This is the second post in the [Job Insight] category. The first post was popular and many people asked for more so I will continue these posts as long as they continue to get good feedback. Originally I had called the category [Job Examples] but I think [Job Insight] fits a little better.
Job description: Install 2 shower valve cartridges and a diverter spout
This job came from a new customer who found my website. Luckily this customer only lived less than 10 minutes from me so this turned out to be a really nice, quick job. This job was scheduled in a day that had 2 other jobs already completed so this was my last job for the day. I arrived at this job at 1pm and was out of there by 2:10pm.
Getting the call
This client called me the day prior to scheduling the work. I happened to have some time after two scheduled jobs so I booked this one as the third job for the day. My first job was at 8, the next job was at 10:30, then this job was at 1pm. I went out to lunch just before arriving at this job.
When the client called, he told me that he had a shower that didn’t really switch from cold to hot. It stayed mostly cold. He also had a shower/tub combo in another bathroom and when he pulled the diverter, most of the water still came out of the tub spout and a little came out of the shower head. My immediate thoughts to this job were “piece of cake”. I knew exactly what was going on with both situations.
I told him over the phone that I knew what was going on. I gave him a rough quote of $125 for the labor and told him he’d have some materials cost added on as well depending on the type of shower valve he had, etc. He agreed.
Note: if I don’t have an exact price to quote over the phone I give a rough (but pretty accurate) price just to prequalify the customer. If they don’t agree to the rough price, then I don’t have to waste time driving out. I also make sure I mention to them that the price I’m quoting over the phone is a ball park based on what they told me and I would give an exact price after seeing the job.
Quoting the job
I completed two previous jobs before arriving to this job. When I got there the client showed me what was going on. I pretty much already knew what needed to be done before he even showed me.
So it turned out that he needed a new diverter spout in one bathroom (which I already knew from our phone conversation) and he needed a new shower valve (cartridge) in the master bathroom shower. That’s the one that was having problems switching from cold to hot and vise versa.
He also showed me that he bought these new trim kits for both bathrooms as well as the diverter spout. I have quite a bit of experience with Mixet shower valves because a lot of homes in this area were built with them.
In the bathroom that needed the new diverter spout I could see that the Mixet shower valve was looking pretty bad. Since he wanted to change out the trim kit in that bathroom anyway, I recommended that we change out the valve in there too because it was probably on it’s way out just like the other one in the master bathroom. He agreed. Luckily, I carry these cartridges in my van because I come across them often. I happen to have two on had as well which is kinda lucky too because normally I only carry one.
So as for the quote:
I only charged him for installing the 2 shower valves because I would need to take off the trim kit to get to the valve anyway and I thought it would be nice to include the installation of the diverter spout as well. You’ll see I’m going to make good money on this job so I wasn’t worried about bundling it all together like that.
The quote was for installation of 2 shower valves at $75 each for the labor and then $30 parts for each valve.
($75 x 2 = $150) + ($30 x 2 = $60) = $210
Completing the work
Everything went smoothly as expected. I installed both shower valves, both trim kits, and the diverter spout and tested everything. Sorry no picture on this one.
After cleaning up, the client paid with his American Express card and I sent him the invoice right on the spot. I collected the payment and sent the invoice using my iPad and the ServiceM8 app. In the same app I’m also able to check out of the job and mark it as complete. This shows me the exact time I was on the job too.
Time on the job + hourly rate
I started this job at 1:00pm and finished at 2:10pm so that’s 1.17 hrs total. That’s from setup to cleanup and doesn’t include drive time but this job was very close to me. I love it when that happens. So for $210 total – $34 for materials cost = $176 / 1.17 hrs. = $150/hr. My target hourly rate is $100 per hour so I had no problem achieving that and surpassing it on this job.
Notes about the job
As you can see I made $176 for a little over an hour of work. This is exactly why I prefer smaller jobs over larger ones. I prefer to get in and out and on to the next job. Keep in mind, I don’t rush jobs at all. As you gain more experience doing certain jobs you naturally become quicker at them. This is also the exact reason I do not charge hourly for my services and why I also recommend that you go flat rate as well.
You also read earlier that I had those shower valves in my van already. This saved me a trip to pick them up at the hardware store. If there are jobs that you come across often, start stocking the parts in your work vehicle. It will save you time and gas thus increasing your profit and hourly rate.
You may have noticed that I charged $30 for each valve. These Mixet valve cartridges cost me about $17 or so. I usually mark up lower priced materials at a much higher rate than higher priced ones. After all, it’s extremely convenient for the customer when I already have the cartridges in my van. It allows me to get the job done faster and get out of their house. I also had to put up the money to stock those parts and keep them on hand until someone needs them. I consider the markup justified.
Any thoughts on this job? Let me know in the comments below.