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jrumbaug
08-02-2008, 06:52 PM
I'm new to residential irrigation and still trying to get a grasp as to "what is standard or typical". Today's puzzle is trying to estimate the cost of digging the trench that the pipe lays in.

I am writing a quote for my second job. My first trench was dug by hand by 2 men. When I look at the first job. It took 62 man hours to remove sod, dig and then re-fill, then replace sod on 240 feet of trench. That figures to about 1 man-hour per 4 feet. If I charge $20/hr per man, that's about 5$ per foot labor to charge for the service. Did I have slow employees or is this somewhere near reality?? Off the top of my head, I would have guessed $2/foot to be used to calculate how much to charge.

Or secondly, maybe someone can tell me where to read about the prefered way to dig an irrigation trench? I may be working the hard way and wrong way.

Thanks in advance

Jim Rumbaugh

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-02-2008, 07:00 PM
Whats your soil like? Clay?
I would get a trencher

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/Trencher_2006-06-25.km.jpg/800px-Trencher_2006-06-25.km.jpg

jrumbaug
08-02-2008, 07:28 PM
Ok, you caught me. Not a lot of clay here in the hills of West Virginia. It's new construction where dirt has been brought in. I will ASSUME it's an easy dig.

By the Way. Do you think the homeowner would notice I slipped in the cost of one those trenchers under "miscellaneous supplies" ??

Jim Rumbaugh

WalkGood
08-02-2008, 07:31 PM
It took 62 man hours to remove sod, dig and then re-fill, then replace sod on 240 feet of trench. That figures to about 1 man-hour per 4 feet. If I charge $20/hr per man, that's about 5$ per foot labor to charge for the service. Did I have slow employees or is this somewhere near reality?? Off the top of my head, I would have guessed $2/foot to be used to calculate how much to charge.

Or secondly, maybe someone can tell me where to read about the prefered way to dig an irrigation trench? I may be working the hard way and wrong way.

Depends on what else was done ...... did they plant watermellon seeds in that trench? Or was a finished product an irrigation system put in that trench?

Maybe they dug a too wide trench or too deep? Was it 95 degrees out and over 90% humidity?

What was the scope of the entire job involved with that trench? Three sprinkler heads or 30 heads on 6 zones?

More info is needed.

Waterit
08-02-2008, 07:44 PM
Whats your soil like? Clay?
I would get a trencher

Hey Cappy, mine's bigger than yours, but we do have some trouble getting into some folks' backyards...

116060

Seriously, Jim, I have never broken down a per-foot cost for trenching or laying or restoring.

I think a better question is, how much did it cost, labor and materials, to lay in a spray zone, a rotor zone, the controls, the mainline, etc. Then you can come up with a per-head cost that should be semi-accurate.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-02-2008, 08:24 PM
A few things to think about when trenching:

1.how deep?
2.soil climate? sand,clay
3.what are you installing? sprinks
4.roots and rocks?
5.machine V hand digging? I prefer a machine
6.Heat/Humidity as already stated? digging in the sun all day is not that much fun


we charge 1.50 a foot with the 255 to install 1 inch NSF poly 8 inches in the ground.

pics plz

greenmonster304
08-02-2008, 08:34 PM
Ok, you caught me. Not a lot of clay here in the hills of West Virginia. It's new construction where dirt has been brought in. I will ASSUME it's an easy dig.

By the Way. Do you think the homeowner would notice I slipped in the cost of one those trenchers under "miscellaneous supplies" ??

Jim Rumbaugh

you what happens when you ASSUME don't you? I have found that on some new construction the digging is harder because the construction vehicles compacted the soil and then they just spread 2" of fluffy top soil. so do your self a favor and dig a little test hole

bicmudpuppy
08-02-2008, 08:46 PM
You want help estimating HAND excavation and installation of lawn irrigation?

Ok, no comment...............

jrumbaug
08-02-2008, 08:55 PM
I agree, I SHOULD of dug a test hole.

As to what all was done when the guys dug.
They just dug it and covered it, about 12" deep, about 8" wide.

