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Unread 06-23-2005, 02:54 PM   #1
Johnnymac96
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evaluating plumbing bids (Houston, TX)

Will any of you plumbers help me evaluate the rough plumbing bids my bathroom remodel? I live in the Houston area.

Specifically, I have received bid from 4 guys for the job: $2200, $2600, $3000, and $4400 (I think the guy who bid high just doesn't want the job, so I am ignoring him) and I have no idea how to evaluate these bids.

The specs of my job are as follows:

- Cut and replace the upper portion of the iron toilet vent pipe with new PVC pipe (the existing pipe has a hole in it just above the ceiling line)

- Break out and remove approximately 11' of existing concrete

- Remove existing supply pipes and drain (drum trap) of old 3-sided tub

- Remove existing toilet drain pipe and install a 6" extension and new flange for proper clearance from new side wall

- Remove existing horizontal vent stack, drain, and supply pipes for existing lavatory

- Rough in new drain for new standalone shower (approx 5')

- Rough in new drain for new standalone bathrub (approx 5')

- Rough in new drain for new lavatory

- Install new copper supply pipes to shower

- Install shower valve

- Install new copper supply pipes to lavatory faucet

- Install new copper supply pipes to bathtub

- Install bathtub and bathtub valves

- Attach all new copper pipe to existing galvanized pipes using dielectric fittings

- Insulate all new copper pipe

- Contractor is responsible for all necessary permits and inspections for rough-in job

- Customer is responsible for all finish work and inspections

- Customer is responsible for disposing of all broken concrete and filling in with new concrete once inspections are complete



So my question is, are these bids reasonable for the amount of work involved? I have never negotiated with a contractor before, are these bids negotiable? Where is my negotiating room (ie which items)?

Also, I guess if any of you are here in Houston and care to bid on the job, feel free to contact me offline and I'll be happy to talk to you about it.
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Unread 06-23-2005, 02:59 PM   #2
Johnnymac96
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One more thing in the bids I forgot in my post:

- Cap and remove old gas wall heater.
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Unread 06-24-2005, 01:08 AM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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I'm coming up with between $2,600 and $2,700 for a wholesale cost. $4,400 guy is selling you at retail. $2,200 guy is either a new guy going out on his own trying to get business, or someone who specializes in underbidding to get jobs because that's what works for him.

Best value is getting the most product for the least dollar. Compare the bids very thoroughly apples for apples. Try to evaluate their level of professionalism. How did the company perform so far on your bidding process? I generally talk to them and listen carefully to what they have to say.......and.........last....I look at a guys truck....is it well cared for, or a POS? That gives me clues.

Negotiate with a plumber? Well sure, if it's a good size job (like multiple projects....say 5-10 sink installs at a condo project), or you have a relationship with him. I don't think you have much to negotiate IMHO. Go ahead and do what you think is fair. What is the worst that can happen?

Oh, before I forget.....look at payment schedule. Don't let too much more money be given away compared to the amount of work that has been completed.

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Unread 06-24-2005, 06:57 AM   #4
Johnnymac96
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Thanks, Kurt. That helps me tremendously. The low-bid guy actually doesn't want any payment until after the job is finished, so maybe I should snap him up ASAP.
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Unread 06-24-2005, 06:39 PM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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As long as he knows what he's doing. Hopefully he's been around the block enough to service your house w/o callbacks or misc. problems. Do yourself a favor and get details in writing. If he doesn't do that, do it for him in a nice, easy to read format. Then everyone feels like they are being treted fair. Nothing worse than not getting what you expected.


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