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Question DetailsAsked on 4/3/2012

Is it customary to tip workmen, such as plumbers, electricians, remodelers, etc.? I've never heard of tipping contactors.

Recently, I read something on Angie's List about tipping on the full value of the deal, not just on the amount paid. I understand that if it is a massage, beauty salon service, or something similar, but not household repairs or other types of workers.

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23 Answers

Voted Best Answer

From the wall street journal online:

"Etiquette and tipping experts agree that tipping a contractor and his employees isn't expected because contractors offer to do a job for you at a specific price. Any extra money they would want would be built into their bid. Also, it's a business relationship rather than one where they are performing a personal service for you like a waiter or a maid. But if the employees do extra jobs around the house, then experts say it is appropriate to tip a cash amount equivalent to the task; "tip gifts" such as cookies and drinks can count. "The key to tipping is whether or not it was outside the scope of what was normally expected," says Mark Brenner, author of "Tipping for Success!"

My opinion is that a little bit of courtesy (snacks, drinks, expression of appreciation etc.) goes a long way and upon completion of their work you feel compelled by a job well done to offer a little extra in the form of a tip - go for it, but do not feel obligated.


Answered 4 years ago by HMDhome


I live in NYC and do tip employee plumbers, air conditioner installers, appliance repairmen, if they are on time, polite and do a good job. This is important if I know I will use them again. Usually the crew chief gets the tip and it's up to him to share. Contractors and self employed workers
(like my single electrician) don't get tips.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9928650


As a General Contractor for 20 years in California, I see one large problem giving cash to employees of a contractor. Under EDD guidelines, when you give money to someone for work done, that is not a legal independent contractor, they become your employee. There is a good chance that they could file an injury claim against the homeowner. We have received "tips" for extra effort which we pass on to the employees, since our pay is part of the contract. Since our Diamond Certified reputation is due to the work of our employees and subcontractors, it behooves us to treat them as well as possible.

Answered 4 years ago by Cline1


Having owned an A?C contracting company since 1975, i can tell that somee customers tip our techs and installers very well,but is not expected for them to make a good living, like a food server. So I'd just go with my personal feeling.

We have done to major renovations at our the past two years, I tipped all the workers with a Free Air Conditioning Cleaning and Tune-up,since I know our guys appreciate it when they get tipped.


Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC


It depends. If they do an excellent job and are really great - it's up to you. If they are out working in 95 degree weather, water, soda are Greatly appreciated. And under these conditions tips are suggested. Some industries, like Movers generally expect a tip, and is usually suggested in the paper work.

If someone/crew goes above and beyond it is always greatly appreciated.

Many peoply let they're dogs out just when the crew is sitting down out side to work, some never offer to let them use their bath room eventhough the crew is there 9 hours.

"contractors" is a very broad term and varies by locality - like NYC. If not sure, simply ask the foremen/supervisor what the custom is. They won't lie and most will say no. Repeating my self, above and beyond or unusually circumstances warrent a tip.


Answered 4 years ago by help1968


You don't have to tip your contractor, it's really not expected, but remember we are people too. If you expect the guys to be on your job for a few days, a little lunch and coffee now and again will go a loooooooong way!

As the owner of my company I have only been tipped once, not counting lunches and what not, my guys have been tipped a few times each year. If you are gonig to tip, just tip the workers directly.


Answered 4 years ago by ReliableAmericanRoof


Never. As a contractor I would NOT want people to tip my employees. Additionally over the years I have recieved 'tips' from customers that when they paid added an additional hundred dollars or so. I have not returned that money and we invested it back into our company, but tipping is something I would not want people to do. Make/Buy a lunch, provide cold drinks or snacks would be great and appreciated. But NO tipping

APA Paint

Answered 3 years ago by APAPaint


I would not want anyone tipping my employees or subcontractors. And believe me it is not expected.

Source: I am a construction estimator

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9388144


I think it is customary to tip. But, what each person tips is up to them. In our business we have several customers that tip in different ways. For instance we had one lady that had us replace a door knob, fix a leaking faucet, put up 3 shelves in her garage, move a couch, fix her garbage disposal and replace some trim on one side of her house around a window. We charged her $100.00. She appologized because she had no money to give us a tip until pay day which was two days away. My husband told her that she already gave us a tip which was the sodas. He offered half of the money back, due to her not having money until pay day. She said if she needed anything she would call her son.Then other times we get a tip of cash, for instance last week we received a $400.00 tip. We have received higher amounts that this as well as a car once. But the point is whether it is a glass of water, a thank you, a lamp they no longer need and yes we have received a few over the years among other things, including the car. It does not always have to be cash in order to be a tip. But, no matter what you receive as a tip show appreciation. Even when it comes to most of the lamps we could not use over the years. We have always found some one that could use the item(s). It's treat people the way you want to be treated, and always show appreciation.

