• David Falk

Why I haven't received my plumbing quote ?

With the recent rain we have received lots of requests for quotes, for new a roof, new guttering and downpipes or stormwater replacements, etc… So I thought this article might help explain the difference between the pricing options plumbers offer and jargon often used in the industry.

There are different options you can choose from: Do and charge, fixed priced, quotes and estimates, it can look much easier on The Block when they just have to break the glass and team of plumbers arrive.

Do and charge versus fixed pricing, what is best for you?

Do and charge or variable pricing: This is where you book us and we come and complete the work at your home or commercial premises as quickly as possible. Often this is a cheaper option as you are only charged for the materials and labour used on your job.

Fixed Pricing: This isn’t something that LMN Plumbing has offered to date, but we would love to hear from you to see if this is something you would like us to investigate. Fixed pricing is often used for smaller jobs under $3,000, the costs are likely to be more expensive than the other options as the job will be completed without having seen the job in advance and is based on the information the homeowner can provide to the plumbing company therefore a set price will be generated based on many potential factors. Is it a quote I need to estimate? “I thought they were the same thing”. You are not alone if you thought an estimate and quote are essentially the same thing. You had a plumber come to your house and they said it would be about $500, why is my bill now $650?

Quote: A quotation is an agreed fixed price with a full scope of works after an in person inspection of the problem area. After which LMN Plumbing calculates what materials will be required and liaises with a range of suppliers to secure you the best product deals, warranties and quality. A full quote can often take 8 hours to complete and will be provided to you with full material and labour listing, scope of works and expected out come and often with a technical diagram.

Estimate: Whereas an estimate is an approximate price that may change, when the job is seen or started. An estimate can often be provided by using photos, videos, plans and measurements the homeowner has provided. We will use one supplier to gauge material prices and if when we are on site we find things aren’t as described or expected the price can change. Estimates can be prepared much quicker and often provided on the same day or by the next day. How do you choose if you should use an estimate or quote? If your project is at the planning stages you aren’t sure if its going to go ahead, then let the plumber know as an estimate is a good way to get an idea of affordability. If you project is large on scale, you are ready or nearly ready to proceed then a quote is ideally as it will give you a firm costing.

What should I consider? Here are some points to consider when contacting a plumber, and some of the frequently asked questions when it comes to seeking a price for your plumbing job. I am just at the planning stage, what do I need? Let the plumber know know if you are just at the planning stage of a project, sometimes leaning on the extensive experience our plumbers have means there are other ways of completing the project and it can give you a better result or at a cheaper price.

How many quotes do I need and how are they different? If you seeking more than two quotes, you are probably looking for the cheapest option, unless there is something very specific you are looking for with your plumber. If you have a specific need such as the cheapest quote, it is best to let the plumbing company know, as most companies can tell you if they are going to be in the range of the cheapest companies. This will save you and the plumbing company lots of time. Where as if you are looking for plumbing experience that provides quality workmanship, insurances, materials not being cut from the job and for the fix or renovation to last you many years these plumbing companies will not be the cheapest companies. They have increased overheads compared to a man in a van or a handyman who may not have a plumbing qualification or relevant insurances.

I am a bit of a DIY expert and I can help keep costs down! Sometimes homeowners may want to do part of the work themselves to help keep the costs down, e.g. digging trenches. This is an option, however in our experience this can often workout to the same cost as if the plumber had completed the works or even more expensive if a variation notice has to be issued if the works have not be completed to code or are not ready when you want your works completed.

I recommend having that conversation with your plumber as it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Why am I asked so many questions? The more information a plumber can understand about your job, what you are looking for in your plumbing project the easier we can tailor a quote or schedule a project for you saving you time and money as the project unfolds. We have started presenting a questionnaire for larger jobs which enable us to get a great understanding of your needs. If we ask you to complete a questionnaire we would love your thoughts on the experience so we can make it as pain free as possible.

How long is a quote valid for? Currently LMN Plumbing’s quotes are valid for 30 days. This is due to the highly variable costs we are experience currently in materials, insurances and fuel. I hope you have found this article help and if you have questions that have not been answered in this post please let us know and we can add the answers to the FAQs on our website or to this blog post.

Thanks, Helen (the plumber's other half)

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