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I started in 1998 and we charged 65 an hour and I made 6.50 an hour as an appentice. My boss told me when he started as a lisenced plumber in west texas (not sure of year) they charged 3 dollars an hour and were paid 1.50 but they provided their own tools and truck. He also built a 4 bed 2 bath house on an acre for 4500 dollars.
 

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in 2000, charged 65.00/hr--like to went broke.
Me too 65 an hour back in 2000 and almost worked myself to death.....i thought I was super plumber who could work all day and all night......i made alot of money even at 65 an hr but almost killed myself doing it. i charge 90-95 now and I''m high for my area...someguys still charging 65 an hour. More power to them.....they can have the work. I'm over it........plumbing's not that fun anymore after 20 somthing years...if I'm not gettin paid......I park it on the couch with my laptop.
 

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I started when I got out of the service in 1986, the company I worked for charged 49 bucks an hour. I started my own a few years later and charged about the same. I was around when the first flat raters started (and the first pex users, different story) and thought they were nuts. But now I'm a flat rater and a pex user and don't do anything for less than 150 dollars labor. Funny how times change.
 

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I started when I got out of the service in 1986, the company I worked for charged 49 bucks an hour. I started my own a few years later and charged about the same. I was around when the first flat raters started (and the first pex users, different story) and thought they were nuts. But now I'm a flat rater and a pex user and don't do anything for less than 150 dollars labor. Funny how times change.
Do you do service work??? What if a customer want sa p-trap under a lavatory replaced? 150 bucks? If so more power to ya but that would be a challenge down south
 

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Master

MASTER, what city do you live in? My brother was living in Spanish Fort. The reason I ask is, that it seems some areas of Alabama are booming.

Don't want to jack thread --you can PM me.
 

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1976 $2.85 per hr and the company charged $40.00 for a service call. this was in washington d c and maryland suburbs area. quit after one year and got a big raise to $3.50 per hr doing new residential
 

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1989 Baltimore, MD - rate was $45/hr. All draincleaning calls were referred to Whirl-A-Matic - if I remember correctly, they were $65.00.

Accounts receivable was tracked using index cards. All were filed alphabetically with those owing money in the front. Hated doing collection calls.

Same year was when we were introduced to the fax machine. Only a few supply houses had one. Mobile phones were permanently affixed to the vehicle. Only person who had one was a project manager / estimator. Service guys would call from customer's home.

Things have changed a lot.

SC - 2004 - going rate was $65-$75/hr. Today's rate is $80-$95.00. At the low end, you are getting one man shops and very little professionalism. At $90-$95. you are getting more for your money. Flat rate cos. seem to average $125/hr.
 

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we also did all water heater replacements for 375 in 1998

Heck yea I remember those days but that was in the late 80's, water heater installs for 300 bucks! I won't do one for under 895 now and yes, I mostly do service work and the minimum is about 150 depending on how I feel.:thumbup:
 

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I started about 1976, was charging $25 per hour. Or should have been. I would actually ask people what they thought I should charge them since I was new to the business.

I went $14,000 in the hole so fast I couldn't believe it.

House construction got busy the next year and I learned my lesson and did pretty well plumbing lots and lots of houses until everything got overbuilt and I had to go back to one-man shop. The guy who was working for me went to work for a bigger shop replete with backhoes and dump trucks in addition to plumbing for a better offer - that shop went bankrupt a short time later and he was pounding the bricks again.
 

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$232.00 to show up at the house


$90/hour after the first 10 minutes. $30/hour to pull anything off the truck, $55 surcharge for using my ink out of my pen, paper, some scratch paper when I do basic math.


Then I charge $13.00 for fuel surcharge for within a 10 mile radius, $18.84 for anything outside a 10 mile radius, plus $3 for tire wear, tire inflation.


I charge $10 for foot booties, $13 for one pair of rubber gloves and IF those gloves break in the first 15 minutes of work, I implement a $10 user fee with a $5 restocking fee to get another pair of gloves off the truck.


Plastic bags on the job? $8.22

Paper Towels? $1.34 per 1' by 1' squares

Handy wipes are $4.32 per use and .40 to walk to the truck to get them.

I also charge per step when I arrive at the home; meaning that anything above a flat surface will cost the customer additional for future knee ligamament wear, conditional rehabilition fees and travel time to and from said rehab center.

Furthermore, I charge in 10' increments from the truck to the front door. Any step curbs are .84 cents each time I walk across them during the time spent at the job location, any large cracks in the driveway are .20 cents for any time I have to purposely walk around to avoid injury.

Parking in the driveway and forced to move because some mother F*(*(NG idiot didn't think that when you call the plumber and then decide that you need to get out. That's $37.50 per car, per movement out of the driveway.

Random dogs coming up to me during first visit whether it's your damn dog or not? $28.30 and sniffing my groin is automatic $6.83 added to the usage fees attained by hardship clause on any job less than $283 and further than 13.4 miles from shop. No exceptions to this even though I might be close by or "right down the street" from job.

Being offered a drink that's not of my liking...$3.88 and if the second offer is worse than the first, $17.32 plus tax.

Talking on the phone giving an ear estimate is based on physical appearance of customer upon arrival. The charts are as follows:

Attractive: $1.49
Mildly Attractive: $2.48
Plain: $9.32
Unattractive: $18.29
Fugly: $24.32 and that includes any customer with bad breath or unsightly facial hair, male or female

Pubic hairs found on tools are .34 cents per hair, extremely curly hair will constitute as A 4 hair minimum penalty phase. Any hairs left in site on the toilet sanitary bar, shower drain or near toilet area are considered obtrusive and $10.97 fee for being a dumb*** thinking I want to see it.

And if I don't want to write all this out, I start all over and tack .21 cents to all the figures and do a multiplier of .2819 to come up with a summarization fee. I continue from there.
 

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I started my business in 1981 and we were charging $35 per hour but went up about 10% a year for the first few years. Prior to my business I was making around $17.50 per hour and my guys were around $12.50.

Mark
 

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Duck - your bookkeeping must take you a lot longer than the work you do. I assume that you have a much larger charge for that than all the rest.

I have a slightly different method - if the customer is female and attractive the cost starts dropping. If she's exceptional, I might pay her.

Thanks for the post - it brightened my day.
 

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every tool is a hammer
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2005, I started my shop, working out of the house and charged $65, then $70, then $75.00
2006, I started renting a shop and then hired an office manager and went to $90.00
2007, I sold out and went to work for a mechanical contractor, he charged $90 an hour plus $11 an hour truck charge.
2009, $93 an hour plus $11 an hour truck charge
 

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1973 the company was charging $11.00 an hour. The plumbers were making $5.50 an hour and I was making $1.35 and within 3 months making $3.65 an hour. Bought a house and some acerage in 1974 and my first vehicle (new truck) in 1975. Almost bought a new t top corvette as my fisrt vehicle, but didn't think I could $1,000 a year insurance.

Based on todays prices I just don't see how anyone could have the same oppurtunity that was available back then.
 

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$55 an hr back in 98'. $85 now, soon to be $95. Most jobs are flat rate, the only time I charge by the hour is for contractors, or homeowners with bigger jobs where there's a lot of variables.
 
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