Answered 2 years ago by flandershomeservice


As someone who has always been the worker not the owner,if anybody does a good job,whats wrong with giving a tip?I dont think thiers much case law for personal injury for giving a tip.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_98356521


As a general contractor for 40 years, I do not want my employees cash tripped. I do however, strongly urge my clients to provide occasional pizza, sodas...etc to show their appreciation, which in turn gets the best out of our employees and subcontractors. Michael Kavin

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9406809


I tip everybody that comes to my door except USPS, UPS and Fedex. Those guys never give me the chance...they are too quick. My son drives an oil delivery truck and he says the drivers fight to deliver to the tippers.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_93705551


Not totally expected, but our guys get tips often. totally up to you.


Answered 2 years ago by BayAreaAC


It depends on the homeowners. Go with your gut..we usuallly receive a few cash tips per year, but we do not do our job any better because we might get tipped. We provide a service and charge enough to tip ourselves and if the guys finish on time and we dont have any unforseen circumstances, then we tip with an extra hour or two on their timecards. When we do get tipped, its split evenly amongst the crews. Additionally, We are putting our best foot forward to get rewarded with repeat business and referrals, which in my opinoin, is the greatest tip one could receive.

Owner: Gutter and Downspout Company in Western Suburban Chicago.

Answered 1 year ago by Guest_91435461


Some of are customers do tip, it is not expected but always welcomed. Some tip just around the Christmas season, some tip every time a tech comes to the home, some tip on installations.

The price naver seems to have any relationship to he tip. Some tip, 5 or 10, some 20 or more. On equipment installations, some have tipped a $100 or more.

I do not believe that this is or should be customary.


Answered 1 year ago by BayAreaAC


As owner of Climate Right Construction I believe in rounding the bill off in the customer's favor but as for my men, quite often customers will give them a tip or buy their lunch or something like that. It's not expected but of course they like it when it happens. I like it because it lets me know that our customers are pleased and the ultimate goal is that we be invited back for more work not just what we can make today.

The guys like a tip but what really gets them pumped is when the customer makes a request to me that they be the one I send to do a particular job.

Answered 1 year ago by climateright14


Its not customary but its always appreciated ... The guys work for me and get tips on occasion and will go a few extra miles for you knowing you are happy with them

Answered 1 year ago by Guest_9932513


You can always tip your plumber or electrician if you think it is the right thing to do. Most of the plumber working for plumbing contractors are commision based. So again it is your own will to tip them. I would say writing a nice yelp review or angies list review will do better, while mentioning their name. So this way they might even get a praize.

Answered 1 year ago by gsmithmike


Historically a tip is to insure good services. However, that is not the case now. I believe that you should appreciate the services you receive and recognize a job well done with a tip. If you don't have that ability then be kind. Offer a drink, or lunch. You may work hard sitting at a desk. But these everyday people keep our world working, you don't have those skills. Show them respect.

Answered 1 year ago by Guest_91684431


Except for a professional - lawyer, doctor, etc. - if someone does work for me, from a waitress to an electrician I evaluate thier work and if they have exceeded the basic "do the job" then I recognize the performance. The tip depends on the performance.

Recently moved, the guys were sweating thier kesters off in the heat and humidity, tipped them good, Loved seeing the smiles on thier faces.

Also, some jobs, pizza deliver, get tips because they are not compensated for the use of thier cars.

Answered 1 year ago by Guest_92685871


If I have people working on my house and they are working really hard, I usually like to buy them some pizza and have it delivered. One time I even ran to Costco and bought a case of gatorade, water and energy drinks and threw it in a cooler for them. To me, it's not about a tip per se, but more like treating them like humans who are working their butt off for you. It never hurts to have some good will from the crew working in/on your home.

Answered 11 months ago by dgazaway


Quite a few people tip our guys well. From service calls to complete installs. The guys appreciate it, but do not expect it, as a sever would, like you said.


Answered 11 months ago by BayAreaAC


The guys like a tip but what really gets them pumped is when the customer makes a request to me that they be the one I send to do a particular job.electrical enclosures

Answered 5 months ago by Guest_96466282


Professionals like plumbers, electricians, roofers, etc, in my opinion should never be tipped.

They are paid for doing a job and that is that.

I do tip delivery drivers who perhaps deliver a washer or dryer etc. I also tip the guys who pick up the trash if they do a good job all year. Other than resturant servers (not at food courts or fast food joints) thats about it for tipping.

Would be nice if everyone received living wages +++ but that is between the employer and the employee and not the customer.

Answered 4 months ago by Guest_99371621

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