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How much should plumbing/heating guys charge?

that's the average rate for the area some are higher then others depending upon business over head and the size of the company ,i myself am a 1 man shop and do installation and service work mostly in bergen county ,i personally have heard the same for pse&g but in some case i have heard good ,if your promblem is not with the boiler but with uneven heat ,pipe banging ,spitting vents and your plumber or service provider cannot correct them or give any insight on the promblem then it's time to find some one else as for outta the blue emergency service it's always expensive usually exzcept when you have some one who regularlly provides service .i myself usually don't crush my custermers on service calls except i do have a ongoing business realtionship with when and usually we are all on first name bases with trust and honestist following right behind peace and good luck clammy at RDEUZA@aol.com


  • dcha
    dcha Member Posts: 50
    How much should plumbing/heating guys charge?

    I'm in Northern NJ, where things tend to be pretty expensive. I just moved into my home with gas-fired steam radiator heat. Just wondering what kind of service options there are. I spoke to someone who said that "service contracts" with annual flat fees in case anything goes wrong are useless because they don't typically cover the parts that usually fail. Only thing that's free is for them to come out and diagnose the problem. Then there is this other guy that charges $120 for the first half hour and $120 every hour after that. Parts are separate of course. What makes more sense?
  • gas

    i'm located in north jersey for all in all if your system has been serviced and check by a professinal as part of a annaul heating system inspection which most manafactures do reccomend will in alot of cases help pervent some break downs by checking and fixing anything which may become a issue as the nights get colder and your system is running ,i also know that the local gas company does offer service contracts and just add a fee to your monthly bill and in most cases you may have a few hour of days wait till they are able to come they do have alot of custermers ,or better yet find yourself a professinal that is in your area that you can build a realationship with and trust that when you do have a promblem they will be right over ,also find some one that is well versued and familar with steam systems not everyone knows steam systems and how to make them shine and work as they where intended to ,you can check the FAP section on this site it may be your answer ,where are you located in north jersey peace and good luck clammy
  • dcha
    dcha Member Posts: 50

    Thanks for your reply. I'm in Ridgewood. Do you think the $120/hr is steep? This is from a guy that serviced the heating and plumbing for this house with the prior owners for 16 years. I've had PSE&G contracts in the past. They're cheap, but they really don't do much. They come by, take a look, and if nothing's broken, they don't do anything.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    A broader view

    Someone else can tell you better, but think of it from the service person's side: What is their cost of doing business? What are their fixed overhead expenses, benefits, expected profit? Profit is not a dirty word but a motivator.

    The contractor has to be careful pricing just to get the job- no business can sustain itself pricing below the cost of doing business for long.

    "What the market will bear" is another benchmark but it can also cost them some jobs.

    Check out Ellen Rohr's books in the On-Line Store. I am a tad removed from the day to day of the payroll side of things, thankfully, but I found a new appreciation for what it takes and makes me a better consumer.

    As Dan and others have once said (and forgive me for not recognizing the actual source), if you are getting ALL of the jobs, your price is too low. Something has to give.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Rich Kontny_3
    Rich Kontny_3 Member Posts: 562

    You have to take into consideration how you value the health and safety of your loved ones and yourself!

    You want competant well trained service techs to install,service and maintain your sophisticated heating and plumbing systems. Very few DIY or handymen have these skills.

    In this day and age of high fuel costs, liability issues and scams you want to establish and maintain a relationship with the service provider(s) you let in your home(s)

    There are participants of this site that are some of the best in America if not the world. Please keep in mind my older brother's favorite quote: " Good fish ain't cheap, cheap fish ain't good"

    $120.00 sounds not only fair in your area but perhaps under priced!

    Rich K.

    Make Peace Your Passion while Supporting our Troops!
  • Maine Doug_66
    Maine Doug_66 Member Posts: 28
    Ask yourself some questions

    If you just moved in you may not have all the answers till winter. I used to live in Waldwick, my next door neighbor was in Ridgewood.

    Do all the radiators get hot fairly quickly?
    Is the house heated evenly?
    Is the system really quiet?
    How do the fuel bills compare to the neighbors in similar houses?
    What does the service person do to the system before the heating season begins? (Get one of Dan's books for more details)
    It is a Sunday on a three day weekend and you system stops making steam, what is your time expection for a person to show up?

    If you find that your system is working just peachy and that he will come out on that Sunday, what would you yourself expect to be paid to be available and to have maintained the steamer? And remember you don't have to maintain the service truck, stock parts, pay workman's comp and both halves of FICA, extra insurance, license fees, blah blah....

    Sounds likes that hourly rate might be a bargain.
  • rb_6
    rb_6 Member Posts: 222

    The average age of a construction worker is estimated to be 47 and over and more than 240,000 skilled tradesmen retire each year in North America.

    Both the U.S. and Canadian governments have for the last decade continually issued concerns about available skilled trades...

    Your question = How much should plumbing/heating guys charge?

    My answer = Way more than they do now and your best time to get their services is today.

    Put into perspective – a quality website service provider charges $150 hr… sitting at a desk - no cold, no dirt, no rain, no terms…prepaid blocks of time or everything due on completion with credit card. Life and death service – hardly.

    Your plumbing and heating – well – one can value to themselves what it means to be cold and without sewer services...if in doubt of the value - just ask the boss of the house.
  • Bob R
    Bob R Member Posts: 24

This discussion has been closed.