The Cost of Plumbing.
Why rates are so high.
The #1 reason plumbing rates are so high is the Government. They have made it so small businesses can not survive and this opens up a can of worms. Large plumbing companies can then charge rates as they wish and which usually are much higher then the small one to three man shop labor rates. The smaller shop will put out better quality work with a much better price but with Government regulations requiring license fees, bonds and mandatory insurance these shops are becoming rare. Insurance companies prey on unsuspecting contractors who have no choice but to pay outrageous rates then in no time they are out of business because of the very high overhead. The insurance companies then find new contractors to leech money from.
There are more reasons that plumbing rates are high, unions are a large part due to the fact that many areas are union shop owned only and this requires the price of any work to raise by 33%. Unions are why we pay such high prices for material. The high material costs must then be passed on to you the consumer. This is with any product or service not just plumbing. Every part has to be handled by many union hands before getting to the end consumer. This variable effects every shop that is union or non-union since all of the parts are union controlled. Nowadays we complain that all our products come from other countries and that our companies are outsourcing to other countries. This can easily be fixed but probably never will. The reason these U.S. companies have had to move their operations out of the United States is due to the heavy costs of union labor. Think about what it costs to employ you and you will realize having employees is a large cost of doing business and by helping to keep these costs low you can guarantee that your companies product or service will be made in the United States of America. Our Government can protect the employees just fine we do not need to stand behind unions as a country. Something to think about next time we vote. Who is promoting your politician?
Requiring a license for a contractor is a fine idea but why are the costs so high? Reread the previous paragraph and you will see. These government rates can be much lower and still have the licensing system in place. This issue of the government creating the high costs start at your local level and go right up to the federal level.
Why plumbing rates vary in areas.
The reason rates vary from region to region is often due to two different ideas of rate calculation. There is the age old and time tested method called"Time and Material" and a newer way to perform service rates and that is called the"Pricing Book" method. Each will be explained below but lets make it clear right now that the 'Time and Material" method is an honest way to perform the task of labor rate calculation.
Time and Material
Time and Material is just as it sounds you are charged for the amount of labor and parts it required to finish the job. This method gives you the consumer accurate labor and material costs. The contractor gives you a proposed price for the project and includes a limit to not exceed. If this amount is reached then you the consumer should immediately be contacted so that more time and/or materials can be contracted. When the job is completed you are charged a fair price and the contractor receives a fair non exorbitant price.
The Price Book
The price book is also as it sounds but can be very deceptive. Most service orientated contractors now use this method as it is quite lucrative. The name implies a book of standard prices for plumbing jobs. But the issues is there is no standard. Each contractors book is purchased from a publisher who gets pricing through data acquired by means such as polls and surveys. Then each book can be modified by the contractor to suite his needs. This method is advertised as upfront pricing.
How to get plumbing rates lowered.
Getting plumbing costs lowered across the nation can be done but will take a lot of work. Not hard work but diligent work. It should start with reform of current government regulations and by contacting your representatives and letting them know how you want the current laws to be restructured you can help. Demand change.
There is a link to find your representative and information on how to contact them in the image to the right. The website is the official U.S. House Of Representatives web site.
After acquiring your representatives contact information you can regularly write them letting them know how you feel and what you want done. Contact them every few months to see how things are progressing and to show them you really care and that you will be voting .
Vote for laws that limit unions in business as this will lower labor and material rates by 30-40 percent. Find out where your representatives are getting their money. If it is from unions make sure you let them know they wont be getting your vote. Make sure they know you want lower service and material costs by eliminating or regulating mandatory insurance and bonds. Licence fees should be lowered to allow more contractors to be regulated. These are just a few things that can be mentioned to them.
Next time you are in a position where you are required to hire a professional service make sure they don't use the "Price Book" method of proposing service costs. Insist on a Time and Material bid. If they can not provide one then look for a contractor who can. Look for a smaller company with one to five employees as you will most likely get better service and craftsmanship.
More on the Subject
I found this article and after reading it you will understand more about why construction labor costs so much. This gentleman looks to have decades of experience in the construction Industry.
Publisher: Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
Author: John Piazza
Publishing Date: June 3, 2011
As a builder and owner of Piazza Construction here in Skagit County since 1975, I have experienced many changes here in the Valley. In dealing with many subcontractors, I have come to understand what “regulation” has done to not only the building industry but to all owners of small businesses, the backbone on the American economy.
Our community is struggling. We are overtaxed, over regulated and overwhelmed by increasing levels of complexity. We are out manned by a growing army of bureaucrats who feed off the fines, fees and taxes that enables them to thrive in finding endless new ways to keep us from doing our jobs.
The goals of the government “industry” is growth and power by more regulations, more taxes, more fees, more fines, more government jobs which brings more votes for those in power.
It is a vicious cycle…and who pays for these regulations, taxes, fees, fines and government jobs? Every American who lives and breathes! We all pay taxes. Every business man or woman is forced by necessity to pass these increases on to their customers and clients…Thus REGULATION IS INFLATION!!!
Did you know that on the state and federal levels that only 20% of our elected officials have ever owned a business? If we would change that percentage and elect people who have had business experience, perhaps the priorities of our government would change. Perhaps an atmosphere of free enterprise would again thrive, people would be paid for their productivity and we wouldn’t be taxed, pay ridiculous fees, fines and work so much bureaucratic red tape that we could do our jobs, create more REAL jobs, and get America rollin’ again!
Next time you vote…check out the experience of the person who will be representing you, your family and your interests. Has he or she ever owned a business working productively for a living? Or has he or she spent a career as a bureaucrat living like a parasite off taxes, fees and fines and working to regulate you, your family, the and your neighbors lives?