BEWARE OF DECEPTIVE BIDS
As mentioned on the Home Page, most people will only install one septic
system in their lifetime. The opportunity for a contractor to
give a substandard bid is likely to happen. This is also
frustrating to us as contractors as we want a “level playing
field” which allows us to compete with integrity.
included below many of the things that you should look for in a bid and
why to look for them.
1. Does the bid include state and local approval fees and
permits? This can be quite important as it often cost over $1,000
2. Does the bid include design fees for the contractor to the
design/plans for the job site which will be submitted to the state for
3. Does the bid include one or two septic tanks? This
second septic tank is usually well worth the money because it will
protect your drain field as discussed in FAQ’s.
4. Does the bid include pumping and inspecting of existing septic
tank if it is to be used in the new system? Usually pumping is
not included but it is a factor that a customer should consider when
5. Does the contractor strip the topsoil and save and re-spread
it once the system is installed? Topsoil costs $200-$300 per
truck load and it may take several truck loads to get your lawn back to
where grass seed will grow again, so this can be a substantial savings.
Usually, if your contractor does save the topsoil he would be willing
to re-spread it for you. Some will also be willing to finish
grade and finish rake the topsoil for you. It may be best if you
ask your contractor to separate out these prices so you can compare
apples to apples.
6. Does the contractor compact the trenches that can be compacted
(not all can be), or come back and refill the settled trenches with
topsoil? This can amount to a rather unexpected problem as it
looks fine when the contractor leaves and asks for his money and after
a few heavy rainfalls the trenches reappear and must be refilled,
finish graded and seeded or re-seeded. If you were to hire a
landscaper to do this, it could cost you many hundreds to thousands of
dollars. A no-settling guarantee should be given in writing as some
contractors can be very hard to contact once paid.
As you can see the “low price contractor” can be
frustrating and easily end up costing you hundreds if not thousands of
dollars more. In the end, even if you use another contractor, we
will feel better knowing that you did get a fair deal by being an