Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ball Plumbing Gets a Complaint

All our prices and charges are on our website:

We try to be as honest and transparent as possible, but recently we had a complaint from a landlord over an  overtime bill of $292.12, including tax. All charges were told to him and his tenant. He agreed to the prices.

The invoice break down:

Overtime Rate (09/08/12): $99.00 per hour x 2 hours: $198.00
Equipment Charge: $25.00
Trip Charge: $45.00
Tax: $24.12
Total: $292.12

I'll break it down further:

Overtime Rate (09/08/12): $99.00 per hour x 2 hours: $198.00. At that time, we were charging $66.00 per hour with 30 minute increments. O.T. is charged 50% more to bring the hourly rate to $99.00/hour. Still a deal at any time.

Equipment Charge: $25.00. Every plumbing company I've ever worked for charges for equipment and we're still far below what anyone charges. Try to rent an electrical 3/8th snake machine, an extension ladder, and 150' of electrical cord from Hardware Sales and see what it will cost you (a lot more than $25.00).

Trip Charge: $45.00. I wish we didn't have to charge that, but the cost of running a truck is almost prohibitive now. (my rant about gasoline and insurance deleted).

Tax: $24.12. Tax is 9%.

Total: $292.12 The total for that Sunday job is what most companies charge for regular time and good luck trying to reach them on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ball Plumbing Hourly Rates and Flat Rates

Ball Plumbing offers two ways to purchase our services and materials. The following is a general outline and doesn't include all the prices.  Prices are subject to change without notice.

For more information and a complete list, go here:

The first is commonly referred to as "Time and Material" (TM), which means being charged for the time actually spent working on your job. There are some things to remember about T&M:

  1. At Ball Plumbing, we can show you the ballpark price using out Flat Rate book, so you won't get Invoice Shock. 
  2. Service Charge: Instead of a Travel Charge, we charge $45.00 (per day) to cover travel. This charge started in 2010 to cover the high cost of fuel and oil. If the prices go down, this charge will be gone.
  3. Hourly Rates: We round off to the nearest 1/4 hour. Time begins when we knock on the door and ends when we hand you the invoice. We currently charge $88.00 an hour.
  4. 4. Estimates: Ball Plumbing charges for estimates. Simple estimates start at $55.00.
  5. Material Collection: If we have to get parts for your job, it's usually on the clock. Exceptions are made for parts we usually have on the truck. 
  6. Equipment Charges: We charge an usage rate for all equipment. Range is $5.00-$45.00.
  7. Materials: We mark-up all parts on a sliding scale. Right now, it's approximately 50%-100% over our cost and our cost is very close to what you can get it at Wal-Mart.
  8. Tax: Everything is taxable and adds a lot to the bill.
  9. +Labor Rate: $88.00 per hour (charged to the closest 15 minutes); 
    +Service Charge: $45.00 Service Charge (local travel and truck charge);
    +$45.00 per hour per additional worker (charged to the closest 15 minutes);
    +Parts, equipment, and tax are extra.

    Minimum: 1 hour plus Service Charge: $133.00 ($88.00 per hour plus $45.00 Service Charge)

The second way to be charged is "Contract" or "Flat Rate". Flat Rate is the set price for the job, barring unseen problems that may increase the price. We have a price book that we can quote from for most jobs. We haven't raised prices since 2010.
  1. Prices reflect the service charge, hourly rates, material collection, and equipment charges.
  2. Taxes are not included.
Which is best for you? It all depends on how comfortable you feel with the plumbers' skills. If I were to hire me, I'd go hourly. If I hired someone not as honest or dependable as me, I'd go Flat Rate.