Laying the pipe, setting the connections, setting the heads is a separate cost estimate in my "just learning how to do this" phase. The guys I can get to dig, I don't trust to make good connections or set the heads. Buying a machine is in the far future. I doubt if vibrating plows can be rented locally though I have not looked. ( nor do I know how to use one) I don't know about "ditch witches" I don't know about the cost and technique of mechanized digging. I have personally never seen it done locally. I do have a lot to learn. When CaptSteamRotor said, " we charge 1.50 a foot with the 255 to install 1 inch NSF poly 8 inches in the ground" , is a good starting point for me.

Jim Rumbaugh

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-02-2008, 08:59 PM
I agree, I SHOULD of dug a test hole.

As to what all was done when the guys dug.
They just dug it and covered it, about 12" deep, about 8" wide.

Laying the pipe, setting the connections, setting the heads is a separate cost estimate in my "just learning how to do this" phase. The guys I can get to dig, I don't trust to make good connections or set the heads. Buying a machine is in the far future. I doubt if vibrating plows can be rented locally though I have not looked. ( nor do I know how to use one) I don't know about "ditch witches" I don't know about the cost and technique of mechanized digging. I have personally never seen it done locally. I do have a lot to learn. When CaptSteamRotor said, " we charge 1.50 a foot with the 255 to install 1 inch NSF poly 8 inches in the ground" , is a good starting point for me.

Jim Rumbaugh

hey brotha....the ditch witch 255sx is a sinch..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1OMoZDyges


any questions shout me out via pm if you would like.....also check out my manifold videos

Mike Leary
08-02-2008, 09:07 PM
check out my manifold videos

After I've watched all the Baywatch re-runs.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-02-2008, 09:09 PM
After I've watched all the Baywatch re-runs.

stick around mike..

you might learn something.....

:laugh:

Mike Leary
08-02-2008, 09:17 PM
stick around mike..you might learn something.....:

From a couple of wack cases that don't even post pics of their stuff?

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-02-2008, 09:19 PM
From a couple of wack cases that don't even post pics of their stuff?

LO freaking L

Wet_Boots
08-02-2008, 09:33 PM
Hey, I posted a picture of those onion rings...

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-02-2008, 09:36 PM
Hey, I posted a picture of those onion rings...

more please...


but i love your valve box pictures

Mike Leary
08-02-2008, 10:06 PM
i love your valve box pictures

Suck up..........

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-02-2008, 10:08 PM
Suck up..........

Leary there was a large amount of sarcasm in that last statement

Mike Leary
08-02-2008, 10:15 PM
Leary there was a large amount of sarcasm in that last statement

What, me?...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Wet_Boots
08-02-2008, 10:20 PM
Leary there was a large amount of sarcasm in that last statementI am shocked, shocked, to find there is sarcasm going on here.

Mike Leary
08-02-2008, 11:20 PM
Round up the usual suspects, & you know who you are.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-03-2008, 07:09 AM
I'm new to residential irrigation and still trying to get a grasp as to "what is standard or typical". Today's puzzle is trying to estimate the cost of digging the trench that the pipe lays in.

I am writing a quote for my second job. My first trench was dug by hand by 2 men. When I look at the first job. It took 62 man hours to remove sod, dig and then re-fill, then replace sod on 240 feet of trench. That figures to about 1 man-hour per 4 feet. If I charge $20/hr per man, that's about 5$ per foot labor to charge for the service. Did I have slow employees or is this somewhere near reality?? Off the top of my head, I would have guessed $2/foot to be used to calculate how much to charge.


Jim Rumbaugh

Or secondly, maybe someone can tell me where to read about the prefered way to dig an irrigation trench? I may be working the hard way and wrong way.


The fact that you are analyzing these costs are great INMO. How else can you determine if an employee is a producer or a slacker. Not just in hand digging but gluing, coverup, etc, etc. It is manual labor to a great degree even with a trencher. I've seen guys that look really busy but get little done. Experienced a guy recently who was the busiest non-producer I have ever met.
Thanks in advance

AI Inc
08-03-2008, 07:32 AM
Typicaly the guys that dont do jack , spend most of their time telling you how good they are. Dont tell me, show me.

irrig8r
08-03-2008, 09:59 AM
A few things to think about when trenching:

1.how deep?
2.soil climate? sand,clay....


