The right question to ask though is, ‘Do you know of a plumber that charges a fair price and does a good job?’
No one likes to get ripped off. I know that I don’t when it comes to organizing tradesmen to do work at my house. Fortunately I know and understand how tradies charge so when I get the bill I don’t get any nasty surprises.
But a lot of people have unrealistic expectations of what should be charged. I know I have discussed this on my blog before, but it seems to be a common misconception that a cheap plumber will do a good job. I want to explain to you that there is no such thing as a cheap plumber that does a good job. The only cheap plumbers I know that do do a good job are the ones that offer to do their service for free for friends and family. It’s what we tradies call ‘love jobs’. Jobs paid with love.
If your plumber isn’t a friend or family member, then you need to ask the plumber why their price is so low. Do they have a bad reputation? Are they desperate for work? Why are they desperate for work? Why ask so many questions if they are offering you a price so low you have to accept it? Because if they haven’t allowed enough money on the job or they price themselves too low, you will end up with a half-finished job. A plumber’s worst nightmare is rectifying another plumber’s bad work. Often the work has to be ripped out and started from scratch again which costs more money.
A cheap plumber will compromise on quality not because he (or she) is ‘cheap’ but because they know they have to make a dollar somewhere so they will save money by installing the bare minimum of what is required to get the job done. They will use inferior products because they are cheaper which means more money in their back pocket. Personally when it comes to bathrooms and kitchens, I want the best materials to be used to ensure the longevity of the installation.
I hear it time and time again and not just in the plumbing sector but in all trades of cheap quotes combined with nightmare service on site as well as sky high variations because the quote never allowed for this or that. The difference in quality of installation by a cheaper plumber can be drastic to a plumber that has allowed the correct money to do a job right the first time. The finished product can be miles apart in quality.
If you are looking to renovate your bathroom or kitchen, get a minimum of three quotes and don’t necessarily choose the cheapest price. If you get five prices and three of the quotes received are similar in value, choose the cheapest of the three OR negotiate with your favourite of the three to match the lowest of the three (not the lowest of the five if there is a large gap between the lowest price).
Decisions on using a particular plumber is not always based on price either. Use your intuition and judge the vibe when you meet your plumber in person when obtaining your quote. You want to hire someone you can trust with your project and who will work alongside you. If you don’t get good vibes when meeting them, then trust your gut feeling and don’t use them.
Unfortunately money talks and price is too much of a deciding factor when it comes to choosing a plumber. But there is a reason why you rarely see cheap and quality in the same sentence. Use the same wisdom when choosing your plumber.
If you want to know approximately how much a plumber should charge for a call out fee look at this post. And also check out this post by Plumbing Costs which outlines the hourly cost a plumber should charge.