This updated post on plumbing franchises is a two-parter.
The 1st part lists the top 6 plumbing franchise opportunities of 2024.
The 2nd part offers my take and advice on whether or not you should own and operate a franchise plumbing business.
Specifically, would buying a franchise business that focuses on plumbing and drains-drain your savings?
Finally, today’s plumbing franchise opportunities have total upfront investments ranging from $100,000 or so, to $400,000 or more.
The Top 6 Plumbing Franchises For 2024
Here are the most popular franchises in the plumbing space.
1. Z Plumberz
Z Plumberz is a plumbing franchise opportunity with a strange name.
The company, part of the Belfor Group, put together a nice video about their plumbing franchise opportunity. You should watch it.
As to your initial startup costs for this plumbing franchise opportunity, it will range from $232,670 to $390,210. The franchise fee is $44,900.
2. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
You don’t need to be a plumber to start a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing franchise.
That’s because according to their franchise website, “We’re ready to make sure you’re trained and equipped to hit the ground. Your success is our success, and our operating system helps ensure that we both experience it!”
Cost-wise, your initial investment will range from $128,954 – $223,738. And your upfront franchise fee is $43,000.
For the details, check out the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing franchise .
RooterMan is a plumbing franchise that’s been providing plumbing-related services for over 40 years.
The company has a whopping 750 plumbing franchises up and running, and according to their franchise opportunity website, “Is a trusted national brand you can use to take your plumbing business to the next level.”
If you’d like to own a Rooterman franchise in your area, you’ll need to invest anywhere from $45-$85k upfront, including the franchise fee.
And in addition to their low cost, they have a flat fee royalty structure.
That means the royalties you’ll owe to the company are based on the population of your territory, as opposed to paying a percentage of your monthly business revenue.
Go to the RooterMan plumbing franchise opportunity website to learn more.
4. Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain
Founded in: 2013, Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain (according to their franchising website), “isn’t in the plumbing business — we’re in the people business. By focusing on providing exceptional customer experience, a business model that emphasizes financial performance, and delivering world-class support from a leadership team that has decades of experience in growing franchise systems, Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain is rapidly growing by attracting entrepreneurs who never considered owning a plumbing business before.”
Your initial investment for a Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain franchise ranges from $100,000 to $200,0002. And the company charges a 6% royalty fee.
There are 50+ franchises up and running. Here’s their website.
5. Roto Rooter Plumbing Service
This franchise has been around forever. Almost. The company was actually founded in 1935.
From their franchise website:
“As a prospective Independent franchisee, you will be associated with the recognized leader in the industry — in fact, the creator of the industry.”
The initial investment for a Roto Rooter Plumbing Service franchise ranges from $100,000 to $500,000. And franchisees are charged a 5% royalty fee
As of 2023, there were 600 franchised outlets in operation.
Go to the Roto Rooter website to learn more about this franchise opportunity in the services sector of franchising.
6. 1-800-Plumber + Air
This franchise company was founded in 1983, and started offering the franchising option in 2017.
From their franchising website:
“Franchising with 1-800-Plumber +Air is more than just a financial investment or an opportunity for you to own your own business. It’s about joining a company with years of experience in running the only combined plumbing and HVAC franchise opportunity on the market today.”
The initial investment for a 1-800-Plumber + Air franchise ranges from $105,995 to $241,3952. And this franchisor charges a 6% royalty fee.
As of 2023, there were 8 franchise locations in operation.
Should You Own And Operate A Plumbing Franchise?
Are plumbing franchises good, profitable businesses to own?
“Wait. “Me? Own a plumbing franchise? C’mon, Joel.”
I’m serious. Dead serious. There’s an opportunity here. A huge one. But only for the right person.
And that’s what this post is about.
It’s Easy To Find Reliable Plumbers. Or Is It?
Can you find a good, reliable plumber in less than 2 minutes?
If you can, great. Lucky you.
But for the rest of us, especially if it’s a stinky toilet issue, it’s quite challenging. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. And going to Google to find a plumber, or a plumbing business, doesn’t always cut it. Why?
(Example ad for “find a plumber“)
Because the top results shown are usually purchased by non-local websites that local plumbers pay a lot of money to in order to be listed on. Like the online ad above. Why?
Because, for mom-and pop plumbing companies, it’s the only way they can afford to be on Google.
But if you’re the local owner (franchisee) of a plumbing franchise…one with a knowledgeable online marketing person, you do have an opportunity to get on top of Google’s search results. But wait, there’s more.
One Reason Plumbing Franchises Are Good Businesses: The Serious Shortage Of Plumbers
The other reason why it’s challenging to find a plumber is because there aren’t a lot of people who want to be plumbers. And that’s too bad, because there’s a
shitload ton of money to be made.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for plumbers is expected to grow by 14% from 2018 to 2028. But here’s the problem.
There aren’t enough plumbers. Why?
An aging workforce.
From the folks at Evans Plumbing in Boise, Idaho:
“Many plumbers are nearing retirement age, and there are not enough new workers to replace them. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) estimates that 60,000 plumbers retire each year, and there are only 30,000 new apprentices entering the field annually.”
For instance, how many graduating high school seniors do you know who are interested in becoming plumbers? Or who want to own a plumbing business? Exactly.
Maybe these kids just need a little encouragement.
Like the kind they’d get by reading this from CNBC.
Could This Be The Right Time To Own A Plumbing Franchise?
I think it is. Why?
For one, the demand is there.
Secondly, supplying plumbing services seems to be a high-margin business.
For example, you can markup the materials. And you can charge high labor prices. Like $50+ an hour. Could that be the reason plumbing franchise opportunities are starting to appear?
That said, there’s a downside, and it’s a big one.
As in, a real shortage of it.
So unless there’s an increase in interest to be a plumber, plumbing franchise owners could end up in the never-ending loop of;
Until the end of time.
Of course a lot of businesses are experiencing the same thing.
But that doesn’t make owning and managing a service-based business like a plumbing franchise any easier. But the upside?
A huge need exists.
And not only in residential plumbing services.
Commercial plumbing services are needed, too. Always.
Are You The Right Fit For A Plumbing Franchise Business?
Owning a plumbing franchise requires several specific attributes that contribute to success:
- Strong organizational skills. They’re essential for managing complex plumbing projects.
- A proven ability to recruit, lead and manage teams.
- Excellent customer service skills. It fosters trust and loyalty among customers.
- A people-oriented nature and effective communication skills are vital for engaging with customers.
- A focus on managing expenses.
Should You Buy A Plumbing Franchise?
While plumbing may not be considered the most glamorous industry, its business potential can’t be understated. Why?
Because plumbing is an essential service, and people and businesses will always need plumbing repairs and installations.
That fact alone ensures a consistent demand for plumbing services, even during economic downturns.
Additionally, successful plumbing franchise businesses have the potential to provide a decent amount of financial security for you and your family.
Translation: a steady stream of clients can help you plan for your future with confidence.*
*There are no guarantees, though. Always have money set aside for unpredictable events. Can you think of any recent ones?
How I See This Service Franchise Opportunity Playing Out
While owning a plumbing franchise business has the real potential to be financially rewarding, it does come with some challenges.
The biggest challenge, is, and will continue to be, finding employees. In this case, plumbers.
And if I were to pursue a plumbing franchise opportunity myself, that would be the thing that stopped me.
But the profit potential…