"Soil climate" ???? :laugh:

Rotar, get yourself down to the libaray and borrow a copy of Brady's "The Nature and Properties of Soils" and/ or spend under $12 at amazon.com for this:

http://www.amazon.com/Soil-Science-Simplified-Helmut-Kohnke/dp/0881338133/

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-03-2008, 10:07 AM
Economic climate
Political climate
Soil climate
I can see how one could put those two together;)

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-03-2008, 10:14 AM
I think they fit wonderfully together...


personally.

WalkGood
08-03-2008, 11:26 AM
I think they fit wonderfully together...


personally.

I'd bet most everyone knew what you meant.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-03-2008, 11:31 AM
I'd bet most everyone knew what you meant.

of course they did....


this place is just prone to bust balls..
Although some painless information has been given to H/O's lately....

I remember when I started here...
I came in Guns a blazing.....Got flamed for a few months....

purple haze was still around with his "dinky pipe" stories.

Mike Leary
08-03-2008, 11:39 AM
I came in Guns a blazing.....Got flamed for a few months..

That was the last time anyone got on the "ignore" list.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-03-2008, 11:41 AM
That was the last time anyone got on the "ignore" list.



:::::Takes a long bow:::::::

irrig8r
08-03-2008, 11:57 AM
"Soil climate" ???? :laugh:

Rotar, get yourself down to the libaray and borrow a copy of Brady's "The Nature and Properties of Soils" and/ or spend under $12 at amazon.com for this:

http://www.amazon.com/Soil-Science-Simplified-Helmut-Kohnke/dp/0881338133/

Ooops I meant library. My spelling is not so good at 5:30 AM...

And give this USDA Soil Texture Triangle a look...

http://www.nps.gov/history/seac/soilsmanual/fig4.jpg

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-03-2008, 12:14 PM
looks like a great soil climate chart.

Wet_Boots
08-03-2008, 12:25 PM
I'll take the Food Pyramid, especially if onion rings get top spot.

hoskm01
08-03-2008, 01:47 PM
Go for a machine rather than hand digging, and raise your hourly rate, youll never make a dime at 20 bucks an hour, assuming you pay taxes and such.

HokieAg07
08-03-2008, 01:47 PM
you what happens when you ASSUME don't you? I have found that on some new construction the digging is harder because the construction vehicles compacted the soil and then they just spread 2" of fluffy top soil. so do your self a favor and dig a little test hole

Quoted for ultimate truth..

Assumption is the mother of all screw ups.

We did a job a few weeks ago, commercial job at a hotel. We were pulling pieces of concrete out of ground that weighed over 150 pounds with the 1820 and there was no dirt it was all rock under the 2 or 3 inch layer of dirt.

Im fairly certain my boss had wished he did a little more exploration before he gave them a price.

hoskm01
08-03-2008, 01:57 PM
Furthermore, just give the people a price. said and done, with your product specs. No need to itemize every swipe of glue.

Kiril
08-03-2008, 02:10 PM
Assumption is the mother of all screw ups.

Repeated for Boots sake.

Wet_Boots
08-03-2008, 02:14 PM
Repeated for Boots sake.Gawrsh! Thanks a heap :p
http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:Ls6ySLRSxOftMM:http://loca114.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/goofy.jpg.w300h418.jpg

jrumbaug
08-03-2008, 02:58 PM
OK

I think you guys have answered my question. ( at least close enough )
1) dig to confirm soil
2) use machines when possible.
3) quoting high is better for the bottom line than quoting low, so I wont sweat a small part of the estimate if it sends the total up.
4) tomorrow I call around to see if a ditch witch 255sx is available locally.

I'll have more questions for another thread.

Jim Rumbaugh

Mike Leary
08-03-2008, 03:01 PM
I'll have more questions for another thread.

