Let’s face it, a decent plumber is a handy person to know, especially when you’re faced with a watery emergency. However, unless a plumber is charging ‘mates rates’ then chances are that you’re going to be confronted with a bill.
So are they simply taking advantage of the situation? And if so, what should you expect to pay when you call out a plumber?
Like any trade, there may well be the odd one who does take advantage and this is why you should always do some research before you hire one. However, the majority of fully-licensed plumbers are experienced professionals who do a very good job. With this in mind, the going rate for a licenced plumber is around $100-$150 per hour + GST.
While this might sound a lot, most plumbing services will have relatively significant overheads in the way of stock, vehicles, equipment, plus ongoing training, and therefore this price is necessary to cover these criteria.
In addition, many plumbers will also charge you an emergency call-out fee. This often includes expenses such as travelling to and from the job and possibly some portion of the labour costs for the first 15-30 minutes. The reality is that by agreeing to a company that charges hourly rates the customer carries the risk.
What about flat rate fees?
To get around the thorny issue of hourly fees, some plumbing companies are moving to flat-rate payment. This means that any work completed is carried out in exchange for a fixed price.
On the surface, it seems to provide the customers with peace of mind because there aren’t going to be any nasty surprises when it comes to paying the bill. However is it really the best solution?
The problem comes when a job that’s been priced on a fixed rate goes on for longer or is more complicated than expected. This is a risk that a plumber has to carry because they can’t then turn around and ask the customer for more cash.
To counteract this, many contractors will build in a so-called ‘risk margin’ into pricing methods so that the job doesn’t end up costing them instead. As a result, there may be a chance that if it’s a straightforward and easy job, it might cost more than if the client chose a plumber dealing in hourly rates.
When it comes to hourly fees or by the job payment there are pros and cons to both hourly and fixed rate charging. Probably the best advice is to do your homework, or get several quotes, and go with the method and the plumber that you feel most comfortable with.
If you’re in need of reliable and experienced plumbing service and you reside in the Brisbane area, then contact Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage. We have a wealth of experience to help you with all your plumbing needs, Why not contact us today for a competitive quote? You’ll be glad that you did.