How Do I Charge My Plumbing Job? (Options)

Your plumbing job is the heart of your home. It’s the system that connects all of your water, sewage, and drainage lines together in a way that allows you to live comfortably. 

So how do you know if a plumber is taking advantage of you? The short answer: you don’t. But if you’re wondering what rates to expect when hiring a plumber.

Here’s some information on common pricing methods used by pros in the field—and what they mean for your wallet.

How to Price Plumbing Jobs
Key Takeaways
Factors to Consider When Pricing Plumbing Jobs
The importance of proper planning and preparation
How to calculate labor and material costs
The role of profit margins and overhead
How to adjust pricing for different types of jobs
The benefits of researching and comparing pricing strategies

Fixed Price

Fixed-price plumbing jobs are a great way to attract customers. You can offer fixed-price plumbing jobs by offering a minimum amount of time needed for the job, or you may even quote your customer a flat rate for the entire job.

A fixed price means that you will be eliminating any surprises or hidden costs from your client’s perspective. It also means they won’t have to worry about running over time and paying more than they expected up front. 

The biggest advantage of this method is that it allows you more freedom when bidding on jobs because there are no variables involved in billing at the end; once your work has been completed, all that remains is finding out what kind of checkbook your client carries!

Proper planning and preparation is the first step to successful plumbing installation. Check out our expert tips on running plumbing pipes to make sure you’re on the right track.

Hourly Rate

The hourly rate of a plumber is based on several factors. The first factor is the job itself, and how difficult it may be to complete. The second factor is the experience level of the plumber doing the work. 

A highly experienced plumber will have more knowledge about what should be done during different phases of a plumbing job than someone who has been working in plumbing for only a few weeks or months. 

The third factor is how much time it takes to complete each step of your project, which can vary depending on the difficulty level and previous experience level of your plumber.

To calculate an hourly rate, you will need:

  • The total amount of hours that your project requires (for example: 5 hours).
  • Your budgeted amount per hour (for example: $40/hour).

Hourly Rate Factors

Job ComplexityThe difficulty level of the plumbing job will often determine the hourly rate of a plumber. This can vary depending on factors such as the type of job, the equipment needed, and any obstacles the plumber may encounter while completing the job.
Plumber ExperienceThe experience level of the plumber can also have an impact on hourly rate. A more experienced plumber who has been working in the industry for several years may charge a higher rate than a newer plumber who is just starting out.
Time Spent on the JobThe amount of time it takes to complete the job will also be a factor in the hourly rate. The longer the plumber spends on the job, the more they will charge per hour.
Travel TimeTravel time is often factored into the hourly rate, as it combines with the time spent on the job. Plumbers may charge additional fees for travel time depending on the distance they need to travel to reach the job site.
Material CostsSome plumbers charge separately for material costs, but other plumbers include these costs into the total hourly rate. This will vary depending on the plumber and the type of job.

Time And Materials

Time and materials is a cost-plus pricing method. That means you charge according to the time you spend on the job and the cost of materials (i.e., pipes) that are used on it. 

These costs are added together to determine the total price of your work, which can be more or less than other methods depending on how much extra work you put into it. 

For example, if there’s an emergency situation where both hot water heaters need to be replaced immediately because they’re already leaking, you’ll probably be more willing to go above and beyond what was originally discussed in order to complete this job quickly—and thus earn yourself a higher hourly rate!

However, if another contractor offers to do the same thing but at a cheaper cost because they use less expensive materials or take fewer hours overall, then maybe he’d make a better choice for your particular situation.

Don’t let a plumbing problem turn into a disaster. Follow our step-by-step guide on fixing plumbing problems to troubleshoot and solve common issues.

Trip Fee

A trip fee is a fee that you charge your client for coming out to their property. The trip fee covers the time and labor it takes for you to drive to the job site, as well as any supplies or tools that you might need.

Trip fees are often confused with service charges, which are similar but different in their application. 

Service charges may be used in cases where there’s no actual work performed on a job—for example, if a plumber is called out just to inspect something (this happens more than you think!). Trip fees are only charged when an actual service has been provided by a plumber at the job site.

Calculating an appropriate trip rate can be tricky because of all the variables involved: distance traveled, traffic conditions, time of day/weekend versus weekday etc., so we suggest keeping it simple and sticking with either flat rate or mileage-based calculations. 

You should also factor in whether your customer will reimburse expenses incurred while traveling (such as tolls or parking) so that they aren’t charged twice!

Value Pricing

Value pricing is a pricing strategy that is based on the value of the service to the customer, rather than the cost of providing the service.

It’s a strategy that is used to help customers understand how much value they are getting for their money.

Understanding your home’s plumbing vent stack is crucial to maintaining a healthy plumbing system. Check out our detailed guide on finding plumbing vent stacks to learn more.

Free Plumbing Estimates

If you’re in need of a plumbing job, and your project is relatively small (less than $1,000), then it makes sense to get some free quotes from local plumbers. Most companies will provide free estimates that are good for up to seven days. 

