We can all agree that “Do It Yourself” (DIY) plumbing is generally never a good idea. Most wannabe plumbers have ended up causing more damage to the plumbing, and instead of saving money, they have ended up spending more. The reason most people attempt plumbing DIY is that they think plumbers charge too much for their efforts.
Let’s have a look at how plumbers determine what they are going to charge for a job so that you can fully understand plumbing repair costs.
What Determines Plumbing Repair Costs?
There are a few factors that any plumber will take into consideration before giving you an estimate. One of the main factors will be the size of the job. The cost will vary between a small, medium and large plumbing job, but how will you know the difference?
Small Plumbing Jobs
A small plumbing job will obviously cost you the least. Here are some characteristics of a small plumbing job:
- One person (plumber) can complete the task alone.
- He will probably have all the parts he needs in his toolbox.
- The task can generally be completed in one hour.
- Examples of a small plumbing job are: Replacing a tap or valve, installing a new garbage disposal, connecting a washer to an appliance or washing machine.
Medium Plumbing Jobs
A medium plumbing job will cost you more than a small plumbing job, but less than a large one. There are some major differences between a small and medium plumbing job:
- More than one person is usually required to complete the task.
- The person/s need to be more experienced than those needed for a small plumbing job.
- Spare parts need to be ordered; they are not parts that a plumber would have in his toolbox. A medium job also needs more tools and more labor is required.
- The task will take between 2 – 5 hours to complete.
- Examples of medium plumbing jobs are leak detection or water heater replacement.
Large Plumbing Jobs
A large plumbing job will cost more than a small or medium job, and an accurate assessment will need to be carried out before any plumber will give you an estimate. Some characteristics of a large plumbing job are:
- A larger number of people will be needed to complete the task.
- The plumbers would have to have special skills and experience.
- The task is complex and will take a much longer time to complete. Any job that takes from 6 hours to a few days to complete is considered a large job.
- Specialized, often costly parts, are needed for this job.
- Examples of large plumbing jobs are shower or bathroom repairs or renovations.
Apart From Job Size, Other Factors That Influence Plumbing Repair Costs
There are numerous other costs, some unexpected, that will add to your total plumbing repair bill. Plumbers do their best to provide you with an accurate estimate but various factors often add to the final amount. Here are a few “hidden” costs to bear in mind:
- Most plumbers include traveling costs in their estimate, so it is always beneficial to use a local plumber. If you choose to use a plumber who is not local, be prepared to pay more, especially if he has to make numerous trips.
- A burst pipe or leaking shower that is not attended to quickly can result in further damage. Knocking through drywall, pulling up tiles, and replacing ceiling and flooring may not necessarily be performed by the plumber, but if he is tasked to organize people to do this, it will be added to his bill.
- Debris removal or onsite dumpsters will also increase the cost of plumbing repairs.
- If your property is old, correcting onsite violations or removing and replacing old galvanized piping with PVC will be a cost factor to consider.
Tips To Ensure Plumbing Costs Remain As Low As Possible
Any plumbing repair comes at a cost, but there are ways to keep the costs as low as possible while ensuring the job is professionally done.
- Check references and reviews – Do your homework and find out what other clients have to say about the plumbers’ experience, work ethic, and workmanship. It is best to have done all the investigations before you need a plumber in an emergency.
- Make an accurate list of the repairs you need doing, including all details and in order of importance, so that you can be given an accurate estimate of the costs involved. Establish whether you will be charged for the estimate.
- Ensure the plumber you intend to use is qualified, vetted, licensed and reviewed. A background check can also be done. Using an unqualified plumber, who doesn’t complete the job to specifications, and is unfamiliar with the local, state and National Plumbing Codes, could be a very costly mistake.
- Get the estimated cost upfront and in writing. Clarify if the plumber charges an hourly rate, (bearing in mind that the hours can accumulate rapidly) or a rate to complete the whole job.
- Make sure that the plumber is insured, so that any accidents or mistakes made do not become an extra cost you, the homeowner has to carry.
At Art Plumbing, AC & Electric we are fully licensed and insured and our motto is “To always be there when you need us.” so contact us for all your plumbing needs big or small.