Why Are Plumbers So Expensive? (The Answer May Surprise You)
As a Pittsburgh homeowner, you want a plumber who’s an expert—someone whom you can trust to get the job right the first time. And also? You’d love to not get ripped off.
Here’s the problem: If you’re in need of plumbing services, you’re in a vulnerable position. Whether you have a burst pipe, a fried water heater, or sludge backing up into your shower, you need someone to make it stop right now. That means you don’t have a lot of leverage when it comes to cost. What’re you going to do—comparison shop for a couple of hours while your tub’s filling with sewage? Not likely.
So you pound out a quick Google search, you make a call, and you hope for a fair price. But you don’t really know what’s “fair,” and, quite frankly, any price feels excessive. There’s just nothing fun about spending money on plumbing services.
Plus, to be perfectly honest, plumbing is an expensive deal. And why is that? Is it because plumbers are just in it for the money, they know how vulnerable homeowners are, and they love taking advantage of people? No, no, and no. Not the good ones, anyway.
Sure, plumbers want to make money—just like everyone else. (Including you, right?) But reputable plumbers, like Taggart Plumbing, don’t jack up their prices just because we can.
Three Reasons Plumbing Is So Expensive
Fair plumbers offer competitive pricing based on three variables: availability, materials, and expertise.
Plumbers Are Always On
Plumbing service calls tend to occur in the evenings or on weekends, when homeowners are able to meet a technician. Otherwise, they happen “as soon as you can get here” because of a plumbing emergency. While it may seem unfair to base service call pricing on day, time of day, or urgency, that’s the nature of supply-and-demand economics.
That being said, at Taggart Plumbing we offer flat-rate pricing. We figure it’s not your fault your kid flushed 16 hot wheels on a Sunday morning. And since it doesn’t cost us any more to solve your plumbing problem at 3 am on a Thursday than it does at 2 pm on a Tuesday, there’s really no good reason to charge you more.
Plumbing Requires Parts
Unless you’re calling us over to simply unclog a drain, we’ll need some “stuff” to fix your plumbing problem: pipe, fittings, hardware, appliances (like a garbage disposal), putty, valves, and so on. The costs of parts and materials get factored in to your bill.
Fun fact: as a flat-rate shop, we save our customers additional money by not needing to collect sales tax on the parts we put in your home. If we operated on time-and-materials only, we’d be required by state law to also collect additional sales tax from you.
Plumbing Requires Experience and Expertise
Plumbing requires precise, technical knowledge. We could cut expenses (and therefore costs to you) by hiring less-knowledgeable team members, but that’s simply not our model. Rather, we hire only the most skilled technicians—plumbers who will treat your home like their own and do their absolute best work, every time. These guys have gone through hundreds of hours of training and licensing exams to be certain they know the safest way to vent your water heater, for instance, without threatening your family’s safety. (It happens with unlicensed handymen. all. the. time.)
Bonus Reason: Insurance Is Expensive
You don’t just want anyone in your home or business without knowing they can cover the risk of things that could happen on your property, or on the way to your property. Most people would be shocked if they realized how much it costs a business to have adequate insurance coverage for the myriad of services we provide. Sure, you could save a buck by choosing a Pittsburgh plumber with less-than-adequate insurance, but when the crap literally hits the fan, is that a problem you want on your hands? No. Us, too. That’s why we’re bonded and insured as a point of best-practice.
To Save Money, Leave Plumbing Fixes to the Experts
Homeowners typically don’t budget for plumbing emergencies, which means they’re often tempted to find a YouTube video and take a first swing at their repair themselves. We understand the temptation, but we can tell you, with authority, that’s rarely a good idea. Almost never, in fact.
Most of the time, DIY repairs cause more damage, which means you’ll end up calling a plumber anyway–to fix the original problem and to fix your (attempted) fix. It’s always better to bring in an expert from the get-go.
Need a plumbing expert? Give us a call today!