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Fair Quote?

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Dec 30, 2013, 08:55 PM
Fair Quote?
Plumbing service found a substantial break at the tee approximately 20 inches from my clean out on my guest bathroom thats been giving me problems for a long time. Plumbers estimate 8340.00 to tunnel under home/slab to replace the 20 inch section and toilet tee. Is this fair price? Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.
Dec 30, 2013, 10:45 PM
Hard to say if it's fair or not. Best thing to do is to get another estimate or two.

Without knowing any details other than what you have said, it seems to me that it would be cheaper to cut the slab from above to make the plumbing repair. You may want to see if that could be an option rather than dig in from outside.

Dec 31, 2013, 01:48 PM
100% agreement with jaybee..always get at least 2 estimates
i got a roofing estimate,,had 3 roofers in the driveway at the same time
he he he...took the middle estimate Roll Eyes
Dec 31, 2013, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Frodo:
100% agreement with jaybee..always get at least 2 estimates
i got a roofing estimate,,had 3 roofers in the driveway at the same time
he he he...took the middle estimate Roll Eyes

Hmmm... I used to stagger visits from estimators so they wouldn't feel uncomfortable seeing someone else bidding for the job. Maybe I should change that practice and schedule them all for the same time?? Wink

JM, I found the plumber I've hired for years through my local building inspection department. You might try that route; the inspectors may know who's realistic and who's not.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Dec 31, 2013, 07:10 PM
I've had several times where a homeowner scheduled multiple contractor visits. I will usually team up with the other contractors to take measurements. Doesn't bother me at all.

We once bid out a room addition project - at our second meeting, I sat down with the homeowners and gave them our estimate for $41,008. They then told me that they had a bid for the same project for $32,000. Told them that if they felt comfortable with the other guy to go with them as we could do it for the $41,008 figure. They went with us. Turns out that they hat 8 estimates, ranging from $32K to $64K.

Dec 31, 2013, 11:14 PM
JM82 who ever you go with. one thing is a must when doing tunnel work
when it is backfilled, it is VERY important that the dirt be compacted
a lot of companies will just shovel the dirt back in the hole
stomp it with there foot and call it good....WRONG!!!!!
that is a foundation failure in the future
the best thing to use when backfilling a tunnel job is sand.
truck the old dirt off the property and use sand to fill the hole
sand needs no compaction, wet it and it is 100% compacted
if not using sand..they better be using a wacker packer
or its not done right.
if you dont see one of these,,your being screwed

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,

Jan 01, 2014, 06:58 PM
that's about $7000 more than it costs to cut the floor slab, fix the plumbing, and have a handyman dump sand in the hole, wipe the edges with concrete primer, and fill it with Sakrete.

is taking the home video of the elaborate tunnel job worth 7 grand to you?

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jan 01, 2014, 09:16 PM
to dig a hole next to structure, backhoe- ....... 1000.00
back hoe charges out per hour, 250.00 per
2 men to tunnel. [how far?] 16 hrs each 32 hrs. 3200.00
fix the plumbing...? 4 hrs-2 men............... 800.00
materials= ? 1000.00........................... 1000.00
truck away spoils. 100.00........................ 100.00
sand 100.00...................................... 100.00
put sand back..2 men-4 hrs....................... 800.00
job unseen/ guess-ta- men......................
have no idea what they found/is broke............ 6000.00
overhead/misc/markup............... 2000.00
................................................. 8000.00
not a true estiment..

its a little high, he is covering his butt..on site unseen stuff..
thats the kinda stuff that can break you if you dont factor it in

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,
Jan 02, 2014, 04:57 PM
Thank you for all the input....I'm planning to get a second opinion. When it comes to digging under foundation I just dont want this to cause later problems. Wishing I had a magic wand....
Jan 03, 2014, 02:29 AM
the problem you will run into. as far as bidding the the job cant be seen..he does not know what he will find...but when he is under their he is contractualy bound to fix whatever he finds..i have tunneled under houses, to fix a "simple" problem..and found the whole line backfalling
cant leave it like that, gotta fix it..and it will eat your profet up. put you in the red
thats why your bid is high,,unseen circumstances
Jan 06, 2014, 01:16 PM
If the guy over-estimated to cover his butt and it turns out to be a simple job that only costs a couple grand, will he charge them accordingly? How does the home owner know it was a simple job that didn't require 8k to fix?
Jan 13, 2014, 01:38 AM
fortunately no digging was builder's plumber (the 3rd plumber to inspect) found pvc piping that was caught inside the drain where the other plumbers said there was a crack. He was able to run the pvc forward into the city drain and checked the crack by filling the drains up with water and waiting for it to leak through somewhere. It didn't and he said all would be well now. He said the first 2 plumbers were trying to rip me off. Quotes between 5500 and 8700. Are there any honest workers out there anymore? I'm relieved I dont have to pay but astonished at how people try to take advantage....
Jan 13, 2014, 03:57 PM
We do all our stuff on a cost plus basis just for that reason. We do an estimate and are usually fairly close, but if the project has complications it will cost more. On the other hand, if things go easier than expected we charge less. Bottom line is our clients get exactly what they pay for.

It's a little harder to sell on cost plus, but since all our clients are direct referrals we have a good trust issue going in.