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Question DetailsAsked on 11/2/2012

Is it normal for a plumbing contractor to add 10% to both labor and materials?

Our contract states Labor & Materials Plus 10%. I read this to mean that 10% would be added to materials only; however, on the invoice an additional 10% has been added to both. The labor rate is already $85 per hour.

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4 Answers


It's hard to say from here. If it was made clear in advance then, yes,if not then you may have a legit issue. Let us know how it went.

Answered 7 years ago by BayAreaAC


It depends. For many larger plumbing companies the 10% is added to everything. Smaller Mom and Pop's usually only add to the parts but it's often more than 10%. The way you've stated the wording from your contract could be taken both ways but unless it says 10% of the materials it's fairly safe to say they intended 10% of everything.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX

Answered 7 years ago by Todd's Home Services


10% is a low markup on labor or materials,if they are at cost.Can't say from here.


Answered 7 years ago by BayAreaAC


That would depend on several things.

Are you being charged labor time for them to travel to and from the job and to pick up materials? If you aren't being charged for the travel time then you are getting a real bargain.

Some companies use that 10% to pay the estimator/salesman who evaluates the project and creates the material list. This generally ends up saving the customer money in the long run.

The normal Overhead and Profit portion of any type of work is 20% of the overall cost of the project. This assumes actual cost of materials, delivery and labor. Most people don't understand that the cost of labor is far more than the hourly wage. There is also liability insurance, unemployment insurance, health insurance, worker's compensation, matching Social Security, retirement account contributions, bonuses and "unbillable hours" where the guys are on the clock while they are getting coffee at the local gas station. There is the time spent tracking down the appropraite material for the job which may take minutes or hours depending on the products involved. The labor rate also includes tools and equipment costs, vehicles, training, and the list goes on.

All in all, I'd say you were getting a bargain on a plumber at $93.50 per hour.

Answered 7 years ago by Vern

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