Thanks for bringing this thread back to earth.:)

Waterit
08-03-2008, 05:51 PM
Thanks for bringing this thread back to earth.:)

Amen to that!:clapping::clapping:

hoskm01
08-03-2008, 10:02 PM
Thanks for bringing this thread back to earth.:)
Steep words from the guy who usually pushes the "launch" button on these threads!:)

Mike Leary
08-03-2008, 10:06 PM
Steep words from the guy who usually pushes the "launch" button on these threads!:)

5, 4, 3, 2 , 1, launch.

Mdirrigation
08-03-2008, 10:49 PM
find a local cable installer , he will probably have a plow , pay him to lay the pipe . Watch how the machine works , you will buy one real quick.

jeffinsgf
08-04-2008, 12:53 AM
OK

I think you guys have answered my question. ( at least close enough )
1) dig to confirm soil
2) use machines when possible.
3) quoting high is better for the bottom line than quoting low, so I wont sweat a small part of the estimate if it sends the total up.
4) tomorrow I call around to see if a ditch witch 255sx is available locally.

I'll have more questions for another thread.

Jim Rumbaugh

From the outside looking in, I would suggest you first look at machine trenching before you dive head first into pulling pipe. I have done a couple systems, and rented a trencher. First I rented a dedicated trencher and on my two most recent jobs, I used a Dingo with a trenching head. The Dingo is very maneuverable and digs just as fast as the huge Vermeer I rented first. Pulling with a plow and assembling a system that has been pulled is a completely different working environment. If you're used to glue and fittings, I would look for a rental trencher for this job, and then start investigating whether you want to stick with PVC or switch to poly. Both have their ads and disads.

bicmudpuppy
08-04-2008, 01:23 AM
OK

I think you guys have answered my question. ( at least close enough )
1) dig to confirm soil
2) use machines when possible.
3) quoting high is better for the bottom line than quoting low, so I wont sweat a small part of the estimate if it sends the total up.
4) tomorrow I call around to see if a ditch witch 255sx is available locally.

I'll have more questions for another thread.

Jim Rumbaugh

Check with your local DW dealer. DW makes a similar machine. Either way, you should be able to rent a 410 or SK500 with plow and trencher to get a feel for installing with a machine..

HooKooDooKu
08-04-2008, 05:34 PM
...

As to what all was done when the guys dug.
They just dug it and covered it, about 12" deep, about 8" wide.
...


8" Wide ???

How many pipes were you laying in that trench?


Now I'm only a homeowner with the only experience I've got is installing my own irrigation system. I can tell you that I was able to dig at a rate of about 10' per hour when I only had to dig 12" deep, 4" wide. That time does not include removing the sod, laying pipe, or backfilling. It was in rocky clay soil, but the soil was moist (going was MUCH slower during the dry season).

In several places, I hand trenched. I was doing such a terible job at restoring sod that I just decided to hack it

jrumbaug
08-04-2008, 06:52 PM
8" Wide ???
I can tell you that I was able to dig at a rate of about 10' per hour when I only had to dig 12" deep, 4" wide. That time does not include removing the sod, laying pipe, or backfilling.

8" is a guess of the top of my head. I had a few narrow shovels, and a few regular ones. The most pipes I had to lay was 4 of 1"poly, so 4" may of worked. But if I factor in sod removal and re-filling the trench, your 10 feet an hour MAY be 6 feet an hour net. Therefore, I am not to surprised at the 4 feet an hour I got from 2 uninspired workers that also had to dig around some tree roots by hand. ( long story there, involving a demanding homeowner )

I happy with my numbers now.

Jim Rumbaugh

HooKooDooKu
08-04-2008, 07:45 PM
...The most pipes I had to lay was 4 of 1"poly, so 4" may of worked...

8" for multiple pipes makes sense... and no, you can't get 4 - 1" pipes in a 4" wide trench... not without stacking the pipes.

I found that working with 3/4" or 1" pipe, you had to account for 2" of space when placing multiple pipes in one trench. So 8" wide for 4 pipes side-by-side make sense (and the easiest to repair if anything had to be dug up). If you wanted to stack the pipes, you would have had to dig down at LEAST 14" to keep the upper pipe at that 12" level.


