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I agree entirely Max many Plumbers I've known over the years had no Idea how to work out the hourly rate of doing business.
At one time 4 separate firms shared an office/phone answering 2 way radio setup, all with differing rates.
2 of us worked out the rates independently and were pretty close the other 2 would immediately say "You'll never get that rate" and then they would follow with a similar rate.
I used to say to them how do you know you're charging the right rate you might be too low or too high? .........They didn't care they sometimes would call a couple of other plumbers asking for a quote to see what others were charging, No way to operate.
There's a very good reason why rates for WA are above that in other states: we have been affected more by the "skills shortage" than other states.
Plus, when you see the standard of installation work turned out by plumbers in other states (particularly water heaters) and the resultant on-line complaints, it's really no wonder their rates are so much lower.
But at the end of the day, cheaper rates may just mean that the plumbers in other states don't understand the "cost of doing business" the way we do. But even at $96.93 per hour, we still aren't going to be able to afford to buy that second Ferrari any time soon.
Kalamunda Plumbing PL980