Questioning faucet install charges

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The OP should have asked questions before hiring someone. I'd consider it an expensive lesson and remember to do your homework before jumping in.
Get at least 3 estimates on something like this in the future. I wonder, was the plumber asked for a ballpark price at all. If not, I'd say you gave him a blank check. And he should have, at least, kissed your mom on the lips after screwing her...
CP
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wrote:

re: getting estimates...
First you said: No, not for what should have been a trivial job. Then you said: Clearly yes.
Which is it?
I can't think of any situation where one shouldn't need to ask for an estimate when contracting a service. The fact that there are unscrupulous contractors that will rip off naive clients is just *one* of many reasons to get an estimate.
Piece together some of the other things mentioned in this thread:
- No main shutoff in the house - Non-standard installation of the current fixtures - A mess above and below the sink - Location of plumbing that makes access time consuming - etc. etc.
Asking upfront opens the window for the contractor to say "I charge $80 and hour. A typical faucet install takes 2 hours." If he doesn't offer details as to what could make the install non-typical, you should ask. Then everyone knows upfront what the cost range of the job could be and the correct decisions can be made.
Part of this conversation should also include questions about insurance, clean-up and warranty.
In plumbing, as with many other repair jobs, the expectation of a "trivial job" is a dangerous assumption and should be inquired about upfront.
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What don't you understand? One was the policy that was followed. The other represents what should have been done, in retrospect.

Mentioned by whom? Me? No.

I never said any such thing. There's a shut off about 10' away next to the water meter. Open a closet and turn a valve.

What was non standard about it? No shutoffs? Millions of homes were built without individual shutoffs under each sink or toilet. It's a convenience to have them but hardly a necessity. Ditto flexes. That's a more recent thing.

Huh? Where are you getting that from?

Huh? It's a kitchen with ordinary cabinets and two large doors leading to the area under the sink. Piping as shown in the photo. I don't see anything special about the access.
Please confine your comments to my description and the photos not fictions suggested by others.

Yes, apparently so. But I'll still consider this a trivial job unless someone makes a convincing argument why it wasn't. Maybe not as trivial as if there were flexible connections but if it were that easy we wouldn't have decided to leave it to a pro.
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Would you please stop your complaining. What did you think it would cost? According to the pictures you have a 4 piece set that had to be connected with the sink in place. You try it. Also according to your pictures all the drain lines are directly in the way so this guy had to weave in and out of this mess. We also haven't heard how much trouble the old faucet was to get out. Lets face it, you replaced it for a reason. It's been on there for quite a while just rotting away. Think about having to remove a weathered screw that looks simple but has been rusted on for years but takes forever and a half can of wd-40. Now multiply that by 4 and in the tight cabinet, upside down with minimal lighting, on your back with water dripping on your face. You try it. If you really have a problem with it, contact the plumber and ask him. No one here knows where this is, a small town in ohio or the middle of NY city. Also, why aren't you taking care of it instead of leaving it to your mother? You should be making the appointments and meeting the plumber. It sounds to me that your lucky she actually got a plumber and not someone casing the house. Quit your griping and start taking care of your senior citizen mother. Lou
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No, it's one piece. Yes, you have to put the knobs on and the spout and spray attachment but the basic unit is one piece like most. It's not individual valves with connecting lines.

Wow you got me there. The drain lines are in the way? Aren't they in the way of each and every single sink and many/most double sinks?

What you are describing sounds like ordinary kitchen faucet replacement. Which others have said goes for maybe 150-250. You're grasping at excuses for pure and simple price gouging.

Actually, everyone else besides you knows. Had you read my posting I indicated it was suburban Chicago.
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wrote:

