Did I get taken?

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    • #278213
      PatsyJones45

      Hello all- I just had a new hookup put in for a gas stove. I already had gas in the house for the heat/HW. The materials consisted of about 20 feet of black pipe, a few 90 degree bends, and a flexible hose piece behind the stove. It took him 3 hours total to do the work. Total bill: $750.

      Seems to me, even at $100 an hour, the whole thing should have been $400.

      Did I get taken for a ride? (Not that I can do anything about it, except not hire him again).

    • #298013
      Selgas
      Participant

      If you would be so kind as to supply us with a list of materials used (sizes) included I am sure we could look at the job from an outside perspective and give you and educated guess on the likely costs albeit that we are unable to actually see the job itself or what it entails.

    • #298014
      TheLocalPlumber
      Participant

      In hindsight any eager beaver will gladly tell you that you paid to much.
      Some things to consider that you are obviously overlooking,
      1.) Did this person have insurance in case the house blew up?
      2.) Did you see tools on the job that you knew nothing about? Was one of them a pipe threader that cost in the neighborhood of $3000.00, with assorted die’s to thread the pipe?
      3.) Was this person a licensed contractor with many years of experience? a shop?
      4.) Did you find this contractor through the Yellow Pages? Print Ad?
      5.) When you called this company did someone answer the phone?
      6.) Did he use a cell phone to call you back?
      7.) Did he arrive in a truck? with tires? and commercial truck insurance?

      So, I guess what I am trying to say is there are many more items that are needed then what you see. I say cry only once, pay for quality.
      Good Luck,
      Bill
      The Local Plumber
      Tustin, California http://www.TheLocalPlumber.com

    • #298015
      newgasstove
      Participant

      Peter- Absolutely-
      Materials: Black pipe, say 25 feet to be generous, 3/4″ I think (though it may be 1/2″), one tee (three way fitting), two 90 degree fittings, and one shut off valve. Also, the flexible hose piece (4 feet) that runs from the shut off valve behind the stove to the stove. Finally, 5 or six wire hangers.

      Labor: 3 hrs, including drilling a hole in the floor.

      The run was all open, clear shot, in the basement. (It was not, for example, a nasty crawl space under a house, etc.), and I had the old stove moved away already.

      What would be reasonable?

      Thanks.

    • #298016
      newgasstove
      Participant

      Bill- The answer to most of your questions about proper tools, insurance, customer service, etc., are YES. The gentleman came well prepared, had the right tools (many that he owned), insurance, was highly skilled, friendly, and an all around good guy. He did a flawless job and I would recommend him to anyone.

      I am just wondering if I overpaid.

      I totally agree that there is a lot to consider when looking at *value*. This guy worked for a large company. There is a lot of overhead involved in the list you made; but how much profit is reasonable? For example, if materials were $200, then I paid $183 per hour. If he got $50 of that, then the company made out pretty well?

    • #298017
      TheLocalPlumber
      Participant

      $185-$200 an hour plus materials is a reasonable charge for a well stocked vehicle to come to your house and work on a gas service for you.
      You see guessing what business models a company chooses to use and then trying to figure out if they are making an unreasonable profit is a no win situation. Every company has different expenses, depending on the amount of protection, experience, technological advances it uses and so on. That is why in America you have the option to get three proposals for the same job
      (not the same work mind you) and then choose.
      Did you do this? And if not, Why?
      These are all real good questions. The problem arises when you ask them after instead of before the job has been completed. No one can sit at there desk and tell you that you got ripped off. I can tell you that if you received everything you thought you were going to receive for the price that you were quoted that you have a good reason to be a satisfied customer.
      Bill
      The Local Plumber
      Tustin, California http://www.TheLocalPlumber.com

    • #298018
      robertgf
      Participant

      i concur, get the price before the job starts that way everybodies happy

    • #298019
      Selgas
      Participant

      Well, after all that has been said afore me you leave me with little choice but to suggest that I pack my bags and move over to the States – with that kinda money to be made I am certain to be rich very quickly.

      In fact all the answers given in this discussion have considerable merit and cover the aspect of costing from different perspectives – but at the end of the day BOTH the customer and the fitter must be happy or otherwise there will be no repeat work and very soon no future work with it’s profit margins at all.

      Do ya need any Plumbers and Gasfitters over there in the States cause I could sure do with some of that thar green folding stuff!!!

    • #298020
      TheLocalPlumber
      Participant

      It sounds good doesn’t it.
      As a Plumbing Contractor if I do not cover all my costs and materials and add for profit, I might as well work for someone who will pay me my healthy hourly wage that I could demand.
      I know this sounds like gravy, and you are not the first to drool at the numbers. That is why every Tom, Dick and Harry that ever lifted a pipe wrench thinks they are deserving to be the boss. Well that is not enough of a criteria to be the boss, you need to be able to get through those times where life is not easy. You have to be able to try new and different ideas, be a little crazy and never give up. So alot of Plumbers try to be the boss only to realize that it is much better to pick up a paycheck every two weeks and leave the hard stuff for someone else. If it was as easy to be the boss at is sounds, there would be more bosses than workers and that is clearly not the case.
      We are always looking for qualified people for all positions in our business. So if you are serious, come on up.
      Bill
      The Local Plumber
      Tustin, California http://www.TheLocalPlumber.com
      Now Hiring

    • #298021
      newgasstove
      Participant

      Localplumber, just for the heck of it, using the materials list and site description from above, about what would you charge?

    • #298022
      TheLocalPlumber
      Participant

      In Southern California this charge would have been very accurate for the work that was done.
      Material is just one facet of the costs associated with the Plumbing Contractor that provides service on a 24 hour basis.
      Installing it all correctly with the safety of the home and its occupants is the number one priority. Corners should never be cut when installing natural gas piping. When price is a factor, it leaves room for discretion of the installer to either hurry up or just not do it correctly. In general our pricing for one man, one truck is $1000.00 per day, $500.00 per half day, $250.00 for two hours and that is our minimum charge, plus materials. Profit and overhead are included in the above numbers.
      I hope this helps,
      Bill
      The Local Plumber
      Tustin, California http://www.TheLocalPlumber.com

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