Which is better, a fixed priced plumber or hourly rate plumber?Cat McCarthy
Which is better, a fixed priced plumber or hourly rate plumber in Point Cook?
We believe that hourly rate plumbing is the better option for customers, for several reasons we’ll be discussing below.
Firstly, hourly rate plumbing allows for greater transparency and accountability. With hourly rate plumbing, our clients only pay for the time and materials used on their job. Our clients can see exactly how long the job took and how much each component cost. In contrast, fixed price plumbing often involves hidden fees and can lead to customers being charged for unnecessary work.
Hourly rate plumbing provides greater flexibility. Plumbing jobs can be unpredictable, and fixed prices often don’t account for unexpected complications that may arise. With hourly rate plumbing, customers can rest assured that they are only paying for the work that is actually required. Furthermore, hourly rate plumbing can accommodate emergency situations where quick repairs are needed outside of normal business hours. Fixed price plumbing often has set prices for specific types of jobs, which means that customers may end up paying for services they don’t need or may not be able to get the help they need during an emergency situation (or weekend/afterhours jobs where it isn’t viable for fixed priced plumbers to stay long at a job).
Hourly rate plumbing encourages greater efficiency. Plumbers who are paid by the hour have an incentive to work quickly and effectively in order to maximize their pay. This means that they are more likely to complete the job in a timely and professional manner, which saves customers both time and money. In contrast, plumbers who are paid a fixed price may not be as motivated to work efficiently or may cut corners in order to increase their profit.
We believe hourly rate plumbing promotes transparency, flexibility, and efficiency, while fixed price plumbing can lead to hidden fees, inflexibility, and potentially lower quality work. Plumbing companies who aren’t transparent with their pricing trick their clients into $0* call out fees in exchange for fixed pricing that is heavily weighted on benefitting the plumber.
What is fixed price plumbing vs hourly rate pricing in plumbing?
In a nutshell, fixed priced plumbing means the client knows the exact price something is going to cost them at the beginning (i.e. the tap will cost $600 to fix and that is all you will be charged).
Hourly rate plumbing charges a call out fee (the cost of coming to your home to investigate the issue, often includes the first half an hour onsite) and an hourly rate often broken up into 15 or 30 minute increments (i.e. the tap will take approximately 1 hour to fix, with a call out fee of $150 which includes the first half an hour on site, and $33 for every 15 minute increment of time afterwards = $183 if it took 1 hour to fix).
That’s just a simple example of the difference between pricing the same plumbing maintenance task using fixed pricing and hourly rate pricing. Obviously it’s just an example; the tap could’ve actually taken 2 hours to fix ($348) or even 3 hours to fix ($480).
In this instance, the customer would benefit from the hourly rate in any of the broken tap scenarios.
When a plumber is calculating the cost of his/her fixed price works, they must take into consideration:
- What is the usual time taken/maximum time taken to complete the works?
- What is the average cost/ highest cost possible of materials for the job?
- What profit margin do I want on the job?
A fixed price plumber will NOT include a consideration which favours the client (What is the minimal time taken to complete the works? Or What is the minimum cost possible of materials for the job?). It’s not a good business model if you are working on minimum charge outs only to get a fixed price as you haven’t considered a margin for error.
But you’re charging a call out fee and the fixed price plumber says it costs $0*!
Why is it that when a plumber advertises $0* call out fee they always have that cheeky little asterisk next to the 0? Its because they are misleading their clients…
We get asked the question on a daily basis ‘Do you charge a call out fee?’ and our answer is always ‘Yes’. Our call out fee also includes the first 30 mins of work onsite. We try and educate these callers on why we charge a fee, and that those plumbers who say there is no fee aren’t volunteers; they will charge you for their time spent there even if they say no call out fee.
How? They use that time to get their foot in your door, sell their overpriced wares and quote your works including their pre-calculated overheads for visiting you ‘cost free’.
Plumbers are not visiting their clients for free; they have bills to pay, fuel to buy, overheads to cover etc. They WILL be charging you for that time spent getting to your home, and diagnosing your plumbing problem. They just choose to market it as $0*, rather than be transparent with their pricing.
Is fixed price plumbing ALWAYS bad?
No, it isn’t. There are some jobs that you really won’t know how long a plumber will spend on it (roofing jobs, severely blocked drains etc). A general rule of thumb is if it’s a new plumbing fixture it can usually be fixed price, anything problematic, broken or requiring plumbing maintenance will usually require hourly rates as every job is different from the next, with a different set of scenarios. The following are types of plumbing services we DO offer fixed priced plumbing for:
- New Hot Water System installation
- New Toilet installation
- Quoted works such as bathroom, laundry and kitchen renovations
The house always wins
At the end of the day, it’s your choice or not whether you used a fixed price plumber or an hourly rate plumber; both have their advantages and disadvantages to a client. One thing to always remember with fixed price plumbing is this a fixed priced plumber has calculated their fixed price to always be beneficial to them over the client (otherwise they would have a poor business model). Just like at Crown casino, you may win a few bucks on the roulette wheel but at the end of the day the house ALWAYS wins.
For transparent priced plumbing, always, give McCarthy Plumbing Group a call today.