I was suprise at how quickly I filled a trench using multiple pipes. When I installed my system, I had 8 pipes in one trench running away from the manifold. I had to dig down an entire 24" to get 4 - 1" and 4 - 3/4" Sch 40 PVC in the one trench. (Yea, I know, it's a disaster waiting to happen... but that's why I used Sch 40 on laterals, screened the backfill, and the top of the top pipe is at least 12" below grade.)

Mike Leary
08-04-2008, 07:58 PM
"The pipe that blows is always on the bottom, never stack pipe".

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-04-2008, 09:48 PM
"The pipe that blows is always on the bottom, never stack pipe".

LEARY's LAW.........

GravelyNut
08-04-2008, 10:13 PM
Ooops I meant library. My spelling is not so good at 5:30 AM...

And give this USDA Soil Texture Triangle a look...

http://www.nps.gov/history/seac/soilsmanual/fig4.jpg

They left out a soil type. Solid rock.

8" Wide ???

How many pipes were you laying in that trench?


Now I'm only a homeowner with the only experience I've got is installing my own irrigation system. I can tell you that I was able to dig at a rate of about 10' per hour when I only had to dig 12" deep, 4" wide. That time does not include removing the sod, laying pipe, or backfilling. It was in rocky clay soil, but the soil was moist (going was MUCH slower during the dry season).

In several places, I hand trenched. I was doing such a terible job at restoring sod that I just decided to hack it
What would you have to say about a 22" wide ditch for one 1 1/4" pipe? :D Cleveland Model 110 modified for S. Florida use digging at 100 ft per hour 24" deep and 22" wide. :weightlifter:

Waterit
08-05-2008, 01:05 AM
They left out a soil type. Solid rock.


What would you have to say about a 22" wide ditch for one 1 1/4" pipe? :D Cleveland Model 110 modified for S. Florida use digging at 100 ft per hour 24" deep and 22" wide. :weightlifter:

Sounds like a Tim Allen machine.

Limestone the rock you referring to?

Kiril
08-05-2008, 01:09 AM
"The pipe that blows is always on the bottom, never stack pipe".

How true. If forced to "stack", at least separate the pipes with some scrap PVC whenever possible.

Kiril
08-05-2008, 01:11 AM
They left out a soil type. Solid rock.

I assume your in jest, but if not, parent material is not a soil and therefore not included in the soil textural triangle.

GravelyNut
08-05-2008, 10:00 AM
I assume your in jest, but if not, parent material is not a soil and therefore not included in the soil textural triangle.
To create soil here, you first must break up the rock. When you get it broken up, you have large rock, small rock, a little bit of clay, and a whole batch of calcium carbonate. The clay comes from pockets in the rock but overall amounts to less than 1% of the soil make up. Think about living on a coral atoll. That's what it is like here. Coral rock is 1/5th porus so it only takes a D-8 with carbide teeth on a plow 24" wide to break up the top 6".

Kiril
08-05-2008, 10:54 AM
To create soil here, you first must break up the rock. When you get it broken up, you have large rock, small rock, a little bit of clay, and a whole batch of calcium carbonate. The clay comes from pockets in the rock but overall amounts to less than 1% of the soil make up. Think about living on a coral atoll. That's what it is like here. Coral rock is 1/5th porus so it only takes a D-8 with carbide teeth on a plow 24" wide to break up the top 6".

For your reference.

Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Tenth Edition (2006) (http://soils.usda.gov/technical/classification/tax_keys/keys.pdf)

HooKooDooKu
08-05-2008, 05:21 PM
What would you have to say about a 22" wide ditch for one 1 1/4" pipe? :D Cleveland Model 110 modified for S. Florida use digging at 100 ft per hour 24" deep and 22" wide. :weightlifter:

Now machine digging is a whole nother issue. When your digging 24" deep and moving at 100 ft per hour... your allowed a little leeway is the width of your trench.

HooKooDooKu
08-05-2008, 05:36 PM
"The pipe that blows is always on the bottom, never stack pipe".

Yes, I'm taking a calculated risk. But as a home owner on a DIY job, digging was a major task (wanted to minimize that).

This was lateral lines, Sch 40 PVC, all joints carefully glued/welded, city water at 70 PSI, screened back-fill, 12" depth minimum in the deep south.

