How Big is the Plumbing and Drain Business Opportunity?
The plumbing and drain business opportunity is recession-resistant and can be far more lucrative than you might realize
Until something goes wrong, we tend to take our plumbing systems for granted. In reality, plumbing is directly responsible for our quality of life – and if our plumbing system fails, life can become pretty miserable very quickly. This simple fact means the plumbing and drain business opportunity is huge.
The fact that plumbing is a necessity makes it one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2024, the plumbing industry will have grown by 24% over 10 years. In 2019, the plumbing industry generates more than $110 billion annually. Unlike other home services industries, carpet cleaning, flooring, home remodeling, and yard maintenance — to name a few examples — the plumbing industry is directly tied to the fundamental quality of life that every homeowner expects and deserves. This is why the plumbing industry is recession-resistant: it is a need, not a want.
“The reality is, when you think about the home services industry, plumbing is the best opportunity there is,” says Thomas Dougherty, President of bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. “It’s a necessity for homeowners, which makes it incredibly recession-resistant. The plumbing industry is also vastly underserved. There’s a belief system about plumbing — we all know the stereotypes of the plumber with his butt crack exposed — but these people are highly trained, licensed professionals. Plumbing is the No. 1 investment we have in our homes. There’s simply nothing else in the home that can cost as much as our plumbing systems do, and we rely on our systems working every day. This makes investing in the plumbing industry a no-brainer.”
What makes a plumbing franchise such a lucrative business?
There’s an extremely advantageous phenomenon that those in the plumbing business know well: aging infrastructure and booming housing markets throughout the United States are increasing the demand for plumbers.
According to IBIS World, there are more than 120,000 plumbing businesses1 in the United States. While that may seem like a big number, a simple Google search will reveal that there’s a tremendous shortage of plumbers. For bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, one of the fastest-growing plumbing franchises in the United States, this is an enormous opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand.
But why is there a demand for plumbers when the margins for plumbing work are so high? According to Home Advisor, most homeowners spend up to $452 on average when they call a plumber, and that price reflects that this is for a routine, non-emergency situation. Most plumbing companies are there for the quick payout and may not alert the homeowner to what really is the root of the problem. When the problem is revealed, the price to fix the problem can go up exponentially. For example, Home Advisor reports that while a clogged toilet might cost $200, if the problem is a septic tank or sewer issue, the cost to fix it can go up to $3,000.
Changing the stereotypes about plumbing: It’s about people
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain is setting the gold standard for customer service in the plumbing industry. Our franchisees are available 24/7, 365 days a year, so their customers have a trustworthy plumber when disaster strikes. Our mission is to provide the right fix for the right price. We guarantee our work and we are not happy until the client is happy.
Our franchisees are able to offer their customers a wide range of services, which helps drive business, win new customers and provides access to multiple revenue streams. These are the lists of services that our franchisees provide to their customers day-in and day-out:
- Emergency calls
- Clogged drains
- Water heaters (including tankless water heaters)
- Toilets, faucets and sinks
- Sewer and water line repair or replacement
- Garbage disposal
- Tree removal
- Gas leak detection and repair
- And more!
“We educate our customers,” Dougherty says. “When we show up to a customer’s home because something went wrong, our goal is to turn them into lifelong customers.” By offering a membership service, we can be more proactive, catching problems before they become bigger issues. This is a tremendous benefit for the client, who becomes like our family, and creates more consistency in call volume for our franchisees.