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Drafto
07-20-2005, 10:42 PM
I finally broke out my new soil probe on an estimate today and I didn't like what it told me. It only goes down 3', but every foot I took a sample and it was all wet clay. My clay balls wouldn't break apart if I dropped it from 4' high. During my dicussions with the owners I picked up on the fact that they had trouble getting the lot perked for septic, which also tells me it won't drain well. I know what I am up against and an overdig is in my contract on T & M. Everyone following me so far? Here are my options:

a) put the approximate overdig in my bid, and be overly upfront with the customer as to the current conditions

or

b) quote the job based on no overdig and let my contract cover me on the overdig

Reprocussions to the above choices? a) my bid will definately be the highest and b) I would feel dishonest doing it this way.....

I know there isn't a competitor around who checks the soil while estimating a job! What would you do in this situation?

Dan

mbella
07-20-2005, 11:01 PM
When I know I'm going to overdig, say for a set of steps on a new house, I provide a price in the estimate. However, I separate it from any other prices. The homeowner receives a price for the patio another for stair options or any other options and another price for the overdig. That way, they can compare apples to apples when comparing our estimate with one that doesn't address the overdig.

I wouldn't provide an all inclusive overdig price in the estimate. Somebody will lose. Most likely, more often, it will be you. Like I said, I will provide a price to overdig a set of steps, but that doesn't include any other overdigging in the patio area. I will include the step overdig price because I know exactly what I have to do. As far as the patio, you can test all day long, but until you dig the entire area, you don't know. For example, look at my pics in the other thread. How could you have accurately quoted that before doing normal excavation?

Drafto
07-20-2005, 11:15 PM
You use the "Geo-beam" overdig method? That Rus talked about in the ICPI course?

Dan

mbella
07-20-2005, 11:16 PM
You use the "Geo-beam" overdig method? That Rus talked about in the ICPI course?

Dan

Are you talking about the Geotextile Bridge?

Drafto
07-20-2005, 11:34 PM
Exactly. I am concerned about overdigging on this job. You DO offer to your customers no overdig - no warranty? I thought about that on this one, I warranty everything I do, but was considering using that as a selling tool to some homeowners who are thrifty.

Dan

mbella
07-20-2005, 11:44 PM
Exactly. I am concerned about overdigging on this job. You DO offer to your customers no overdig - no warranty? I thought about that on this one, I warranty everything I do, but was considering using that as a selling tool to some homeowners who are thrifty.

Dan

Dan, I'll explain what I do by giving you an example. Today, we could have dug down two feet less and built the patio on top of what was there. Maybe it would have been fine, maybe it wouldn't. I still would have built the patio, but I wouldn't have given a warranty on that section of the patio. That's what I will do.

Here's what I won't do. I won't base in a patio on top of slop without any overdig effort. If it's unquestionable that there will be problems, I won't do it, even without the warranty.

Drafto
07-20-2005, 11:50 PM
I agree, I feel the same way. I wonder if I can return this soil probe, it is giving me a sleepless night the first time I got to use it! (LOL) Thanks Mike. Looks like your staying busy, I will have to give you a buzz when I have to estimate and construct some steps! I hav been doing a lot of estimates lately, my Valpak add went out last week, 10,000 homes, and 5 calls, we'll see how many I can close.

Dan

mbella
07-21-2005, 12:00 AM
Dan, it sounds like you're on the right track. Call me anytime.