What's the problem w/plumbers?


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Old 09-03-05, 09:11 AM
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Unhappy What's the problem w/plumbers?

We're remodeling the basement and adding a full bathroom where none exists now. Out of about 20 plumbers we called 6 returned calls and came by for a look. Only 3 of those even gave a quote.

We asked them to do the rough in saying that we'd break open the concrete floor where they specified, remove the rubble, and re-concrete after inspection. We said we'd like to install the fixtures too since we're doing our own construction and tile work. All said OK yet the three that quoted ignored that and the other three that were fine w/it disappeared.

Is the concrete work and the fixture installation the gravy part of the job? Do they want to hide rough in mistakes by keeping us out of the loop? What's the problem w/plumbers?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-03-05, 09:24 AM
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Most Plumbers want to do the whole job. This minimizes complaints later should you do something to compromise something they did. As far as hiding anything, you will have to get permits to do the work so there will be inspections on all parts of the process. I am assuming you are getting permits. Most Plumbers do not do the concrete work. They sub it out. Even if they did the work, it would not be the gravy part. That would be the installation of fixtures. Not sure why the ones that gave quotes ignored what you asked for. If the quotes have a break down for price, remove the cost and see if you want them to do the job. Then call them back and explain what you did or ask for only the items you want them to do. If they balk, ask why. I can only give you ideas as I don't know why they did this. Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 09-03-05, 10:12 AM
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I don't think the problem is the plumbers.

I read your post a couple of times. I think you just want someone to install the drains while you do all the grunt work. There is just no money in this job for a licensed, insured plumber. A realistic cost of just installing the drains will scare you off and then complaints of how much plumbers charge will be heard.

Plumbers are like other trades, you wouldn't hire an electrician to install wiring and you put in the receptacles. They want to do the complete job for their warranty work and reputable plumbers will want the entire job done right.

Why don't you go ahead and install the drains also. You need a permit for the work and the inspector will help you out in the planning stages. Ask any question you can think of so he can answer it. This is a D-I-Y forum, so use it.

Good luck with your project...
 
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Old 09-03-05, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by syakoban
We're remodeling the basement and adding a full bathroom where none exists now. Out of about 20 plumbers we called 6 returned calls and came by for a look. Only 3 of those even gave a quote.

We asked them to do the rough in saying that we'd break open the concrete floor where they specified, remove the rubble, and re-concrete after inspection. We said we'd like to install the fixtures too since we're doing our own construction and tile work. All said OK yet the three that quoted ignored that and the other three that were fine w/it disappeared.

Is the concrete work and the fixture installation the gravy part of the job? Do they want to hide rough in mistakes by keeping us out of the loop? What's the problem w/plumbers?

Thanks.


Nothing wrong with us plumbers; I come across this situation all the time and I won't even entertain a estimate because I know for a fact that the customer is wasting my valuable time and someone with a different financial picture than me will give the best price and that is who the customer is looking for.

There are easier jobs out there to make money and yours is not one of them. I sound like the credit card company "The answer is always NO" LOL

It took me awhile to qualify price shoppers over the phone but now I know what questions are coming and I know that it is someone elses job to do. Not worth exhausting my time for someone who doesn't value my time.


Also, when you rough-in jobs such as these in that fashion what happens is if they cannot easily connect to your stubouts, they call you back thinking you incorrectly installed the piping which isn't the case. It is the fact that we as plumbers know all the fittings used in the profession and we make things work. And sometimes that involves some different fittings to line up traps or the like.

I have basically formatted my business to take the calls that people need services with the only questions "Do you do this and how soon can you do it".
 
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Old 09-03-05, 08:37 PM
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You mentioned 20 calls. SO, based on this you would expect 20 plumbers to bid a job, and one would get the work. You would go out of business quickly if you spent all your time running around doing free estimates and only got 5% of the work. You were also providing the fixtures, thus he would not have an opportunity to make a little profit here, but would have every likelyhood that you would call him for "warranty work" if there were problems down the line with any of the fixtures.
 
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Old 09-04-05, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 594tough
You mentioned 20 calls. SO, based on this you would expect 20 plumbers to bid a job, and one would get the work. You would go out of business quickly if you spent all your time running around doing free estimates and only got 5% of the work. You were also providing the fixtures, thus he would not have an opportunity to make a little profit here, but would have every likelyhood that you would call him for "warranty work" if there were problems down the line with any of the fixtures.

If we called 8 or 10 and 5 or 6 were interested and 3 quoted the job we asked for then that would be fine. Since they don't even respond we have to call 20 (now more).

And you don't know me so don't project your "warranty work" theory on me.

I respect DUNBAR PLUMBER taking a business-like approach and qualifying customers on the phone. Remember our time is wasted looking up #'s, making calls, and having plumbers come in and waste our time when they don't even say they're not interested. There's nothing we're hiding at any stage, so maybe there needs to be more professionalism and business skills like those described by DUNBAR PLUMBER.

We recently worked w/one structural engineer on another issue and he asked preliminary questions on the phone, he stated a broad price range, he provided his qualifications, he then reviewed prints and then quoted exactly what we wanted. Didn't have to talk to anyone else. The landscape contractors we've worked with have done the same. Thus my posting about plumbers.

And I'm not angry at plumbers or trying to malign them... just understand their perspective regarding what we're looking for on this job.

Thanks.
 
 

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