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Bidding Fixtures

 
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:33 AM   #1
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Bidding Fixtures


I am bidding a new home where the owner is requesting a fixture bid as well. I have not done this before. My supply house told me once that they could give me a price then mark it up and have her go in and pay. how do you guys do this?
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


It doesn't happen that often but I usually let my supplier know they are coming and say have fun,make yourself a little.My suppliers are very good to me,so once in a while I can throw some back their way.

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Old 02-16-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
 
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


If the ho has internet access send them to the MANUFACTURER'S WEBSITE. Write down the exact addresses to send them to and give it to them. Better yet if possible, and something I am about to start doing, carry a laptop with you, sit down with them and help them select the fixtures they want right then and there. On these sites their should either be no pricing (this is best) or LIST PRICES. I charge list prices for the fixtures plus whatever the installation cost is but I DO NOT BREAK THIS DOWN. I give them the complete cost for whatever the fixture is including all of the extra materials, taxes I incur, plus the installation cost. Do not set yourself up to be price shopped at hd or blowe's or even at the supply house. Never break down material costs vs labor. The ho rarely understands that resale of the materials/fixtures is a completely legitimate part of your companies income. They will often try to save themselves money by getting you to break out the cost of fixtures and then purchasing them themselves. When they do this they invariably either don't get the right thing or buy junk not knowing any better. I've had people want me to install wide spread faucets in a basin designed for 4" center set, etc. In the end it costs them and you more money. It is ALWAYS BETTER for the ho and for you if you provide all materials/fixtures. You are not a laborer you are a skilled tradesman if in fact you are a certified plumber. Don't let people regard your knowledge and skill as simply labor, as if anyone could do what you know how to do. Laborers make minimum wage for their labor. Is that what you expect for your business?

I am curious why you don't know how to do this in some form or fashion if you have been doing this any length of time?

I personally would refuse work in which I did not supply all materials and fixtures, but that's just me.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Quote:
Originally Posted by smellslike$tome View Post

I personally would refuse work in which I did not supply all materials and fixtures, but that's just me.
We do work for a couple GC's that supply the fixtures, usually they are just receiving them for the designer, who is actually buying the stuff, that way the designer feels he/she has more control over the stuff being right or wrong. For jobs like that we actually make more money, because we up our bid by the twenty percent we lose on the fixtures, and any time wasted on the trim for not having the correct trim material on site is billed to the designer at $140.00 an hour per man.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Just because I haven't provided fixtures in the past does not mean I'm a laborer working for minimum wage. I do very well, not that it is your business. I just asked for advise, not criticism.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:47 PM   #6
 
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Yeah, whatever. It wasn't criticism but this is, grow a skin. Forget everything I said. Tell them if they will provide the fixtures you will be happy to install them for X dollars per hour.

Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:26 PM   #7
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumber_Pete View Post
Just because I haven't provided fixtures in the past does not mean I'm a laborer working for minimum wage. I do very well, not that it is your business. I just asked for advise, not criticism.
I gotta chime in, what he said about differentiating between cheap labor and skilled trade didn't sound like an insult at all.
Excellent insight, good frame of mind to keep when dealing with the constant chipping away that ho's and GC's can pour on.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:17 AM   #8
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


I have never once worked by the hour on a house. I always bid the job, for a competitive rate. I am getting 750-1000 per fixture. I am simply trying to add to my business and make more money. Yes in fact I am a certified plumber. Why don't you try and help a new member of your community out instead of push them away. We are all plumbers here. You don't have to act like you are better than me because I asked for help.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:10 AM   #9
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumber_Pete View Post
I have never once worked by the hour on a house. I always bid the job, for a competitive rate. I am getting 750-1000 per fixture. I am simply trying to add to my business and make more money. Yes in fact I am a certified plumber. Why don't you try and help a new member of your community out instead of push them away. We are all plumbers here. You don't have to act like you are better than me because I asked for help.
Is this you Pete?

http://benspost.org/chabert-plumbing/
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:19 AM   #10
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Sure is Ron
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:22 AM   #11
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Let me be the first to welcome you, glad you found us, don't let these guys get under your skin. Hope to see you in here often.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:28 PM   #12
 
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


I'm glad to see you here too. The more the merrier. I had no intent to insult you and I'm not real sure why you feel that way. My intent was to encourage you in an area that YOU expressed some inexperience in. The question, " Is that what you expect for your business?" was clearly a rhetorical one. No one thinks that any plumber should work for minimum wage, well maybe the occasional crazy ho, nor do I think that about you. The point simply was that some ho's will attempt to provide their own fixtures in an effort to save themselves money but that it is really in their own best interest and yours for you to resist that and provide the fixtures yourself, imo.

