A commonly asked question from customers are, “Why does my plumbing repairs cost so much?” This is a question worth asking, especially if you’ve been given a quote that runs into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

There are three main criteria used in pricing any given plumbing repair. The first is the total time that goes into getting  your plumbing task completed. The second is for the parts themselves, and whatever other support materials are used in the process of the repair and the third area are the fixed costs or overhead that the company has to cover.
Time

Most companies charge time and material. Using this method, customers are charged for the time that it takes them to do the job, with absolutely no incentive to be fast or efficient. As a matter of fact, the more inefficient or inexperienced, the more the customer pays.

Len the Plumber uses a price book so that all of our customers are charged the same for the same task. Our “book time” refers to the average amount of time it takes to do a task. It’s the technician’s responsibility to complete the job within that time and if the repair takes longer, the customer isn’t charged for it.

Also built into the “book time”, which a lot of customers don’t realize, are things like travel time, diagnosis, and paperwork.

Another way we save our customers time and money is by carrying a huge truck inventory. Having just about everything we need to complete an average job, without having to leave your home to get parts, saves time, which saves you money.

Parts And Supplies

Yes, plumbing companies mark up the price of parts. Keep in mind that this markup also means that reputable shops can provide a warranty for their repairs.

The type of parts used directly affects the bottom-line price. High quality parts tend to be the highest priced, followed by lesser quality, cheaply made material. Len the Plumber will only use high quality parts to ensure a long lasting quality job.

Smaller items like tool use (tools do wear and have to be periodically replaced), disposal fees, gas for torches, glues, cleaners and sealants are other items that may be used, but not seen in a repair or installation, but costs of this nature are built into the job.

Keeping The Lights On

Regardless of size, a shop has expenses that have to be paid by the work generated. There are the obvious ones, like the rent, electricity, heat and other utilities. Less obvious and sometimes not realized are office building, warehouse, administrative staff, management, health insurance, business insurance, taxes, vehicles, maintenance, fuel, advertising, stationery, computers, software, organizations, training.

A company that specializes

A company that specializes in a particular area usually charges higher labor rates for their service than a general service shop. While a specialist may charge more, this type of company can often wind up being cheaper in the long run. A specialist is more likely to diagnose and repair a problem in laser-like fashion, fixing the problem in less time and using fewer new parts. Technicians unfamiliar with a type of problem can end up muddling around, wasting the customer’s money on unnecessary parts and long hours of labor just trying to find a solution.