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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Seems whenever a family member or friend has a plumbing problem, it becomes my problem.

Everyone wants a deal or for free.
I don’t mind doing small things at times..

But when you need a cast iron stack replaced or multiple fixtures swapped, doing it on the cheap or comp gets old.

Someone is always needing something: A faucet installed, a disposal, a water heater, some gas line ran, a flush lever changed.

It’s always something.

“Can you come over the weekend or after work?” Is all I hear.

1/3 of them thinks it’s all easy. 1/3 thinks it should be free, the other third thinks it should be virtually free.

Nobody has a clue the years I spent learning this, and tons of money being a shop owner.

I once handed a family member an actual bill and they were offended.


Honestly, I’d rather just avoid doing work for people I know. I want to tell them that I can’t lose thousands to save you hundreds, as Monday through Friday is for my business, and weekends are for me and my wife, and I need the rest for
the upcoming work week.

I don’t want to be rude, but I’m sick of being asked to do work for family and friends. I’m sick of their problems becoming mine.



Any suggestions how to cordially tell them Im not interested in doing work for them. I don’t want to mix work with them at all in any capacity. Regardless even if they did pay my going rate.

I prefer booking people I don’t know as I don’t like any kind of business with family and friends.

Push comes to shove I’ll just tell them the deal,but I don’t always come off nicely and don’t want to outright cause bad feelings.

I’m just sick of it.

Thanks for reading my post.
 

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I charge family and friends $20-$30 an hour and they buy parts. Depends on the physical expenditure and travel whether I would want additional compensation such as beer or food. Mostly not plumbing tho, working on cars and concrete/landscaping and light finish work.
Only people I do anything for free for is my parents and they usually don’t let me walk without buying me a tool for work.
I’ve always done it that way and enjoyed it. If it takes me six hours learning how to do it they pay for that. Just has to be understood out of the gate.
If people don’t want to pay I don’t do the work and do my best to get them in contact with a reputable professional in that field.
 

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My master has always said “with friends and family, who needs enemies?”
I turn it into a barter situation for the most part. I’ve done a bunch of work for my neighbor, I get three weeks at their cabin up north. They pay for material. My in-laws, well they helped us buy our house. I have some friends who will barter with ammo, brewing equipment, their skills for what work I have around my house. Other than that, if I don’t have time, I don’t have time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My master has always said “with friends and family, who needs enemies?”
I turn it into a barter situation for the most part. I’ve done a bunch of work for my neighbor, I get three weeks at their cabin up north. They pay for material. My in-laws, well they helped us buy our house. I have some friends who will barter with ammo, brewing equipment, their skills for what work I have around my house. Other than that, if I don’t have time, I don’t have time.
Do the in-laws get it on the comp!?
 

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Do the in-laws get it on the comp!?
More like repaying them. Their 50th is coming up, they don’t know it yet, but they’re getting an RO system. I’ve replaced their heater, toilet, kitchen faucet a couple of time, drain cleaning… hasn’t been a whole lot. I do want to replace their cpvc with pex. It’ll be easy. Between my kid and I we’ll knock it out in a few hours.
 

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There are many threads on the subject, a search will provide many hours of reading.

I unclogged a drain for a friend and didn't charge him, then a year later, I hadn't seen him or heard from him the whole year and he asked to replace the kitchen faucet and I redid to code the hot/cold. I got a small tip. Next time full price. His sister full price, I did 2 jobs for her this summer.

Mother in law, no hell no, I had an extreme story on that, she argued I had to give out free delta parts because they were warrantied, she didn't care I had pay for them! She finally called a hack.

Father in law not much I will do as he lives on the 24th storey, liability is too great, I only do easy stuff free because he does my taxes.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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Seems whenever a family member or friend has a plumbing problem, it becomes my problem.

Everyone wants a deal or for free.
I don’t mind doing small things at times..
I can proudly boast to all that I am considered an ass/ole by all my relatives
and that is how I want it to be....

I have worked for many of them for free
only to see pictures of last weeks big party on facebook with every relative I know there
but no one cared to invite the plumber cousin who does them favors all the time..
Very nice and so considerate.to post your party on face book for the skum and outcasts
in the family to see. 👿 Nice family picture you took there too....

Soo That was the last straw for me and I got onto Facebook and asked what was the reason
you dont invite the cousin who takes care of all your plumbing issues all year long to your
big fall hog roast..----- huh.????..
I would have taken a bath and cleaned up at least a few days before the party,
and maybe even the day of the party :confused::confused:

Ohhhhh we forgot to invite you Uncle Mark........ sooo sorry...

well since that little nasty skirmish ,, they now know better than to even think of asking me for anything.
for free.... Their account is dried up and Its all COD for the past 15 years or more now.... full price

If they want a "deal" on a water heater I tell them
they can go to Lowes and get one....

sorry, no more charity
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can proudly boast to all that I am considered an ass/ole by all my relatives
and that is how I want it to be....

I have worked for many of them for free
only to see pictures of last weeks big party on facebook with every relative I know there
but no one cared to invite the plumber cousin who does them favors all the time..
Very nice and so considerate.to post your party on face book for the skum and outcasts
in the family to see. 👿 Nice family picture you took there too....

Soo That was the last straw for me and I got onto Facebook and asked what was the reason
you dont invite the cousin who takes care of all your plumbing issues all year long to your
big fall hog roast..----- huh.????..
I would have taken a bath and cleaned up at least a few days before the party,
and maybe even the day of the party :confused::confused:

Ohhhhh we forgot to invite you Uncle Mark........ sooo sorry...

well since that little nasty skirmish ,, they now know better than to even think of asking me for anything.
for free.... Their account is dried up and Its all COD for the past 15 years or more now.... full price

If they want a "deal" on a water heater I tell them
they can go to Lowes and get one....

sorry, no more charity
Love it!
 

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I Like Tater Tots
Plumber since 1979. 42 years and still rollin'
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Yep it needs to be full price. If they were true friends and relatives they would be happy to give it to you instead of someone else. But in my experience no matter how big of a break you give them they feel like they got screwed so fluk em. Pay full price or call someone else.
 

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I either do it for free if I happen to have the parts laying around, do it for the cost of the parts, or more often than not I just don't do it at all. I just don't have the time.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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8,407 Posts
I either do it for free if I happen to have the parts laying around, do it for the cost of the parts, or more often than not I just don't do it at all. I just don't have the time.

But Do they still respect you in the morning??
or do they forget all about you when the good times roll
around??
 
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