Price Pipe Lining Jobs Carefully to Ensure Profitability

Estimating a job using a price per foot baseline is fine as long as you are fully considering all possible expenses

Price Pipe Lining Jobs Carefully to Ensure Profitability

Interested in Relining/Rehab?

Get Relining/Rehab articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Relining/Rehab + Get Alerts

How do you price lining jobs? Do you charge by the foot? By the job? Do you take difficulty or risk into account? Do you define the scope of the work you plan to perform? Do you have to pull fixtures and reinstall them? Who is responsible for breakage of old fixtures, the “treasures” the customer believes are irreplaceable?  

Estimating a job can get pretty detailed. Using a per foot pricing structure for lateral lining, pipe patches or pipe bursting can be a quagmire that you don’t want to necessarily walk into with only a hope and prayer that you’ve covered your costs. Let’s start with the things we know and gradually work into a proper estimate for the customer.

Since you know material costs per foot, mark that down, but set it aside and do not use it as the basis for the sale price of the job. Next is the risk. Do you have to remove “treasured fixtures” in order to get the job done? Add something in to cover the risk of breaking the fixture. You can shop for a replacement online and add the cost of breaking or damaging an old fixture that would be better served replaced than salvaged and reused except for the customer's sentimental value. While we are on the subject of pulling and replacing fixtures, most of you charge to replace a toilet or sink. Shouldn’t that cost be added to your estimate? Now we’re getting a picture of your job costs if things go poorly.

If you expected to line through a clean-out but the clean-out isn’t there and should be under current code, that cost should be added. They cost something to install, and that expense should be included and upsold as a code upgrade that the homeowner needs in order to stay in compliance.

Here’s the cost that can take a job from profitable to a loser very quickly: cleaning. If the pipe is damaged, great care must be taken to get the pipe clean without collapsing or destroying it. I’ve seen a solid two days of labor used to get a pipe ready for relining. If you’ve not considered the extra time for cleaning badly tuberculated or damaged pipe, you are shorting yourself by using a per foot material price.

Bottom line, let’s think more carefully about pipe lining job costs beyond a per foot pricing structure. If you don’t consider everything, you may be needlessly cutting into your profits.

About the Author

John Heisler is the owner of Pipe Lining Supply and Quik-Lining Systems. He has more than 20 years of experience in the CIPP lining industry and over 40 years in the underground construction industry.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.