It has long been a practice of mine to contact
contractors and various service men that have done work for us on our
residence. In your
case we both felt that you did an excellent job for us. You
neat on time and followed all of the guide lines set down in our
contract with you. Your time line was right on and our shut down
time was very reasonable.
Since I am retired I had the opportunity to be a “Sidewalk
Superintendent” during the installation of the grinder pump and
all related work connected with the sewer project. You gave freely of your time to
explain the “whys and hows” of how a system like this works
and also what I as the home owner needed to know.
We were also very pleased with the work of
your two sub-contractors: Meyers Electric and Krischan Plumbing...all
of there work was inside and done in a very neat, clean and timely
I must admit I did not look ahead to
this operation as I foresaw all kinds problems, time lines and
inconveniences I should have listened to the Old Chinese
Proverb..” He who foresees Disaster, experiences it
twice”... there was none....it came off like clockwork.
After the project was completed and all the
necessary paper work was finished I was left with the feeling that if a
problem should arise..help was just a phone call away...
Chuck & Gerrie Hocking
37127 Valley Road
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
CHOOSING A CONTRACTOR
more to this than the low cost
In June, 2002 the street mains for the
Nemahbin sewer project were completed and individual laterals could be
connected. The neighborhood was besieged by sewer
contractors. A favorite tactic is to enlist a neighbor for
a kickback to sing the praises of a contractor they know nothing
about. The line goes, “If we sign 10 to 20 people we all
get a rebate”. One year later the contractor is long gone
and the checks never came.
Since my septic system was working perfectly,
I decided to wait and watch. I recently retired from a position
in which I was responsible for building and machine maintenance and
procurement for over 25 years. Since I knew that I knew nothing
about sewer systems and installation, I needed to get educated.
However, I did know a great deal about separating undesirable
contractors from reputable ones.
After a year, I now know about all there is to
know technically. I was ready to bid the job out. The
majority of my neighbors had their systems installed during the
preceding year. Nearly all went with the lowest bid. None
were completely satisfied. Some were furious and at least one is
probably headed to court. Some things on my do list:
Be there. Questions always come
up. The low cost bidder has really cut it close. When left
up to him he will make a least cost decision. One neighbor ended
up with the grinder pump in his driveway. It’s still there.
If you want to save your lawn go with a
contractor that has rubber tracked equipment not wheeled
equipment. One neighbor had a rubber tired front end loader
buried to the axles. He has estimated it is going to take 20
yards of topsoil to fix. He pays.
Check the solvency of your contractor.
Some don’t pay their subcontractors (boring, electricians,
plumbers, etc.). Some people found out when they were served lien
papers. Get lien waivers if in doubt.
There is no need for mounds of rock and sand
at the end of the job. “Sprinkle it with water and it will
level” isn’t rough grading. A reputable contractor
will separate your topsoil from the subsoil. Some will use
tarp. Some can actually move the fill back into the hole and
leave the grass intact. A compacting device will level the hole.
“It’s impossible for sewage to
back up into your basement.” Ask the guy that got 4 inches
of the nasty stuff in his basement. A questionable installation
and an inept contractor can be a disaster.
Ask for references. A reputable
contractor can provide 5 to 10 references for you to call. Should
be for similar work. Make sure your contractor explains how the system
and it’s alarm works. Insist that he actually tests
it. Hard to believe but several people had alarms because their
system was turned on, never tested and didn’t work.
Promises, promises. A grandmother
watched her 2 x 4 slab sidewalk end up in the bottom of the
trench. The contractor promised the son the slabs would be
saved. Another person lost 30' of flagstone walk after being told
the stones would be stacked on the side. Also he was left with
mounds of sand and stone. Rough graded said the contractor.
Neither were reimbursed. Neither owner was there to oversee and
both were low bidders who had to get in and out to make out.
I bid the job to four contractors that passed
the smile test. One wouldn’t bid unless he knew what the
other bids were. I consider this unethical and eliminated
him. One wouldn’t bid. I think I scared him off with
the detail that I wanted.
The two bids I accepted were within 10%.
I didn’t play the game of trying to bargain them down a few
hundred dollars. Contractors can make this up by charging
“extras” that are excluded in the contract or for changes
you want to make along the way. Instead, I got them to agree to
pick up the first $500.00 of “extras”. That way there
is none. I picked the high bidder because of his history and
knowledge and was very satisfied. The contractor I chose was:
ANDREW HUSS (AREA SEPTIC INSTALLATION INC.), W331 N4544 EMLEY
DRIVE, NASHOTAH, WI 53058, Telephone: 262-367-6448, Fax: 262-367-6448.
Town of Summit