I figure the only way one of these pipes is going to break is extreme soil shift or root infiltration (so yes, I'm gambling that here were no major manufacture defects). I tried to line the trench with vinyl siding when ever the trench went near a tree (should at least keep root out of getting between pipes).

Waterit
08-05-2008, 09:51 PM
I tried to line the trench with vinyl siding when ever the trench went near a tree (should at least keep root out of getting between pipes).

And y'all talk bad about Florida irrigators?

Kiril
08-06-2008, 01:13 AM
And y'all talk bad about Florida irrigators?

Some root barriers in the right places never hurts. Don't know about vinyl siding though. :)

Denise65
08-14-2012, 10:55 PM
I know this situation is rare, but I would like an honest opinion from a knowledgeable person and this seems like an AWESOME place to find such a person:

I have a 34' inactive shallow well and wanted to activate it (also have county water for house use) for watering my garden. I was referred by a co-worker to contact the person who installed his pump system. I purchased the exact pump and pressure tank as my co-worker from eBAY. The installer quoted me $250 + parts (water lines, connectors, glue, spout, etc...). This was another $294, no problem. He was at my home for ~3 days. Day 1--accessing the situation and setting up the pump and pressure tank, installed breaker box in shed (sits about 5 feet from well) Day 2--pulled old lines out of well (it's an above ground system about 3 feet wide and visible about 3 or 4 feet above ground encased in concrete) and replaced old lines with new lines. Day 3--dug line from shop to well (said $250 included this connection), also dug line from shop line to garden area (68 feet), and T'd this line to barn (41 feet). I was never quoted an additional price, but when I asked he said, "oh, it will still be around what I quoted you. On Day 2 and Day 3 there was another man with him (his retired brother-in-law). Since he lives just about a 5 min. walk from my place, I assumed he was just keeping his companion company, although he was obviously helping him. After the job was done, I asked what the total was--I was told, "Well, I haven't figured that out yet." That was early last week. Monday, I was given a total of $720.00, nearly 3 times the original quoted price. When I phoned him to asked why it was so much higher, he told me, "I had help and it's hard to get anyone to work for free." Now, an additional body was never apart of our deal and there was no timeline as to when the job had to be complete. Should I feel obligated to pay above the original quote? I was thinking that additional fee at reasonable rate per foot ($109 x ??) would be fair. What are your thoughts?

HooKooDooKu
08-14-2012, 11:59 PM
I know this situation is rare, but I would like an honest opinion from a knowledgeable person and this seems like an AWESOME place to find such a person:

I have a 34' inactive shallow well and wanted to activate it...

This isn't an irrigation question so much as it is really a legal question. First of all, I hope you (and any other home owner reading this) have learned your lesson that ANY work you get done by a contractor needs to have the something in writing. Even a contractor that can be trusted to be honest SHOULD be offering a written agreement if he is smart. Con-men TRY to do work without a contract so they can charge you just about anything they want to. There was a new story just today (http://lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/08/14/13261342-door-to-door-scam-operations-on-the-rise) about door-to-door scams where work is done with no contract and the final bill being several times more than the origanal oral "quote".

In my opinion, you need to speak to the contractor and inform him you believe his "fee" is out of line because it is no where close to what he quoted or suggested the final cost would be. Then try to work together to find some middle ground. Otherwise, the contractor pretty much has you a bit over a barrel. He has indeed done some contract work for you... that you've now even admitted in an open forum. If you don't pay him what he wants, he can always file a lean against your property. Without a written contract and a receit to prove you've paid for services rendered, you don't have much on your side to prove the lean is invalid. So you want to do something to make sure this contractor doesn't start playing with lean games against you.

