How Much Does A Plumber Cost?
A question we often get here at Botanical Plumbing is, “how much should I be paying a plumber?” Professional plumbers take on various jobs, and there is just as much variety in pricing as well. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know when getting a quote from a plumber.
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Plumbing Company?
First, let’s look at what factors influence the cost of plumbing services from a business perspective. Significant overhead charges are involved in running a plumbing business, although many people are unaware of this.
- A regular plumbing van carries around $45k worth of equipment and materials.
- The minimum insurance coverage for a plumbing company is $10m.
- A professional plumber has to maintain several licences (contractors, occupational, gas and more) and their renewal fees.
How Much Does A Plumber Cost On Average?
Different plumbing businesses have different approaches to pricing. Most charge a call-out fee and an hourly rate to cover the duration needed to finish the job. However, some plumbers also offer flat rate fees. Let’s look at what different components and types of pricing mean.
The average hourly rate for a professional plumber is $100-150 per hour GST. However, the exact rate they charge may vary based on the plumber’s experience, quality of work and materials.
In addition, many plumbers charge a call-out fee that usually covers travel to and from the job and the cost of the first 15–30 minutes of work. Most plumbers will charge a higher emergency callout fee at night, on weekends or on holidays.
Flat rate (fixed pricing) vs. do-and-charge
There are two main approaches to pricing for plumbers: do-and-charge (charging for time and materials spent) and flat rate fees.
Flat rate fees are a hotly debated topic in plumbing. A flat rate means all work is undertaken for a fixed price – even if the job takes more or less time or materials than expected. Some plumbing companies have decided to offer flat rate payments as some clients may feel more comfortable knowing the full price upfront.
On the face of it, flat rate fees seem to bring peace of mind – but it’s not quite that simple. Sometimes a job will turn out more complicated than expected, a risk the plumber has to take. Many companies will include a so-called “risk margin” in their flat-rate prices to cover themselves for this risk. This is why flat-rate prices may, in reality, cost more than an hourly rate.
Vice versa, with do-and-charge, the customer takes the risk but only pays for work that is carried out.
Our Pricing Approach
So, which one should you go with – flat rates, fees or hourly rates? At the end of the day, it’s up to you and what you feel comfortable with. However, we encourage you to do your research so you know what you’re paying for.
At Botanical Plumbing, we understand our clients might prefer one way of pricing or another. That’s why we’re happy to offer pricing under either arrangement.
- We provide fixed prices for small jobs – this is where we take the risk, but you’ll know exactly how much it will cost.
- Alternatively, we can charge per hour, where we do the work and charge for time and materials spent. As the customer, you take the risk but only pay for the work done.
Watch Out For Pricing Traps
As in any trade or industry, the odd person out there may be trying to take advantage of others. If someone is offering incredibly low prices, there’s usually a reason for it. It’s best to do your research and know what things to look out for.
- Some companies advertise “no callout fees”, but be wary because they’ll typically have a much higher hourly rate or minimum charge.
- Some companies have an extremely low callout fee (<$50) but will not discuss pricing over the phone – they’re just trying to get their foot in the door with you.
Questions You Should Be Asking When Hiring A Plumber
“How much does a plumber cost” is a relevant question to be asking yourself. Not only to know how much you’ll be spending but also to know what will be included and what quality of work to expect.
Here are some questions to keep in mind when hiring a plumber:
- Are they licensed (what is their QBCC licence number)?
- Does insurance cover them?
- Do they charge a call-out?
- Do quotes include materials?
We hope this article has helped clarify how much you should pay for a plumber. Are you looking for a transparent quote for plumbing work? At Botanical Plumbing, we take pride in our quality workmanship and honesty. Contact our team today to find out more about our plumbing services.