I don't know how long you have been in business but I get the sense that maybe it hasn't been all that long. Accept my apologies now if I am incorrect.
You are however, new to this site so let me share what you can expect. If you ask a question on this contractor's forum, you will usually receive an answer. If you bow up in a knot every time you do not like the answer you receive then your experience here will not benefit you greatly. There is an awful lot of valuable experience shared here. There are also huge disagreements here about all sorts of things. You do not have to follow anyone's advice. Some advice will be good some will be bad and some just won't make any sense at all to anybody (usually later at night after the booze has caused some members to begin writing in unintelligible sentence fragments ).

The bottom line is this: Welcome, use the good, dismiss the bad, and try not to get in a snit every time you read something you don't like.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:33 PM   #13
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Pete, I missed an important point...welcome to the forum.
I was ready to type a little intro and a few words of "wisdom" regarding this site, till I saw this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by smellslike$tome View Post
...If you ask a question on this contractor's forum, you will usually receive an answer. If you bow up in a knot every time you do not like the answer you receive then your experience here will not benefit you greatly. There is an awful lot of valuable experience shared here. There are also huge disagreements here about all sorts of things. You do not have to follow anyone's advice. Some advice will be good some will be bad and some just won't make any sense at all to anybody (usually later at night after the booze has caused some members to begin writing in unintelligible sentence fragments ).

The bottom line is this: Welcome, use the good, dismiss the bad, and try not to get in a snit every time you read something you don't like.
What he said above about not letting h.o's talk you into a corner with your labor rates was true.
I get into gut wrenching discussions on price with h.o.'s (homeowners) that have utterly no concept of the work involved or no idea what we go through to get our licenses.
Sometimes I get to feeling a little beaten down....his advice got my attention.
I very often have to remind myself of exactly what he said above regarding not being cheap labor.
I've had several occasions to walk out in mid discussion when a h.o has started the beratement process, to be called back with an apology after they got other estimates.
More often than not, the lowballers are also the ones who want to buy their own fixtures and save on your markup...then attempt to blame you when a Home Depot Glacier Bay plastic faucet is flimsy or the seats fail after 2 months.
Not always the case, but I have yet to get a price shopper that didn't request to get their own fixtures.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:40 PM   #14
 
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


I'm totally confused.
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Old 02-17-2008, 04:30 PM   #15
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


You're right, I've been self employed for 2 years. The second was better than the first and I'm hoping the third is better than the second. I'm bidding bigger and better jobs all the time and staying away from the money pits. I've thought of bidding fixtures for a while but this is the first time I've had the chance. I agree that it seems like this would make the process a whole lot easier for myself. Thanks everyone for the welcome.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:12 PM   #16
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Pete ,

Welcome . I'm very new here myself , you'll circle for a while , figure out what guys are good and which guys are good AND talk like they are real tough ( seeing as it's the internet and they can talk all the smack they want without fear of a throw down )

The fixtures ; Figure out a nice allowance for some standard fixtures i.e A good W/C , a standard tub/shower valve ,a good lav faucet -- put some descent profit on top of your supply house cost and use this in your standard bid to the ho . As their tastes and views on fixtures change ,,, STAY ON TOP OF IT !!
" Mr. Smith , I gave you an allowance of $200 for the lavy faucets that were 4"c-c in chrome . Now you would like 8" spread in brushed nickel ,,,, that will be $120 MORE "

This way you have a "base Line" on which to bounce from .

Works pretty well. I'm sure smarter businessmen then me have better ways to do it. Just hang on ,,,,they'll be chiming in real soon

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Old 02-17-2008, 08:43 PM   #17
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Here's my formal welcome Pete .The more plumbing contractors ,the merrier.I failed to state what I consider to be obvious as far as ho's getting their own fixtures......absolutely no guarantees on ho provided material.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:46 PM   #18
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Quote:
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absolutely no guarantees on ho provided material.

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Old 02-19-2008, 12:49 PM   #19
 
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Re: Bidding Fixtures


Quote:
Originally Posted by Threaderman
absolutely no guarantees on ho provided material.
And that includes extra charges for broken/missing parts, waiting for delivery, replacing incorrect fixtures/faucets. If they bring you a widespread faucet and a 4" center basin, charge while you wait. And if something is so cheap that it breaks in your hands while you're trying to install it, they can just get you another one until you find one that works.

I once had a customer who replaced the faucet in their trailer once a year - usually because the plastic spout broke when they hit it with a pan.

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