It's appears that you have some trouble understanding hypotheticals. I really shouldn't waste my time explaining the post that you dissected so completely, but since I think it will help you, I will.
My post was not about whether or not this was a trivial job. It was all about the fact that you did not get an estimate before you/your Mom allowed the contractor to begin work. It was all about the reasons why you *always* get an estimate before work begins. I'm not talking about 3 estimates, toss the lowest, get references, etc. I'm talking about. "Hey, what's this going to cost me and what factors might increase the cost."
In the same post you said it was a trivial job that shouldn't have required a estimate, and then you finished with "Clearly Yes" it required a estimate. In other words, you basically taught yourself a good lesson: What appears to be a trivial job, and may in fact *be* a trivial job, stills requires a discussion before any tools are put to use. Once you allow a contractor - an unknown contractor especially - to begin work without a clear understanding of the cost (or possible costs) of the job, you have opened yourself to one of 2 things:
Best Case: The job is not as trivial as you thought and parts and labor will be more than you expected.
Worst case: You opened your checkbook to an unscrupulous contractor who sees a green light to rip you off.
Now, let's discuss the Best Case - remember, we're talking about why you should always get an estimate, not about your Mom's sink.
All I did was list a few of the items that other people mentioned in their posts as possible reasons why a faucet install could become a non-trivial job - in other words, the reasons why an estimate is required in every case. You/your Mom look at the sink/faucet and say "Hey, that's an hour's worth of work." A contractor looks at the same job and sees limited access to the pipes he has to cut/sweat, no main shutoff, etc. I never said your situation had any of those factors because my post was not about your situation - once again, it was about why a person should get an estimate before work begins.
Unfortunately, in your case, the job, as trivial as it turned out to be, appears to have been subject to the Worst Case scenario. You/your Mom didn't ask for an estimate and the contractor (appears to have) seen an opportunity to rip Mom off. An estimate (read: discussion) beforehand may have avoided this situation because the contractor would be put on the spot and his response may have raised a flag.
Please don't waste your time with your precision scalpel cutting this post up because it will be completely ignored, at least by me. Bottom line is that you have appeared to have learned a very important lesson and hopefully will not make the same mistake next time.
Good luck to you and your Mom.
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wrote:

I think it's a fair price.
You don't deserve any of the normal breaks that a customer gets for being a long-time customer or having a lot of work to do. Travel time is the same if he is there for 5 minutes or for 4 hours. Plus there's probably a PITA surcharge from the sounds of it.
Figure a $100 fee for a service call plus $90/hour for a 4 hour minimum (including travel) plus parts. Not too bad for a big city. You're not going to get this done for $50.
Next time, have him supply the faucet and you'll probably get the whole thing done for the same price.
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Obviously you are one of the rip off plumbers yourself. No right thinking person would think this is a proper charge.
s

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On Mon, 24 Mar 2008 07:16:01 -0500, "S. Barker"

Obviously you and Tony Hwang dont have a clue. Maybe get out in the world once in a while and look at the price of things lately. Have you noticed gasoline is well above $3.00 a gallon? No, I didnt think so. Start your own service/installation business and come back here in 6 months and tell me how well you ARENT doing charging $40hr. Bubba

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I've got 5 rental houses all which are about 100 years old. You don't have to tell me about real world. 3 of them i've rewired myself and 2 have been replumbed. I've NEVER taken more than an hour to install cutoffs and a new faucet. I'd dare someone to show me one I'd take more than an hour and a half on.
Also, the price of gas has no bearing on this thread.
s

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On Mon, 24 Mar 2008 11:14:50 -0500, "S. Barker"

Hmmmm. Your story gets interesting now. You have 5 rentals which it appears you are quite versed in doing plumbing repairs including shut offs, wiring, etc.............HOWEVER, you leave your poor old mom to the wolves of the plumbing industry to "rape" her through the pocketbook. What kind of sun-of-a-bitch son are you? You wont save your mom a few bucks and go put in a simple 1 hr faucet (as you say) but you will but it for her (online with her money, Im sure) and then leave her to deal with the contractors. You are one sorry excuse for a human.

Nothing you say? What the hell do you think happens to the price of almost everything when the price of gasoline keeps going up? Think real hard. Bubba

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This should be fun to watch...
Steve Kraus asked about the cost of his Mom's faucet installation.
S. Barker said he has 5 rental units.
Bubba called S. Barker a "sun-of-a-bitch son" and "one sorry excuse for a human".
Stay tuned...
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I just consider the source. You know..... sticks and stones....
s
This should be fun to watch...
Steve Kraus asked about the cost of his Mom's faucet installation.
S. Barker said he has 5 rental units.
Bubba called S. Barker a "sun-of-a-bitch son" and "one sorry excuse for a human".
Stay tuned...
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Ummmmmm... HELLOOOOOOOO. I was not the original poster..... My mom's dead, thank you.
s

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