On Mon, 22 Jul 2013 23:08:32 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."
You'll pay what you pay, and if you do the requisite job in scoping
out plumbers, it should be fair enough.
All the stuff you did took some money invested in tools, your time,
and the time spent posting here.
There's no "right" or "wrong" in hiring or DIY when it's legal.
Up to the individual.
We need some photos to fully understand your question:
Show some photos of your:
garbage disposal unit,
the drain pipe located 60' down,
the street you live on showing the slope
the kind of truck your plumber drives
the phone you use to make the call
the phone the plumber uses to anser the call
the weather outside
anything else you can think of
Please provide photos of at least 6Mb resolution.
I think that's pretty low, actually.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but have you ever worked as your own
boss in a service business? Like Ed, Vic and others I find $50 quite low
considering all that it takes to run a plumbing service where you can sit
for days without a call and then get so much work in one day you can't
handle it all.
Often the variability in pricing comes from a new guy looking for business
and to build a repeat customer work, so they are willing to work cheap,
perhaps even for less than what the job costs them. Some are new to the
business and don't really know what to charge or what their costs are, at
least until after the first tax bill comes.
Sadly, most independents I know don't have health insurance, don't have a
pension fund - they don't have a lot of things that salaried employees take
for granted. Sometimes (like me) they eventually decide enough is enough
with contracting and go to work for someone who *will* give them health
insurance, disability insurance, pension contributions and steady work.
Many don't until it's too late.
The work that you don't see (van and tool maintenance, insurance, license
fees, taxes, accounting, advertising, etc) also contributes greatly to the
price. I know more than a few contractors who were popular because they
were low-priced AND good and then ended up with enormous tax debts because
they weren't as good at the business side of things as they were at their
The repeated failures I've seen of small, new businesses for tax reasons
makes me think that taxes should be forgiven for all small businesses less
than three years old. Collecting money from them seems about as sensible as
pointing a gun at a cherry tree seedling and demanding fruit.
My employer never wrote me a bad paycheck, either, but as a contractor, more
than one client did, adding to the cost of running a business.
I've found that if you're willing to make a few calls, you can always get a
better deal or at least a sense of what the "going rate" is.
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