plumbing costs

Plumbing Costs Explained

The cost of plumbing is arguably the biggest concern for anyone when organising a job. A job well done is a must have, but so is a competitive quote.

Clarity is also crucial. Customers want to know exactly what goes into plumbing quotes. They want to know what contributes to the cost of any repair, installation or maintenance task.

With that in mind, we’re breaking down plumbing costs. From the initial call out fee to fixed quotes, here’s what is included in the average plumbing job cost.

Call Out Fees

The first cost anyone will encounter when booking a plumbing job is the call out fee. Although it may seem like an unnecessary additional charge, it’s actually common practice. You may also hear the term attendance fee used.

Call out fees are a straightforward way for any plumber to cover the cost of petrol, travel time and equipment used in an early investigation. They will provide a detailed final quote once on site.

Often there is a negative association towards call out fees. However, it’s a necessary part of any task. By charging an upfront attendance fee, local plumbers can balance the price of repairs, installation or maintenance. There’s no need to mark up costs in other areas.

That means a competitive rate for plumbing services from the start.

As the customer, it’s always important to ask upfront how much the call out fee is, to avoid mixed communications.

Also feel free to ask whether you must pay an attendance fee over the phone, or if options are available for on site payment.

Hourly Rates or Fixed Prices

Traditionally, plumbers and tradespeople charged hourly rates. Some even charged with a quarter hourly rate. However, there has been a more widespread shift towards fixed price quotes.

Companies are charging by the job, not by the hour.

Now that does comes with some pros and cons. If a job is stretched out, such as hot water installation, then the plumber may lose out as they have quoted for a shorter install time.

Despite the potential shortfall, there is always confidence when plumbers charge fixed prices. Quotes are reliable because you know you’ll pay the same every day of the week. The best plumbers do not set an inflated hourly rate after hours or on public holidays.

Therefore, you can rest assured that you are set to benefit from fixed pricing and no rough estimate. The facts and figures are based on national averages, not a floating fee per hour on site.

Equipment and Materials Required

When a plumber comes to your home, they will have a rough idea of the materials, tools and equipment required for service. Sometimes, though, things go wrong. The sewer pipe blockage could be far more extensive while a pesky toilet leak could lead to a full replacement.

Occasionally these outcomes cannot be factored into an initial upfront quote, too. So it’s important to always be aware that an estimate can change, and there will be some equipment and materials that are not standard.

Additional Support and Tough Access

Back up and additional support always adds another element to plumbing jobs. For example, a service which requires multiple pairs of hands will cost more. Both plumbers on site will have to be paid and a 2-for-1 deal in plumbing is pretty rare.

In addition to covering the cost of labour, tough or restricted access will incur some expenses. If scaffolding or a scissor lift is required, expect to pay more. Deep access to a sewer is going to dip into the hip pocket more than a simple 30cm dig would.

Gas fitting, air conditioning and other specialised tasks will also cost more than a typical tap repair. So when you do have a licensed expert in your home, you have to acknowledge you’re paying for specialist skills.

Emergency Plumbing Costs

Many companies offer a price hike for emergency plumbing. They’ll charge more for after hours attendance, whether that’s a part of the call out fee or hourly rates.

A good company will not do this. So make sure you always go for someone who keeps plumbing costs standard, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Here at Metropolitan Plumbing, we always provide fixed price quotes and attendance fees for weekdays, weekends and public holidays. There are no additional charges for after hours.

This ensures our customers always receive quality service no matter the time.

Location, Location, Location

Depending on where you live, plumbing jobs may cost more than other cities. For example, plumbers often set higher fees in Sydney as travel times are longer and the cost of living is higher.

Alternatively, Adelaide, Canberra or Hobart would be cheaper thanks to smaller markets.

If you are someone who has travelled around and have noticed the change in prices, remember there are external factors all plumbers have to account for. Their own overheads like petrol, materials and time, impact their business. Often that is passed onto the customer.

However, at Metropolitan Plumbing our plumbers work to the same fixed prices across Australia. The cost of a plumber in Perth, or a Melbourne plumber, will be the same as Brisbane or Sydney. This is so everyone receives a fair go and balanced rates.

Plumbing Prices in Melbourne

So, how much do plumbers charge in Melbourne? Often the costs of Melbourne plumbers can be higher than some other Australian cities due to the size and constant demand for quality work. Independent contractors are likely to also charge different rates than traditional plumbing companies, too. That’s why it’s best to be thorough when looking for a Melbourne plumber. You want someone who will provide an accurate, obligation free fixed price quote, like Metropolitan Plumbing. There are no hidden fees with our work so you always know what to expect.

Plumbing Prices in Adelaide

Given the smaller size of Adelaide, costs remain lower and are more competitive than larger cities where overheads can drastically increase. As far as costs go for hiring a plumber in Adelaide, there’s a smorgasbord to choose from. There are your cheap plumbers and your trusted names. But when it comes to looking after your home’s plumbing, you don’t want to be frugal. Long term solutions are not what you get with a budget plumber. Therefore, always remember that the price of a Plumber in Adelaide often matches the value you’ll receive.

Plumbing Prices in Brisbane

Plumber prices in Brisbane typically fall into the midrange when compared to other Australian cities. The size of the region means there’s always high demand, and also plenty of skilled plumbers to take on jobs. You’ll always be able to find someone to suit your needs no matter where you are. So if you’re after an experienced and valued plumber in Brisbane, or the Gold Coast, you’ll never have to look far. And you can rest assured the price charged is not going to inflate as any overhead costs are already included, therefore you know what’s coming.

Plumbing Prices in Perth

Perth’s reputation as a city built on mining is very true, and due to the distance between it and the rest of Australia, prices for services can rise quickly. Customers can certainly expect to pay more for a plumber when compared to other Australian cities. That’s what happens when the cost of living in such a beautiful city is slightly higher than others. Regardless, if you live in Western Australia, when you use Metropolitan Plumbing you will pay the same great rates all Australians pay. That’s right, our fixed price fees are the same for everyone, so the cost of a plumber in Perth is never inflated with us.

Plumbing Payment Plans

Whatever the final cost is for your plumbing job, one thing that can help with affordability is an interest free payment plan. The use of interest free providers such as Zip Pay and Humm has really taken off over the last few years. The ability to stretch repayments over up to 60 months makes plumbing much easier to budget for, especially considering the lack of any interest to pay. These sorts of plans can be the perfect option in emergency plumbing situations where you find yourself dealing with sudden unforeseen costs. So you should expect your plumber to offer interest free payment plans in the same way that Metropolitan Plumbing does.

Finally, the costs you should expect when engaging a plumber are a call out fee, a fixed price quote and no penalties for work undertaken outside of business hours. That’s what you get with Metropolitan Plumbing.


Published: 24 Feb, 2021

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