none of us will ever know what the job involved and what it was worth but I am usually skeptical of ant trades person who is afraid to give a detailed bid or invoice.

                            Mark
                            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              did i get raped by my plumber?

                              Did you get raped by your plumber?
                              Yes.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by ECS
                                I'm a little late to this party but here is my point of view. I am a flat rate plumbing contractor as a lot of you already know (you only thought you ran me off, I just don't have as much time to spend on this forum as some of you seem to have).

                                First of all, no one, unless he doesn't know any better or believes it's his moral obligation to suffer the loss of an hour of billable time (for you t&m'ers) would ever charge you for 7 hrs of labor. Unless he's a work-a-holic and doesn't mind working 9-12 hour day, you will be billed for a full 8 hour work day. What does the plumbing contractor do with one hour at the end of the day? It leaves him with 1 hour to drive to the next job, talk with the customer, diagnose the problem, do the work, and get back to the shop. In other words, you are going to be billed for a full days labor.

                                Now in spite of the heaping abuse I've received from others on this forum for daring to use a flat rate system over t&m, I still believe it's a better system for BOTH THE CUSTOMER AND THE PLUMBING CONTRACTOR. But I'm not going to rehash all of that now. They have some valid points about flat rate abuse. The problem is that they want to paint everyone who uses flat rate with the same brush.

                                For the sake of understanding, I will tell what I would have charged in t&m terms that everyone should be able to understand. My hourly labor charge would have been $150.00 times 8 hours (not 7). So, if I figured it at a full day, the labor would have been $1200.00. I would have calculated what my material costs were, added all the taxes and multiplied by 2. So on a job like this, if the total material costs including taxes were $50 to $100, you're total cost for the repair would be $1300 to $1400. In return for your hard earned $1400 you would have received from my company: excellent, professional work, complete explanation of everything that was being done and why, 20 year limited warranty on all materials and labor which we supplied, and the security of a price guarantee at $1400 whether it took us 5 hrs or turned into our nightmare and took 15 hours, and the guarantee that you pay nothing (not even an upfront "percentage for materials") until the inspection is passed and you are 100% satisfied with the quality of the work that has been done.

                                So, not having been there, and not having actually seen the job but simply based on the information you have given, it's not too difficult for me to see why you got a price of $1600. It's slightly higher than what I would have charged but maybe there was something else involved that you didn't know about that increased the job cost or maybe your plumber's labor rate was $25 an hour more than mine.

                                In the end, the question you are asking is "how much is a plumber worth? What should he be allowed to make?" As long as the market tells me that my services are worth $150 an hour plus twice my materials, that's what I will charge. When it tells me my services are worth $200 that's what I will charge. A lot of people don't like that but if I can't make a minimum %25 profit in this business then someone needs to explain to me why I should go from house to house playing in other people's filth.
                                ecs, you reside in central alabama, and have been doing plumbing since 1999.
                                you charge $150.00 an hour

                                i reside in los angeles, calif. and have been doing plumbing since 1975, full time since 1981.

                                i charge $75.00 an hour

                                i guess i'm doing something wrong and you're doing something right

                                maybe someone can explain what went wrong? ecs is looking to buy in beverly hills, i'm looking to move to alabama

                                rick

                                ps ecs, i still have time to contribute to these forums and get a good days pay for an honest days work.
                                phoebe it is

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