Denise65
08-17-2012, 10:41 AM
Your response to my question was helpful. What I left out in my initial post is that when I called the gentleman to talk about the additional cost of installation, he got angry with me and hung up in my face. I have spoken with 2 other people here were I work that also had work done. I feel confident that I had every right to want to discuss the final cost with him, but his hanging up in my face did not afford me that opportunity. I was not angry when I phone him, mostly inquisitive. If he would have told me why the cost was so much more, I would not have challeneged it because, at the time, I trusted his judgement. Now, I'm not so sure. Thank you for your time and I will be certain that any future projects on my property will be clearly spelled out in writing with costs and expectations in writing. Mos grateful, Denise, Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

greenmonster304
08-17-2012, 11:14 AM
3 days for $720, sounds like a bargain to me.
Posted via Mobile Device

mdvaden
08-17-2012, 11:34 AM
I'm new to residential irrigation and still trying to get a grasp as to "what is standard or typical". Today's puzzle is trying to estimate the cost of digging the trench that the pipe lays in.


I don't handle any jobs typically.

Maybe that's why I end up on quite a few sites re-doing other landscapers work. Anyway, I really don't use formulas or rates based on averages. I figure out each job for what it is. Similar to how I treat each yard individually for solutions and improvements.

Seems like too many variables anyway. Like some yards have irrigation lines in the ground, and some don't. Some have tree roots, and some don't. Some have rocks, and some don't. Some are done when it's dry, and some are done when it's wet and soft.

...

GreenI.A.
08-18-2012, 04:29 PM
This isn't an irrigation question so much as it is really a legal question. First of all, I hope you (and any other home owner reading this) have learned your lesson that ANY work you get done by a contractor needs to have the something in writing. Even a contractor that can be trusted to be honest SHOULD be offering a written agreement if he is smart. Con-men TRY to do work without a contract so they can charge you just about anything they want to. There was a new story just today (http://lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/08/14/13261342-door-to-door-scam-operations-on-the-rise) about door-to-door scams where work is done with no contract and the final bill being several times more than the origanal oral "quote".

In my opinion, you need to speak to the contractor and inform him you believe his "fee" is out of line because it is no where close to what he quoted or suggested the final cost would be. Then try to work together to find some middle ground. Otherwise, the contractor pretty much has you a bit over a barrel. He has indeed done some contract work for you... that you've now even admitted in an open forum. If you don't pay him what he wants, he can always file a lean against your property. Without a written contract and a receit to prove you've paid for services rendered, you don't have much on your side to prove the lean is invalid. So you want to do something to make sure this contractor doesn't start playing with lean games against you.

I'll also add to make sure the price given in the contract is for a proposal and not an estimate. In most states the contractor can raise the estimate prices on the final bill so long as he can show he needed more materials or time than origainally planned, such as expecting soft dirt but then finding that the ground is solid rock once he starts digging. Where as a contractor who instead provides a proposal can not raise the final price unless he gets permission from you for extra work or it is listed in the terms of the contract.

Denise65
09-02-2012, 04:59 PM
Thank you for your reply. We were able to come to terms on the final amount owed. What I have learned here is invaluable for ANY project I engage in at my home--GET SOMETHING IN WRITING! Also, ask plenty of questions relating to the project and do not be afraid to get as specific as is feasible taking the project at hand under consideration. Thanks to EVERYONE who replied!

1idejim
09-03-2012, 12:07 PM
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1idejim
09-03-2012, 12:43 PM
denise, your posts are prime examples of why price posting is discouraged on public forums. from your posts one can easily assume that:

1) you did the work as an owner builder using an unlicensed contractor
2) you didn't pull a permit as an inspection was not mentioned.
3) you purchased the parts separately to keep the costs at a minimum.
4)the price that you quoted would not pay a journeyman's wages and contributions for 1/2 day in the real world.
5) since this is a professional forum with public access, the whole world sees these questions, statements and opinions. however, the focal point of your posts (guy doing the installation) wasn't invited to defend himself.
6) some members might take your side without hearing the "contractors" side but i feel that you should share blame in this scenario, not for failing to get the job description in writing but for trying to "lowball the labor".

here are a few things to think of:
a) you have no warranty.
b) if you have a fire or electrical shock situation you are the responsible party, not the installer.
c) as many people that see your side will prolly see the other side and view this as a hack job from the inset.

i don't know if you will rebut this or not since you only have 3 posts. seems that the forum allowed you to vent and receive some free advice, you may be done with us.
or not.

muddywater
09-03-2012, 01:04 PM
Sounds like a deal if it doesnt blow up or electricute someone.
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