JH Plumbing and Heat

Frequently Asked Questions
Or: answers to questions you didn't ask, but could benefit from knowing anyway:

Q: Labor rates?
A: $75/hr. for residential home service; $80/hr. for: trailers, projects with homeowner supplied fixtures, commercial service and other projects (this includes all landord/non-homeowner work on residential properties).

I Also bid jobs for contractors and home owners (see below for more information). For subcontracting rates, please contact me. After hours rates listed below.

Q: Payment options?
A: Payment due on receipt by Cash, Check, or Credit/Debit Card. Cards with signiture will have 2% of bill added as a fee. Credit cards over phone will have 3.5% of bill as a fee.

Q: How do you process cards?
A: I have card swiper for my smart phone or I have to write your card information down; name, number, css code, zip code and card address, then put the information into a secure merchant services account online. I do not keep the information. Reciepts can be emailed emmidately.

Q: Why is payment due on receipt?
A: Please, if you can't afford the services, don't use them. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, you may even be asked for a payment up front. Don't take it personally if you receive a reminder call or email after two weeks. Remember: I've got bills to pay too! (e.g. the materials used on your job).

Q: After hours service calls?
A: Yes. After hours, holiday and weekend labor is $160 for the first hour. After the first hour time and a half normal rates. Time starts after I hang up the phone and runs until the work is done. Minimum first hour charge.

Q: "Estimates" for work?
A: Short answer:
Of course! By my definiton an estimate is an ammount given in good faith that you pay for the work if it is reasonbly near the estimate given, over or under the ammount, as it relates to the nature of the activity.

I can give you broad estimates for many repairs and replacements over the phone. A more detailed, closer to the mark estimate will probably involve an on-site inspection of work to be done. Usually there is no fee for the first look, if I do need to charge the time we will agree to that before I look.

More on "estimates":
An "estimate" is a very dangerous thing if we have different ideas or definitions of what that word means. I generally try not to use that word unless I am talking about a contract with defined terms in it. I instead like to use price ranges as my form of "estimating" and will use terminology reflecting that.

In my view an "estimate" is best given as a price range from a low mark which assumes ideal conditions for performing the work with expected materials, to a high mark allowing for a more difficult or unexpected situation causing more time and/or materials to complete properly. The high mark could be quite a lot higher than the low mark, but understanding the unkowns of the repair/installation should prepare you for haveing to pay out on the high mark. In the event that work completion will lead to a charge over the high mark, it will not be completed untill approved by the customer.

My view on "estimates" is really what amounts to a "Not to exceed" amount. This is usually the term I refer to in most of my contracts; a contract is what I call my printed "estimate" with it's defined terms. A "not to exceed" amount is similar to an "estimate" as a way for you to control costs of the job with well defined terms for the expected work, but it allows for best of both worlds: a known amount for the project, but paying as little as possible.

A "not to exceed" amount is best for us both because I get protection for my most valuble asset: my time, and you get the chance to have the work done for as little as possible. Again, be aware that unexpected problems can still arise, and may force you to make hard decisions about the finial product or cost.

Q: Do I put in bids for Bid jobs?
A: Yes. Bid jobs are generally for larger projects lasting days, weeks, or more, and are usually for new constuction or renovation of whole systems for home or busniess applications. I welcome bids for new home or business installations, renovations and additions. I do work on my own, however, and some projects will just be too large in scope for my business unless time considerations are made.

Q: Will I be on time for an appointment?
A: I do my best. If I'm running + or - 15min. or more, I try to call you with a heads up. Unfortunately a notice of my delay (it's usually a delay) will not come with much warning, most likely. That is just the nature of the business; sometimes things don't go according to plan, and unexpected events crop up. At any time of day an immediate emergency may be called in, and interruptions like these could even push your appointment to another day.

Q: Boiler cleaning services?
A: Yes, I will test for efficiency and perform maintanice on your oil burning boiler or furnace. A standard cleaning is $160, including soot cleaning, filter replacements and nozzel change. Hard to reach spaces, larger systems, or additional trouble-shooting resulting in more labor will be carged by the hour plus materials.