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How to price a plumbing job

Updated March 23, 2017

Plumbing jobs can be divided into material costs and labour costs. If you do not price your plumbing jobs accurately, you risk losing the project to another plumbing company who understands correct bids. Plumbers who have a plumbing job pricing sytem win more bids, earn more money and can teach others to bid accurately.

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  1. Determine the parts needed to complete the plumbing job. Factor all materials, such as pipes, toilet parts, faucets and bathtubs, to arrive at an accurate assessment of the material costs.

  2. Calculate the distance needed for the straight pipes you will need. If you are replacing parts in a certain location, determine the pipe sizes needed to replace the faulty ones. If you are working on a plumbing addition, calculate those materials.

  3. Obtain prices for each item you must buy. You can develop a list of vendor relationships over time, which can provide you with excellent pricing on materials. Write down the sum you obtain after adding up your material costs. Add £6 to this amount, to account for tiny essential items--washers, screws, bolts and nuts, for example.

  4. Estimate how many hours you need to complete the job. Include trips to the supply store.

  5. Factor in your hourly rate. If you are not sure how much to charge customers per hour, phone other plumbing companies in your area to learn their hourly rates. Pick one you feel is fair. For example, if you have a new plumbing business, price your services lower than your competitors to build a list of satisfied clients quickly.

  6. Calculate your final estimate. Multiply the hours it will take you to finish the project by your hourly rate. Add the costs for parts to your labour costs. Add an additional minimum 8 per cent to this figure, to account for error or unexpected costs, be they time or parts.

  7. Tip

    As you do more estimates, you will become faster with pricing skills.


    If you under-estimate your bid and you are awarded the job, you may eat the overage costs, so don't be too conservative in your estimates.

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