Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Did I get raped by my plumber - figuratively?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Did I get raped by my plumber - figuratively?

    I'm in the middle of a home renovation and the 4" stack pipe broke and needed to be replaced. The plumber on the job did it by himself in about 7 hours. He charged me $1600. Is that reasonable? Seems kind of steep when I look at what that calculates out to hourly but maybe I just don't know the going rate. I'd appreciate any feedback you've got. Thanks.

  • #2
    Therre are a lot of things we would need to know to know if the plumber took advantage of you. Was your bill itemized as far as materials, labor and equipment? What is the going hourly rate for a plumber in your area? How much materials and what type did the plumber use?

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

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

    Comment


    • #3
      I didn't get an itemized bill. He used PVC. I don't know the going rate in the NJ. I just want to make sure he's "in the ballpark" and not taking advantage of my situation, i.e. he's already on the job doing other work and knew I wouldn't find another plumber.

      Comment


      • #4
        did he give you a price before he started or when he was done.

        if the price was agreed upon prior to doing the job, you're stuck. it would'nt really matter how fast he finished or how little the material cost.

        if he gave you a price when finished, you've got a good chance at a refund if he can't justify the parts and labor.

        was this work done as an extra to a larger contact job?

        typically you would have an agreed upon hourly charge for extras.

        although the price is very high, it's not as bad as i've seen some local companies here charge.

        the majority of the plumbers here on this forum don't charge flat rate, but rather a time and material charge. even if it was a contract price, it's still based on a time and material estimated cost.

        flat rate is based on an out of this world pricing guide for people who want to get rich fast.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Nothing was agreed upon. We were in a fix. I had a good relationship with this guy so I thought he'd be fair. I learned a lesson. Ouch. Just added $1,600 to my renovation budget which was already $20,000 over budget! I was hoping someone would have responded that his price was in line.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by njcardsfan
            Nothing was agreed upon. We were in a fix. I had a good relationship with this guy so I thought he'd be fair. I learned a lesson. Ouch. Just added $1,600 to my renovation budget which was already $20,000 over budget! I was hoping someone would have responded that his price was in line.
            to come up with an even 1600 is not derived by luck, it's greed

            how much is a day of labor worth? the pvc fittings are cheap. anywhere from a couple of dollars for 2'' to possibly 12.00 for a 4'' fitting. the pipe is about 2.00 a foot. you add it up and look.

            nothing was agreed upon, he would have to come up with a break down to justify these #'s. nothing was in writing. play hardball with him to make it right for both of you. with prices like these i can work 2 days a week instead of 6.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              I work with physicians who would die for that hourly rate. I guess there is that old joke about the plumber. I'm sure you know it. It end, "Yeah, I know. I used to be a surgeon."

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm not a plumber, but I'm nearing the end of a fairly large renovation and from things I've run into and negotiated down or just found another source, it sounds like your being greatly overcharged. As you said, it took him "seven hours". If everything is PCV, you're probably not looking at $100 for material.

                I'd ask him to give you some details on what that $1600 charge intails.

                CWS

                Comment


                • #9
                  It does sound like the plumber had his hands in your pocket. I would ask him for a break down of the cost. The questions is not whether he gave you an estimate of the charges first the question is is he being honest with you.

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

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Where do you guys come off basically telling him he got ripped off. I f he paid it then fine end of story. Laymens terms (You screw me once, shame on you you screw me twice shame on me)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why shouldn't they tell me I was overcharged?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What caused the break to begin with?

                        I think this is kinda high for 7 hours work (I live in NJ). I don't know where in NJ you are but rates for everything are much higher up North (near NYC) than they are below Philly.

                        Even if he somehow could show $300 in material that leaves $1300 over 7 hours which is just over $185.00/hour for labor. He is either trying to make up for low-balling your renovation job or should be wearing a mask.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by swoosh81
                          Where do you guys come off basically telling him he got ripped off. I f he paid it then fine end of story. Laymens terms (You screw me once, shame on you you screw me twice shame on me)
                          You must have read something I missed as all three of us said he should ask for a breakdown of the bill. If you refuse to give your customer a break down on your electrical extras I would call you a crook. We will have to wait to see if his plumber is a crook or not.

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

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The pipe broke during the renovation. It was corroded. I'm sure all the banging broke it. I asked him today how he arrived at the price. He told me he called the owner (his dad) who told him the price. He said it was a hard job and he has a lot of expertise. I said that getting more than $200 an hour just seemed a little steep. He told me that their overhead is high citing the liability insurance.

                            I stopped the conversation there. It was obvious I wasn't going to get anywhere. I know ob/gyns who pay $250,000 a year in malpractice. They still get less money per hour than this guy got...but I guess they don't have his expertise.

                            So not only did I have to pay $1600 for the stack, now I have to replace the kitchen ceiling for $2,000.

                            By the way, I live in a suburb of NYC, in NJ.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When I am doing cost estimating on a project the price may vary quite a bit from one region to another. In addition if you are doing a one-hour service call your rate is generally higher than if you are working on new construction or a remodel. The reason service calls cost more is there is more costs involved in a service call. Typically a service plumber is on the road all day long which cost more and there always seems to be more material loss on a service truck than on a finish or rough-in truck.

                              My guess without going to my book is you should use a labor rate of around $85.00 per hour. This rate is high but it is not unreasonable. The 4” PVC might have been billed at as much as $4.00 per foot and the 4” fittings could vary from $15.00 to $35.00 each depending on what fittings were used. So assuming he had 8-hous on the job he has $680 in labor. Then add in 20’ of 4” PVC and half dozen fittings and you have another $230 in materials or a total of $910.00.
                              If the above figures are correct it appears you were overcharged by at least $690.

                              Only you are going to be able to decide whether you were overcharged or not. If your plumber overcharged you on this he likely has overcharged you on other items as well. I would recommend you get a written change order on all of your extras for your renovation. I don’t know how you can control your cost without getting signed change orders up front. Are you using a General on the job or doing this job by yourself?

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

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

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X