Reasonable Cost?

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I recently had a small job done by a plumber, and I'm wondering if I got a bargain, paid a typical price for this task, or was overcharged. This is in the greater Los Angeles area. I'd appreciate some feedback on the reasonableness of what I was charged. Here are the details.
I had a 30-year old wobbly toilet. Plumber came out to inspect the job. He said he would remove the toilet, remove the old flange, install a new flange, and then reinstall the toilet. Said it would take a couple of hours, and the price would be $250. I agreed to that. He returned the next day and did what he said. It took him 1 hour and 45 minutes, 30 minutes of which were a trip by him to a nearby Home Depot to purchase the correct size/style/type flange - different than the small selection he already had on his truck. Toilet is now firm, and I'm satisfied with it.
Comments?
Thanks.
--
----------
CWLee
Former slayer of dragons; practice now limited to sacred
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On Wed, 23 Jun 2010 22:46:24 -0700, "CWLee"

Sounds reasonable. I might get it a little cheaper here (SW Fla) but this is not LA.
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toilet. Plumber came out to

Not a bargain, not a royal screwing though. You usually pay $100 jut to have them walk through the door and about $80 to $120 an hour for labor. Unless it was done recently, I'd have him rebuild the toilet while there. Only a few bucks more at that point.
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[...]

The relevant sentences in your post are these: "... the price would be $250." "I agreed to that." "Toilet is now firm, and I'm satisfied with it."
The guy quoted you a price, you agreed to it, he did the job, you're satisfied with the results -- what's the problem?
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I'm the OP, and I never said there was a problem. I have no complaint about the workmanship or the price. My post was intended to solicit feedback about the reasonableness of the price I paid. So far, I interpret the responses to be that what I paid was about right.
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Even if you had paid more, what do you expect a bunch of people on usenet to be able to tell you about it ?
We have no pictures to see what the actual scope of the work was, nor how difficult it was for the plumber to obtain the parts he needed other than your very vague descriptions...
This "buyer's remorse" stuff is really childish... You hired out work you either couldn't do on your own or didn't WANT to do... The project was accomplished and you were happy with the work, it is not like you are going to have an identical project to do anytime soon so its not something you can compare prices on...
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Over the years I have learned much from various Usenet posters, and have read a lot of crap as well.

That level of detail is not necessary for the general feedback I was seeking.

No "buyer's remorse" here at all. That is your assumption, and a faulty one.

Correct.
While it is true that I will probably not have an identical project anytime soon, the feedback I was seeking will be useful in terms of whether to recommend this particular plumber to friends, or to use him again for other projects at my home. Car mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and other skilled workers are easy to find if one wants to use the phone book or online directories - but my circle of friends strongly prefer to use only such workers who are personally recommended by someone who has used them, would use them again, and who recommend them to their friends.
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My point was that since he did the work at the agreed-upon price, and you're satisfied with the results, you really don't have any reason to question whether the charge was reasonable or not -- you already agreed that it was.
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I agreed that it was reasonable for ME, at that time, that place, those circumstances. What I was seeking from others here was THEIR opinion as to the reasonableness of the price in the situation described.
If several posters replied that it sounded more like a $100 job to them, I wouldn't use again or recommend to others this particular plumber. If the consensus of replies was that a more typical cost was ~$500, then I'd certainly use this plumber again, and recommend him to my friends. As I interpret the responses so far I don't think I got either a bargain or a rip-off. I received confirmation that others think the price was reasonable, thus reinforcing my own original opinion.
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wrote:

I understand exactly why you were asking, I think it's a reasonable question. Works for me.
Cheri
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wrote:

