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greenhorn123
04-07-2006, 08:26 PM
im looking for a list of prices for what i should be charging for service calls.

i know how to price an install but sometimes i think my services prices are inconsistent. does anyone have a general list as far as repairs, leaks, added heads and things like that? or how they get their price?

im in new england

Wet_Boots
04-07-2006, 08:35 PM
Time and Material ~ whatever the market will bear. If you know how to repair, your time is of value.

jerryrwm
04-08-2006, 01:11 AM
Like Boots said..."T&M"

There is no hard and fast rule for fixing a broken sprinkler line, or replacing a vandalized head because every situation is different. That broken line may be caused by a tree root, or heavy equipment, or an edging stake, etc. and you don't know what your're going to find till you get the dirt and mud out of the way.

You have to determine what your break even point is and then mark your labor up accordingly. Check around and see what others in your area are charging. Another yard stick is what the local plumbers charge. Charge as close to their rate as you can and you'll make some pretty decent money. Then mark the materials up accordingly. List price for most sprinkler whole goods will generally give you a 40% GP. Many just double their cost.

Go get 'em tiger

bicmudpuppy
04-10-2006, 09:29 AM
Like Boots said..."T&M"


Go get 'em tiger
Gave me goosebumps when both of them said it :) As has been stated over and over again, they could call a plumber who still couldn't fix it. Get paid a portion of what your worth! I have told many a customer "Superman is on vacation and X-ray vision isn't an option, we will do the best we can........"

PurpHaze
04-10-2006, 09:38 AM
im looking for a list of prices for what i should be charging for service calls.

If you have set prices you will not have any room to wiggle when you run into those repairs that need extra time and material because of unforeseen problems.

greenhorn123
04-16-2006, 10:18 AM
how do i get t & m for a rotor that takes 1 minute to swap out the guts and 1minute to adust. or a valve that i changed that took 15 minutes or a soleniod or a broken nozzel. im already charging for the spring turn on. i figured that people would have a list not for the customer like jiffy lube but for the service tech or yourselves. like 27 for a rotor 15 for a spray or 120 for a valve so on and so forth

Wet_Boots
04-16-2006, 10:50 AM
No list. No List!! No %&#@* List!!!! ~ Your new mantra is "time and material" because nothing else is fair. Either to yourself, or to your customers. Maybe you've led a sheltered existence, where all repairs were like the changing of a lightbulb. If so, you are in for an education, at Howard Knox University.

How would that list you're picturing deal with a head replacement that requires you to jackhammer some mortar away from that Belgian-block curb, on account of the original head being shorter than any replacement you can lay your hands on? How would it deal with one sheared-off riser that allowed sandy soil into a line to gum up an additional five heads?

PurpHaze
04-16-2006, 11:11 AM
LOL... calm down Boots. :laugh:

greenhorn123
04-16-2006, 11:23 AM
seriosly

im sure that happens everyday

PurpHaze
04-16-2006, 11:53 AM
What they're getting at is that you need a basic service call fee that covers your gas, insurance, initial time, etc.... those overhead things that are unseen to the customer. If you get to the call and only replace one nozzle then your service call price might include that. However, if you run into problems like having to replace several nozzles and a couple of sprinklers then you need to add additional material (priced up also) and perhaps time. Basically what everyone is saying is that you don't want to work for free.

greenhorn123
04-16-2006, 12:04 PM
obviosly if a service call turns into a nightmare that takes alot of time i would charge for my time. tell me what you charge for this.

spring turn on

a 4 zone system, 2 rotor zones 2 srays

arrive 10:00 am

set clock

run through system check adjustments

replaced 1 pgp that wasnt turning, just swapped out guts didnt even need a shovel.


finished 10:30am

Wet_Boots
04-16-2006, 12:06 PM
Replacing 'short' sprinkler heads with taller ones is going to become more common, because some of the original plastic gear-driven heads are going to be discontinued. I have some hammer duty coming up next week.

The whole point of T&M pricing is to add it on to your basic service charge. That fee includes a certain amount of time. If you can make your repairs within that basic time period, then all you add is the price of the parts you install. If you need more time, then charge for it.

I include 30 minutes of my on-site time in the service charge. After that, the meter starts running.

Ground Master
04-16-2006, 12:12 PM
30 minute call would run $50 plus 15 to 20 for the pgp

Wet_Boots
04-16-2006, 12:32 PM
I'll take $75, thank you. Although I might toss in an extra 15 minutes if I felt like it. And that PGP will cost $25 - list price plus sales tax I already paid, plus whatever I want to add to round it up and make my calculations simpler.

jerryrwm
04-16-2006, 08:20 PM
System turn-on and adjust heads - $75.00 (Minimum charge for turn-on)

Replace 1 PGP - Labor $34.00 Material $21.95

Total - $130.95 plus tax

Charge what the market will bear.

