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Commission-Based Plumbers vs. Hourly Plumbers: Which is Better For You?
Commission-Based Plumbers vs. Hourly Plumbers: Which is Better For You?
Feb 20, 2024 • 6 Min
Commission-Based Plumbers vs. Hourly Plumbers: Which is Better For You?

As a homeowner or business owner, it’s not uncommon to face plumbing emergencies like leaky faucets, clogged toilets, or blocked sewer lines that cause drainage issues.

Unfortunately, what may have started as a simple plumbing problem can quickly escalate into a more significant issue, resulting in costly repairs and skyrocketing plumbing rates. Unexposed costs can happen when a situation requires extensive plumbing work or when dealing with a commissioned plumber who earns a commission based on the number of services they sell.

What’s the Difference Between Flat-Rate Versus Hourly Plumbers?

Understanding the different labor rates for plumbing services is a good idea to make the best choice for your property and your budget.

Regarding flat rate vs hourly plumbing rates – the difference lies in how plumbers charge for their services. Flat-rate plumbing means a fixed price for the project, and an hourly rate means you pay the plumber by the hour based on their per-hour rate. Let’s look at both in detail:

Flat-Rate Plumbers

Flat-rate pricing is generally more suited to plumbing projects with enormous scope, such as a complete home repiping or a new water main installation. These rates are quoted before the project begins, so you have a complete picture of how much you’ll be spending.

On the other hand, it leaves room for plumbers to cut corners to make more profit. Ambiguity in the project scope can lead to more money lost in paying for smaller tasks that were overlooked when the original quote was provided.

Hourly Plumbers

Hourly plumbers charge their clients based on their time working on a project. Unlike those who work on commission, hourly plumbers prioritize job completion, overselling additional services. Hourly plumbers tend to focus on completing the job to the best of their abilities.

Hiring a plumber who charges hourly rates is an excellent choice for small-scale plumbing projects. However, it’s essential to remember that there may be some uncertainty regarding the project’s cost, as the work may take longer or shorter than initially estimated. Partnering with a reliable and reputable plumbing company minimizes the risks associated with unexpected expenses and ensures a smoother and more satisfactory experience for you as the customer. It’s worth investing the time to research and select a trustworthy company to handle your plumbing needs.

Factors That Affect Hourly and Commission-Based Plumbing Rates

Many factors can impact the hourly or commissioned plumber’s plumbing rates. Property owners need to be aware of these factors to make an informed decision about how to resolve their plumbing issues best and ensure their plumbing system gets restored to good working order. Factors to consider include:

  • Experience: More experienced plumbers, like master plumbers or ones with advanced certifications, may have a higher labor rate.
  • Commission Structure: If you are engaging a commissioned plumber, remember that the company’s commission structure will impact the final cost.
  • Distance and Travel Time: Travel time to the job site is added to the hourly rate and will affect the final quote.
  • Materials and Equipment: Depending on the nature of the job, the required plumbing materials and the equipment used can also impact the price.
  • Complexity and Risk: The more complex the job is, the more time and expertise are required to complete it, directly impacting the final quote.
Hourly cost of plumbing services, photo Ben's Plumbing

Why Are Hourly Plumbers Better For You?

Do you need help deciding whether to choose commission or hourly plumbing rates? Let us help you by highlighting why an hourly rate is the better choice:

  • Transparent Billing: An hourly plumber helps establish a clear correlation between the required work and the money you’ll pay for the plumbing project.
  • Pay for Actual Work Done:  The plumber charges only for actual hours worked to complete the job.
  • Easier to Verify Work: You can easily monitor and oversee the work to ensure it is on track and takes little time.
  • Competitive Pricing: Hourly plumbers have more competitive rates than flat-rate plumbers due to high competition.
  • Suitable for Emergencies: In cases where the situation can not wait for an upfront cost assessment, an hourly plumber is always a better option for damage control.

You will be pleased to know that all plumbers and technicians at Ben’s Plumbing are paid hourly. We believe in charging you only for the work done, without any incentives for our team to offer you unnecessary services that could cause a financial burden.

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Great Reasons to Choose Hourly Plumbers From Ben’s Plumbing

We have served the greater Seattle and Eastside communities for over 25 years with personalized plumbing services. We offer a cost-effective pricing structure based on competitive, market hourly rates for licensed plumbers in Seattle and the Eastside.

Our goal is to offer our valued customers, both new and returning, plumbing services that are top-quality and affordable. Our teams of plumbers and technicians are highly experienced, licensed, and insured. We strive to be available 24/7 to attend to your plumbing emergencies.

All you need to do is give us a call – we look forward to becoming your plumbing service partner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between hourly versus commission-based plumbers?

The main difference between hourly and commission-based plumbers is how their company compensates them. Hourly plumbers receive a set hourly wage for their time, while commission-based plumbers earn a percentage of their sales or revenue.

Each compensation structure has its advantages and considerations, and the most suitable compensation structure may depend on various factors, including the nature of the plumbing work needed, budget considerations, and personal preferences.

What do plumbers charge per hour?

The hourly rate that plumbers charge can vary significantly and depends on location, level of experience, type of plumbing services provided, and the company’s overhead costs.

On average, plumbers in the greater Seattle and Easide areas may charge anywhere from $45 to $350 per hour. Rates can be higher in areas with a higher cost of living or with increased demand for plumbing services.

Do plumbers get paid by the hour?

Plumbers are paid hourly if that is the costing structure followed by their employer. An hourly plumber is relatively more cost-effective than a flat-rate or a commissioned-based plumber.

What is the hourly rate for a plumber in Seattle?

The hourly rate for a plumber in the greater Seattle and Easide areas may be anywhere from $45 to $350 per hour.

Remember that the hourly rate of the plumber you hire may vary depending on the company’s costing structure, the location of the business, and the increased demand for plumbing services in the area.

Ben Foster
Ben Foster
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