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A simple explanation for clients as to how their plumber is reimbursed for their work - and how much they are likely to be charging.


What should my plumber be charging me?


Our currently recommended hourly charge out rate for plumbing contractors is a minimum of $130.00 - 140.00 + GST.


Many clients will think, why do plumbers charge so much? Well, have you employed a solicitor lately? A Doctor? Plumbers have large overheads in vehicles, equipment, training and stock, and their hourly rate is necessary to cover these costs.

Should my plumber charge a call out fee?


Good Plumbers will charge you a call out fee. This covers the expenditure incurred by your plumber in travelling to your premises in a well stocked van, ready for work, with the correct equipment. Usually this will be in the range of $75 - 95+ GST.


Charging a call out fee eliminates the need for plumbers to outrageously mark up materials to ensure all their costs are covered.


Beware of Plumbers offering cheap deals, no call out fee, free quotes, and other enticements design to get them in your front door. Remember, a tradesperson charging correct rates for quoting, callout and other works generally has no need to offer such enticements.


Flat Rate or Time and Materials


Some plumbers are moving to flat rate pricing. This can be seen in their advertisements as "We charge by the job, not the hour" or "Flat Rate Pricing used".


We are often asked as to which method is most fair and reasonable for the client. Both Flat rate pricing and time and materials pricing have differing benefits for the end client. Flat rate pricing will provide you with peace of mind that the works will be completed for a fixed cost, whereas with time and materials, the exact figure remains unknown, although your plumber should be able to at least give you a fairly accurate estimate prior to commencement.


With flat rate pricing, your plumber carries the risk that if the job goes for longer than expected, then he must complete the job for the same price, and as such users of these systems build in a sometimes signifcant risk margin into such pricing methods. With time and materials, the client carries more of this risk. Ultimately, your decision to employ your plumber, whether on a flat rate price or a time and materials contract should be made on the basis of that which you are more comfortable with.


Our tips for hiring a plumber


1.Always ensure your plumber is appropriately licensed for the work being carried out - ask to see it.


2. Always choose a plumber who is a member of the Master Plumbers Association in your State.


3. Never choose a plumber on the basis of price alone.


4. Beware of plumbers advertising  payments if they are late. These are usually linked to onerous terms and conditions, which eventuates in them never needing to honour the such an offer.


5. Beware of plumbers advertising discounts, vouchers, and specials on particular days - usually, their discounts will be offered only on an inflated price. Remember, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is!


6. Never choose a plumber with the largest advertisement - think about it - if they need to do that much advertising to attract business, where is their recurring clientele?


7. You will often find that your local, small family business will provide the best service at a fair and reasonable rate. They will often not have the largest ad, the biggest fleet, and will often have a simple business name such as "Dave Smith Plumbing". But they will more often than not provide the best service in your local area, although they are often busy and you may sometimes have to wait a short time for them to get to your job.

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