Me three! I've often asked the same question and gotten <sigh> similar results. The issue for me is that when a critical system is in failure mode, you don't have the luxury or time to get a lot of competitive bids. You bite the bullet and do it if the price doesn't strike you as highway robbery. You still want to know afterwards whether it was high, low or spot on. Considering everything that went wrong on me when my buddy and I tried to install a new toilet, $250 sounds just about right, especially if the right parts weren't on the truck. I am sure that you know that in that fee are bits of licensing, insurance, tools, truck upkeep, etc.
Reminds me of the old engineering joke. A company exec sees an engineer fix an expensive machine by just putting a bolt through a hole. He demands a breakdown of the $1000 bill.
Bolt ----- $0.50 Knowing where to put bolt - $999.50
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

Yes, this question and the answers will give me some idea if it happens to me in the future, since in many areas I have no idea what the charge should be. You always have a few know it alls with smart assed answers, but it's worth it for the good answers you get.
Cheri
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I agreed that it was reasonable for ME, at that time, that place, those circumstances. What I was seeking from others here was THEIR opinion as to the reasonableness of the price in the situation described.
If several posters replied that it sounded more like a $100 job to them, I wouldn't use again or recommend to others this particular plumber. If the consensus of replies was that a more typical cost was ~$500, then I'd certainly use this plumber again, and recommend him to my friends. As I interpret the responses so far I don't think I got either a bargain or a rip-off. I received confirmation that others think the price was reasonable, thus reinforcing my own original opinion.
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CWLee posted for all of us...

Having second thoughts? Don't! You could always find someone to beat the price with wildly varying results. You probably found a good guy.
--
Tekkie Don't bother to thank me, I do this as a public service.

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You have to consider their traveling time and initial call to evaluate problem and give estimate. Cost and maintenance of truck, insurance and other expenses of plumber must be considered. Couple of years ago, county strapped for money, imposed new $400 license fee on all contractors above what state already requires. All these things add up.
You want to get cheap plumbing done, get some guy working under the table and pay cash.
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wrote:

You have to consider their traveling time and initial call to evaluate problem and give estimate. Cost and maintenance of truck, insurance and other expenses of plumber must be considered. Couple of years ago, county strapped for money, imposed new $400 license fee on all contractors above what state already requires. All these things add up.
You want to get cheap plumbing done, get some guy working under the table and pay cash.
reply:
OR, if you want to get a beeswax flange seal changed, and entirely change the guts of your own toilet yourself, DO IT YOURSELF! We're not talking plumbing here. We're talking about changing parts. There's no plumbing involved in changing a flange gasket. And not much involved in changing a flange. And absolutely none involved in rebuilding a toilet.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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Suppose a year from now I needed to change the flange, how would I remove the old one easily? Remember, it is made of plastic and glued to the plastic upright pipe that comes up from the sewer line, using the same kind of glue that lawn sprinkler systems use to connect joints and pipes.
I hope I never have to do that, but it sounds like I'd need some tool to fit inside the upright pipe and then cut the pipe. Then, since the pipe would be ending a few inches lower than before, I'd need a way to extend the pipe upwards so the new flange could be installed at the same level as before. (The upright plastic pipe comes up through a hole in the concrete slab, and there is less than an inch of clearance on each side of the pipe and the slab.)
Thanks for whatever ideas on doing this that you can share.
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Dremel or Rotozip type rotary tool with a 2" cutting disc on a mandrel (cut inside >out) on the ABS/PVC

Such fittings are available at HD..ask the "old guy"/plumber there..the "kids" dont know anything
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wrote

Do exactly what you did here. Research it. Ask questions from people who have done it before. I think I may have discharged without fully being prepared. Did the man jackhammer out your flange, and put a new one, or just exactly what did he do? Or did he just put new bolts and a new wax ring on there, or did you even see what he did? Did you see if the flange was in terribly corroded condition so that he could not just put new bolts and a new wax ring? Yes, getting a flange out that has been there a while can be a booger. But it's done every day all over the world.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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CWLee wrote:

Yes, it was a reasonable price. The fact that he came out the first day and gave you a price and then had to come out a second time to do the job makes it even more reasonable. For the plumber, that's two travel times to the same job, and any time he spends travelling to jobs and going to jobs to give prices is time that he is not on another job making money.
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