This gives you time to look around and compare prices between different companies. If you’ve got a couple of guys who think they could do the job better than each other, this might be a good way for them both to prove themselves right!

Free Plumbing Estimates

Key PointsDescription
Benefits of Free EstimatesFree plumbing estimates are a great way to get an idea of what kind of work you need and how much it will cost. You can talk to the plumber or company representative about your concerns, ask questions about their experience, and get a better sense of their overall attitude and professionalism.
What to ExpectWhen you request a free plumbing estimate, you can expect the plumber or company representative to visit your home or business to assess the situation, take measurements and photos, and provide a detailed estimate for the work to be completed.
TimeframeMost plumbing companies will provide free estimates that are good for up to seven days, giving you time to compare costs and make an informed decision.
Small Jobs OnlyIt’s important to note that free estimates are typically only available for smaller plumbing jobs (less than $1,000). For larger jobs, you may need to pay a fee for an estimate or consultation.
Compare Multiple EstimatesIt’s always a good idea to get multiple estimates from different plumbing companies so you can compare pricing, experience, and quality of work. This will help you find the best plumber for your needs and budget.

Call Out Fee Or Service Charge

A call out fee or service charge is a fixed amount charged by plumbers to cover the time and expenses they incur while working on your plumbing job. The charge is usually not based on the time required to complete the job, or the materials required to complete it.

Making sure your plumbing pipes are installed at the right angles is essential to proper function and drainage. Learn about the importance of right-angle plumbing pipes in our guide on plumbing pipe angles.

Flat Fee Or Bundle Charges

You can also charge for your work in a “bundle” or flat fee. Bundle charges are essentially a fixed price for the job, including more than one service. 

For example, if you’re doing a kitchen remodel and you want to charge the customer for labor and materials (and not separately), then you might offer them a bundle charge of around $100 per hour to complete the project.

If you opt for this method of pricing, it’s important that your client understands what they’re getting into before signing any contracts or agreements. 

Make sure they understand how long the work will take and whether there are any hidden costs involved in doing business with your company/company name

Per Fixture Rates

You can charge per job, per item or by bundle. You may choose to charge for each fixture and/or for any piping work involved in the job. 

This type of pricing is commonly used on small jobs because it’s easier to figure out how much time you need to spend on each task.

Home repair costs can be overwhelming, but there are several options available to help you finance major repairs. Check out our guide on paying for major home repairs to learn more about your options.

Dealer Prices (Shopping Around)

Dealer prices are based on the cost of the product. For example, if you buy a toilet and pay $300 for it, that’s the dealer price. You can’t negotiate down from this amount because in order for a plumbing supply store to make money they have to sell at least one of everything they carry.

Dealer pricing is not always the best way to go because there are other options available. It’s important to shop around and find out what different companies charge for their products so you can get a better deal when doing your research. 

There may also be times where you will find products cheaper online or by calling another company directly instead of going through your local plumbing supplier who just happens to sell what you need as well as other things like faucets or sinks too!


We hope you’ve learned a few things about how to charge your plumbing job. We also hope that by reading this article, you’ll be able to better understand the process of pricing for your upcoming project and take some control over what happens next. 

It’s important to remember that every plumbing job is different and there are many ways to price them. The key is finding what works best for both parties involved so everyone can walk away happy!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful for pricing your plumbing jobs:

Connecteam – A comprehensive guide to pricing plumbing jobs, including how to calculate labor costs, material costs, and overhead.

Workiz – Tips for pricing your plumbing jobs in 2021 and beyond, including how to factor in profit margins and adjust prices for different types of jobs.

Jobber Academy – This guide details how to price your plumbing jobs based on your overhead, direct costs, profit margins, and more.


Q: How do I price a plumbing job?

A: Pricing a plumbing job can be difficult, but it’s important to consider factors such as labor costs, material costs, overhead, and profit margins. You can calculate your direct costs and overhead, determine your profit margin, and adjust your price estimate accordingly.

Q: How much should I charge for a plumbing service call?

A: The cost of a plumbing service call can vary depending on factors such as the technician’s hourly rate, travel time, and the complexity of the work. It’s important to factor in these costs and balance them against your desired profit margin.

Q: How do I calculate material costs for a plumbing job?

A: To calculate material costs for a plumbing job, you’ll need to consider the cost of all materials needed for the job, including pipes, fittings, faucets, valves, and more. You should also factor in any waste or excess materials, as well as the cost of delivery or pickup.

Q: What is overhead, and how do I factor it into my pricing?

A: Overhead refers to the costs associated with running your plumbing business, such as rent, utilities, insurance, and administrative expenses. To factor overhead into your pricing, you’ll need to divide your total overhead by the number of billable hours you expect to work in a given period, and then add that amount to your hourly rate.

Q: How do I adjust my pricing for different types of plumbing jobs?

A: Different types of plumbing jobs may require different pricing strategies, such as fixed prices for routine maintenance tasks or hourly rates plus materials for complex repairs. You’ll need to consider factors such as the time required, the skill level needed, and the cost of materials when setting your prices.