Saturday, December 25, 2010

Excavator Thoughts

I know it’s long after the fact, but I just wanted to share some thoughts on DC Excavating. For the record, they did a great job, came when they said, and put the darn septic tank in. They were the most professional and gave us the most thorough and timely estimate for the job.

Then, two years passed before we were ready to start work. Again, they were ready to do the job and professional about everything, even though they deserved to be skeptical about us. When the time came, they showed up and started working on the job.

One complication was that since two years had passed, life was different, and things had changed. First off, the price of materials had gone up, so they had to revise our estimate. Secondly, we changed the plans, which would require more materials and time, and therefore cost.

Fair enough, though the new estimate came in about $2000 higher. I realized they needed a lot more pipe and insulation because we changed the location of the tank, but it seemed excessive. Then again, we’d put off doing this for two years, and just wanted to get it done.

I spoke with my Mentor, and he said that the original price for the system was really low, under $5000, which I was told was unheard of for a septic system, though anything over a hundred dollars makes me sweat. They were also going to do a job that I assumed I was going to have to do, and wasn’t looking forward to. This was cutting a hold in the concrete foundation so the septic pipe could enter the house. I was not looking forward to that one.

Anyway, we ran into complication after complication such that we finally had to revise our plan one final time and put the septic tank in its original position. This meant that all the extra pipe and insulation were not going to be needed, which I assumed would bring down the price. Plus, since we weren’t laying the tank in the back, it would mean less work.

Now granted, we struggled with where to put the septic tank pipe, and DC and JF were helpful in giving us advice and suggestions. They ended up cutting 3 holes when in fact we only needed one of them, so there was extra work in filling them in.

My only thought was that the end price was not that much lower. I realize supplies went up in price, but it seemed like a lot less work time and definitely less in supplies such that I figured it would make a bigger dent in the original estimate, but the final price was not much lower than the estimate, though it was lower.

In many ways I can’t complain, they did a great job, finished in a few days, and were very professional about it. Also, the overall price was a fraction of what septic systems usually cost, but that stems from the fact that it was a small system and we have good soil.

I guess I’m just voicing my confusion, and in the end, can’t fault DC and associates, they did the job and now we’re ready to move on. Then again, when you’re working with contractors, you are at their mercy and can’t really make issue of their claims because they’re the pros, right?

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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