The plumbing system is arguably one of the most vulnerable parts of a residential building. After all, the pipes and lines are exposed to corrosive substances like water and acids day and night.
For that reason, experts advise calling for a local plumbing service every two years, once a year if the house is old or over 50 years old. In short, plumbing services should be a regular expense, albeit not very frequent. Nevertheless, you must know the expected cost, much like any expense, to set a renovation budget accordingly. So, how much do local plumbing services cost?
What should you expect to pay for local plumbing services?
Generally, the average cost of plumbing installation is around USD$2,200 to USD$5,000. At the same time, local plumbing services could cost from USD$4 to USD$6 per square foot. However, this may vary depending on the materials used, the number of bathrooms and toilets, and the floor area of the building. On the other hand, certain plumbing agencies and other payment schemes, such as the pay-per-hour basis. (1)
In particular, you may find agencies that require customers to pay a flat rate. It’s ideal if you’ve already set a budget since plumbing work is unpredictable and may take longer or shorter.
A flat rate eliminates the guesswork when booking plumbing services. In this case, the average cost should be around USD$450 per fixture. (1)
Remember, this is just what you should expect to pay for local plumbing services. The actual cost may vary depending on numerous factors, which takes us to the next subject.
Five factors that affect local plumbing services cost
Several factors affect the cost of local plumbing services. Some have greater significance than others. Your location or neighborhood is one such factor.
- Your geographical location
The location can affect the local plumbing cost in two ways:
- The number of local plumbing agencies in the area will vary depending on your location. The higher the number of agencies, the lower the cost, as each agency will compete by lowering its prices. This, of course, benefits the customers.
- Local plumbing agencies in low-income neighborhoods generally have lower labor costs to accommodate their target audience. In short, their services will be more affordable.
Of course, there’s not much you can do to manipulate this factor unless you can move to another area. However, you can be a bit more flexible for the following factors.
- Distance from your house to the agency
Not many customers know this, but most local plumbing agencies keep a count of their travel fees when calculating the total invoice amount. The farther the agency is from your house, the greater the travel fee. This fee will then add up to the invoice amount.
Unfortunately, many agencies choose not to include it in the cost breakdown and keep it as a hidden fee. Naturally, you’d want to hire the local plumbing agency near your area to minimize the travel fee as much as possible. Perhaps the only argument to be made is when the base rate of the nearest agency is significantly higher than the rate of a farther agency. (2)
In that case, you must perform the calculations yourself to figure out which agency will charge an overall lower amount.
- Task difficulty
Of course, the harder the plumbing job, the greater the invoice amount as they have to call a master plumber. Similarly, if the job is relatively simple, they can save resources by sending an apprentice, which would cost a lot less money for you as well. Alternatively, you can call for a handyman if you believe the job is too easy for plumbers but too hard for the average joe. (3)
Handymen are individuals who handle a broader range of tasks, such as simple painting or plumbing. While they are generally less skilled than plumbers, their rates are lower.
- Additional charges (emergency, after-hours, weekend)
If you require plumbing service urgently, you may be subject to additional charges under certain circumstances. The reason being certain agencies charge extra when booked on weekends, holidays, or after-hours. Naturally, if you called a plumber on a non-holiday weekday and within the agency’s working hours, there should be no additional charges.
- Special payment schemes
There are generally two types of payment schemes for plumbing agencies.
One involves a flat rate, while the other is a pay-per-hour basis—both were already discussed above. However, certain agencies follow a rather unconventional payment scheme.
For instance, you may encounter agencies that follow a pay-per-hour basis but charges a minimum of one to two hours’ worth of work. Hence, if they finished the job within 15 minutes, you must still pay the equivalent of an hour job. This, of course, is disadvantageous for customers.
On the contrary, specific payment schemes work in favor of the customers. For instance, an agency may propose not counting the travel fee towards the invoice amount, as long as your house is within a certain distance. They would only add an extra fee once the distance between your home and the agency reaches a threshold. This is ideal if your house is relatively near the agency.
These are the five factors that may affect local plumbing costs. Yes, there are a ton of factors, which is why it’s difficult to predict the final price, but that’s why quotations exist.
Ask for a quotation
When you book a plumbing agency for a job, they often decide who to send according to the task’s difficulty. Depending on who they send, the amount you must pay may differ. (2)
Yet another unknown fact to most customers is that they can ask local agencies for a quotation.
For your information, a quotation is a document that shows the exact amount a customer has to pay for a specific product or service, among many things. It also contains a breakdown of the job requirements, such as the necessary materials, labor costs, and additional fees. While it’s not a legally binding document, it can be if both parties agree upon the specified conditions. (4)
In that case, both the agency and the customer won’t be able to change the conditions, meaning the agency can’t ask for more money. Similarly, you, the customer, can’t pay less money.
You cannot withdraw from the quotation unless the other party gives their consent.
This is useful for your purposes because you can ask for a quotation from every plumbing agency in your area. By doing so, you can figure out which is the best deal and pass on the others. (4)
However, take note that writing up and providing quotations to customers when asked to isn’t mandatory. Therefore, you may encounter agencies that refuse to provide a quotation. Moreover, certain agencies require customers to pay for the quote itself, though they’re not common.
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, looking for an agency that provides the service you need is relatively simple. The tricky part is looking for an agency that has favorable terms. Fortunately, plumbing agencies have become much more rampant nowadays, so it’s become easier to look for agencies with affordable prices and high-quality service.
- “2022 Plumbing Installation Cost | Replumb & Repipe A House”, Source:
- “Factors That Determine Average Plumbing Costs”, Source:
- “Handyman vs. Plumber: Who To Use For What Job?”, Source:
- “Quotation – What is a quotation?”, Source: