NFR Any Plumbers on the Board?

Bradley Miller

Dances with fish
Yes they do, if you figure in L and I, unemployment insurance, liability insurance, health insurance, vacations, sick leave, personal time, pensions, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention overhead: contracting insurance, business licenses and taxes, people who don't pay, margins for errors, etc etc etc. Compare the apples with the apples, and it'll look a bit different.

Bradley Miller

Dances with fish
What Boeing, as a for instance, pays per hour to a tech or an engineer is a whole lot different than what they charge for that same hour to build a plane. Just sayin'.

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
3 words- free market enterprise.

They are worth what people are willing to pay them.

The cost of an item is determined by the market not the cost of production, save for a few products like food and fuel etc.

Go Sox,


the sultan of swing
If so, please tell me why plumbing repairs are so friggin expensive -- 30 year, 747 captains don't make that much/hour!
Then maybe they should try their hand at being Plumbers, It has been said that the only difference between Plumbers & Doctors is a Doctor washes his hands before he gos to work and a Plumber washes his after work, the pay is the same!!!!!
Having been in the contracting business for much of my life I understand the sticker shock of a craftman's hourly rate to a homeowner or business man. If a guy has a goal of making a decent living to support himself and his family he needs 50 grand minimum annually. Figuring expenses, tools, truck gas, taxes L & I etc,etc,etc. said guy would need 100 grand in charged labor to make it work. You don't get work every day so you have to figure if you can get 1500 billable hours a year that is a good average. Based on that the hourly rate from shop to job and back to the shop has got to be about $70.00 per hour. When you figure it out at the end of the year that would be about $25. per hour gross wages. Not much when you figure the guy is going to solve your shitty problem.
I was giving an estimate to do some work in a Lexus dealership one time and I quoted the owner a rate of $75. per hour plus materials. He immediately cried foul and began to negotiate a lower rate. We were standing near a work staion in his deluxe shop area and there was a prominant sign on the wall behind him,,,LABOR RATE $90.00 PER HOUR. I just nodded toward the sign and stood there. He signed the purchase order and we did the work.
When you are charging for work it seems reasonable when you are paying it seems like highway robbery.
You would not believe the number of Doctors who ask for side work. I'm a electrician working at a hospital. I get really insulted when someone takings home more than two, three or for all I know ten times as much, wants me to risk my licence helping them avoid paying a fair rate.

I know guys that do side work. They don't take the possible consequences of their actions in to account.


Well-Known Member
Good description Jesse. Overhead costs are very real but unseen by the customer. When I was building my house I figured the various contractors needed to charge roughly twice their wages in order to cover overhead and break even. Still got some good deals.

Jeff, what exactly is "side work?" Does that mean off the books, cash under the table, and not charging tax or paying L&I ?

Sg, that's right. Besides risking a fine and/or suspension of their licence. If they get hurt, no L&I.
Also there is the liability involved. If there is a fire, they could be held accountable. Including criminality, like if someone dies.

They think because their only taking cash their protected. Wrong. Say I'm a Ins. adjuster called out for a house fire. The fire marshal determines the cause was electrical work. I ask the homeowner if they had someone do work? Did they get a permit? Where they licensed and bonded?

Now I'm not a Ins. adjuster. But these sound like good reasons to deny a claim. Wouldn't you " the home owner" go after the guy who might have done the work in question.

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