More than anything, a plumbing estimate is a sign of good faith between a plumber and his customers. Marking the beginning of their professional relationship, the plumbing estimate details the expected plumbing costs in advance, thereby ensuring that there are no unexpected surprises as the job progresses. At the same time, by accepting the quote and by hiring the plumber providing it, the customer agrees to pay the anticipated fees.
Plumbing estimates should be calculated for any type of plumbing job, whether big or small, both in residential and commercial establishments. There are various ways in which an estimate can be given to customers: the quickest ways are either online or over the phone. In most cases, these types of quotes are free of charge, which is, to be sure, a big advantage. However, these more or less instant estimates are not necessarily accurate: when a customer provides the required information regarding the specific plumbing problem at hand, he or she may inadvertently leave out an important detail which could turn out to have a huge impact, both on the plumber's job and on the costs involved.
It is therefore highly recommended that plumbing estimates be calculated following an on-site inspection of the plumbing predicament in question. When conducting the inspection, the plumber can accurately assess the extent of the project, and approximately determine how long the job will take and how many workers will be needed to complete it, as these are both crucial components of the estimate.
Furthermore, when calculating the quote, the plumber will take into account the nature of the project – i.e. whether it is a fairly simple repair task or a more complicated replacement and installation job, and the plumbing fixture for which the service is required. Additional factors to be considered are the cost of the materials needed for the job, the distance the plumber will be required to travel daily, and the location of the project - whether in a big metropolis or in distant rural town.
Plumbers estimates by the hour
Some plumbers calculate their estimates according to an hourly rate. The varying rates are based on the experience and seniority of the specific contractor in question. Accordingly, a master plumber will likely charge more than a journeyman plumber or an apprentice plumber. At the same time it is important to remember that although a more experienced plumbing contractor charges higher hourly rates, it is precisely his experience and know-how which will enable him to complete the job faster than a novice plumber, and in the long run this may prove to be more cost-effective for the customer.
An hourly estimate should, in addition, to the specific rates, also include the price of the required materials. It is therefore imperative that a plumber who charges by the hour conduct a thorough inspection of the plumbing job at hand, so that quote can accurately reflect the specifics of the project.