DanaMac
04-16-2006, 08:32 PM
Much like GroundMaster - $50 for first 1/2 hour, and $22 for rotor = $77

Now if you said 10:00 - 10:45, $50, plus $14 (1/4 hour at $56 hour), plus $22 = $91

I was at one start up yesterday that took me 8 minutes. No way I can charge her $50, so I knocked off $20. It was an existing customer, and she had us blow out the system. If it was a new cust., probably no discount. It's my discretion on things like that, and I give my tech a little bit of room to give discounts for good existing customers also. I would rather give discounts to good customers than to new ones.

I can get most systems started up and checked out in the first half hour.

SprinklerGuy
04-16-2006, 08:42 PM
Start up $62.00 includes 1st 1/2 hour
PGP $27.50

greenhorn123
04-16-2006, 09:12 PM
ive been charging 27 for the pgp 65 for turn on

what about a valve? not a situation where i had to jack hammer the pool deck to get to the valvebox with 2" valves on a copper manifold or any crazy senerio that boots can come up with, but a normal situation manifold of 4 1" valves dig it up change it out 15-20 minutes?

or how about a solenoid?

I charged $120 plus $65 turn on

Wet_Boots
04-16-2006, 09:35 PM
What 'normal' valve manifold? WTF can't you just sell your time by the F-in' hour, just like any other skilled tradesman does? Or are you suffering from a guilty conscience? Are you really just a hack and a goober? Are you ashamed of your near-total lack of true repair skills?
Afraid to stand up and shout "My time is valuable!!" ?? Just what's your deal? Don't they have any 35-year-old sprinkler systems up there? ;)

BSME
04-16-2006, 09:47 PM
the first company I ever worked for would charge a flat rate for everything they did... they would try to average labor and fittings into everything. So a startup would probably cost $55 while they would charge $52.50 a head. While customers wouldn't mind much about a turn on (getting all heads check, adjusted, and setting the timer) and replacing one head, they would flip if they had about 6 or 7 bad rotors. Once you're there it probably only takes another 20 minutes to change the next 6 heads.

T&M is the only fair way to do it.

I am also surprised how many guys don't charge a fair service call fee to replace a nozzle or something. I was guilty of this when I first started as well because I didnt realize how much went into a service call and I wasn't as legit as I am now.

I figured out how much it costs me to be in business every day and spread that out over and average number of service calls every day. I need to make this back first.
-advertising
-insurance
-workmans comp
-certifications
-truck repairs
-phone bills
-etc

and then the variable costs every time you go out..
-gas
-two guys labor (if it's you and another guy you have to pay yourself), make sure you account for soc security

and then there are the things you dont charge for... teflon, cutter blades... you gotta buy shovels, rakes, tshirts, boots...

and people are charging $30 for a service call?


I charge $24.50 for a pgp by the way

BSME
04-16-2006, 09:50 PM
I agree with you wetboots...

I think some people are afraid to look someone in the eye and say, "I'm charging you $60 an hour to adjust these sprinklers"

and I did try to charge like that my first year because that was all I knew... and yea.. you'll come out ahead on those "normal" manifolds... but what do you do when there is no box... just buried valves between trees roots under the porch stairs?

What 'normal' valve manifold? WTF can't you just sell your time by the F-in' hour, just like any other skilled tradesman does? Or are you suffering from a guilty conscience? Are you really just a hack and a goober? Are you ashamed of your near-total lack of true repair skills?
Afraid to stand up and shout "My time is valuable!!" ?? Just what's your deal? Don't they have any 35-year-old sprinkler systems up there? ;)

greenhorn123
04-16-2006, 10:00 PM
so whats your deal? youre some tuff guy that likes to talk **** on a message board?

how much should i charge for the time it takes to kick your ass?

Beartooth
04-16-2006, 10:48 PM
In Montana, I'd kick your ass free of charge! Wet Boots is right, pull up your pampers and start charging time & materials...if you don't, you'll be posting on the looking for employment thread!

bicmudpuppy
04-16-2006, 11:09 PM
Well, glad to see Boots is back to working half days plus. His sense of humor is gone and reality is back. GET PAID. T&M. BE A PRO
You gave them a price for the turn on? Right? Or you bid a per hour for the turn on? right? You didn't tell them it was free when they called did you? Maybe you did........If you did would you like to come out here and do some for me as a sub getting paid ZERO? I like the profit margin in that. Whatever you agreed to charge for the turn on, BILL IT. For ANYTHING extra BILL IT.

Want your question answered? I charge my customers one of two ways for turn ons. Either $75 for a spring turn on, or $100 up front for the Spring Turn on and Winterization. That broken rotor is a 30 minute minimum because I waved the $40 service call because I was already there. Hourly rate is $44/hour in 15 min increments. A standard Rotor is $30 plus ALL misc. parts. $10min for any misc. parts. So, since we only swaped the guts, I charge them for the initial service either $75 or $100. Then I add $30 for the rotor and $22 additional labor.

Wet_Boots
04-17-2006, 08:23 AM
I'm not really trying to start a flame war with the newbie New Englander, but more to reinforce the point that a repairman is selling his time, and he doesn't have to sell it for cheap.

