What I do know is that I can come in and charge based on $40/hr, and do
the job as well as your shop, and make more money than you pay your guys
(well maybe not).
I always tell people to get an estimate first. They're thrilled to pay
me. I can usually install a WH for $100 over whatever the cost is from Home
Depot, and be perfectly happy with the profit. How much would you charge
over the cost of the heater itself?
Before you go on one of your rampages, just remember that I was a
journeyman plumber for many years. I operate out of my trunk for a little
extra cash, but I'm as skilled as any average plumber. I end up making more
than if I worked part-time for some contractor. I don't have to worry about
inventory, overhead, or other headaches. I just swoop in and out. Ain't
America great! The marketplace is a "dog eat dog" world, and guys like me
fill a needed niche. I bet there's some days where you'd trade places with
me in a minute!