As one gets better at repairs, and builds a reputation for quality work, one can begin to not worry about (some) customers complaining the prices are too high. If nobody complains about your prices, you're not charging enough.

SprinklerGuy
04-17-2006, 08:52 AM
If you can dig up and replace a 4 valve manifold in 15 minutes...come to Colorado and do all of mine.....

I always tell the client to expect approx 100 bucks per valve for manifold replacement...but then I itemize the bill using T and M...sometimes lower than 100 per valve, sometimes much higher.

The easy manifolds are always lower than 100 per valve...

T and M is the only fair way...as everyone is telling you...

Wet_Boots
04-17-2006, 09:09 AM
Maybe it's a 4 zone manifold of antisyphon valves. :p

I also use the hundred-buck-a-valve figure for a benchmark, so a homeowner knows what to expect. The homeowner with a dozen or so Flo-Pro valves in unboxed, unknown locations is ever so thrilled to hear that.

SWD
04-17-2006, 03:18 PM
I charge a flat rate for repairs, which includes the windshield time to get to the job.
The only time I discount this price is if the repair becomes a nightmare marathon and then I come down about 5%.
Materials are charged at the retail rate, for instance Hunter has a price guide for their components. I use this and frequently check to determine if these prices have fluctuated-which they frequently do.
I will quote my service call price when asked, however I never quote material price as I do not know until I have gotten in to the problem.
How I explain this is by saying "Well the battery in my crystal ball just went dead so I have to do this the old fashioned way - by getting dirty".
From talking with some other guys in the area and the supply house, my rates are reasonable.
Occassionally, I have to repair a low-ballers ^*&% up and then the full service and material charge is in effect.

greenhorn123
04-17-2006, 09:18 PM
i meant changing 1 valve on a 4 valve manifold, not hard

thanks for the jinx wet boots, today i ran into 2 systems 35+ years old. bukner 400 strips for heads, clocks and valves were already updated a few years back.

Dirty Water
04-17-2006, 09:32 PM
i meant changing 1 valve on a 4 valve manifold, not hard

thanks for the jinx wet boots, today i ran into 2 systems 35+ years old. bukner 400 strips for heads, clocks and valves were already updated a few years back.

Changing one valve on a manfold I put in isn't hard, because I use threaded valves and space them out enough so that you can spin them off and not have to rebuild the manifold.

But your 'set price' is going to kill you when you have to change a manifold of slip valves all fitting to fitting installed 20 years ago under a maple tree.

Wet_Boots
04-17-2006, 09:41 PM
I think I have a couple of those old Buckner strip heads. I think they made them in different angles. I remember revamping some shrub zones for a family on a budget by closing down most of the overgrown shrub risers and putting a couple of Rain-o-Mat strip nozzles on two of the risers. With the high pressure they had, the strip nozzles actually covered about fifty feet of beds.

Wet_Boots
04-18-2006, 11:44 AM
Those Rain-o-Mat strip nozzles were the old-style ones that threw the water straight up and out, in a fan pattern. Really lame by today's standards. But don't knock Buckner - someone paid over a hundred-fifty for this old Buckner brass impact head on eBay, bless their little hearts.

PurpHaze
04-18-2006, 10:38 PM
But don't knock Buckner - someone paid over a hundred-fifty for this old Buckner brass impact head on eBay, bless their little hearts.

Can't see it very well because the picture is too small but I have several of the old Buckner rocker arm impact sprinklers in the back room. Wonder if they'd go up on Ebay. :laugh:

Wet_Boots
04-18-2006, 11:18 PM
I think what might be the selling point is whether it is sitting on a Buckner logo base. I can't pull any more photos on the one I put up, but it's a curious sort of impact head, being that it's a wedge-drive head with the ability to reverse, and thus do a part circle. That's something you don't see in wedge-drive impacts today, or at least in the ag catalogs I've seen. All they show are full-circle wedge-drive impacts. I always thought Buckner rocker-jets were cool.

PurpHaze
04-18-2006, 11:28 PM
I always thought Buckner rocker-jets were cool.

Same here... kinda fun to watch. We had one site where the guy there asked me for any of the old rocker jets we came across instead of the standard impacts. He just liked them so much. That site went automated three years ago, had their QCVs abandoned and we just dumped the Buckners into a corner of the back shop. I even think I have some Rain-o-mat ball driven rotors back there also. Monsters!

Wet_Boots
04-18-2006, 11:35 PM
I visited Rain-o-Mat, at their place in Whittier. I think they took a hit from an earthquake. Anyway, machined brass heads were doomed, especially ones that only popped up half an inch. I used some of their tiny little #7 rotors servicing systems that had all Buckner 1300 brass cam drive heads.

PurpHaze
04-18-2006, 11:38 PM
Damn Boots... you go WAY back. Before long you'll be giving OlderThanDirt a run for his money. :laugh:

Wet_Boots
04-18-2006, 11:44 PM
I just fixed them. Lotta ancient stuff 'round these parts. It was kind of a change of pace, actually opening up and fixing a rotor head.