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Posted by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/25/2008

I had a bid from a licensed plumber for $7,900 to do my DWV (drain/waste lines soil and top-out). I received that number Monday night and had previously told him that Wednesday I needed him to do the basement.

After receiving his bid I looked some more. Yesterday I found a plumber at another construction site (a great find, since there is much less construction going on). He met me at my site and estimated $700 to run my basement lines with me helping, digging for the lines and providing materials. That night I called another plumber to verify that $700 was fair. This second plumber would have charged $1,200 to $1,500. I decided to let the $700 guy do it on Saturday with my help. I would have lost a few days but saved a bit (I thought).

I realize that the basement soil work is less than a third of the soil work and doesn't include top-out, so comparing the $7,900 to $700 isn't apples to apples and may not even be a good deal.

This morning the $7,900 sub called from the job site (it's Wednesday) asking about the furring out of the basement walls. I forgot to tell him I was going to have someone else do it. I made my first communication error.

I am working on my confrontation skills and opted to not do it on the phone. After getting some constructive criticism from Audra I went to the job site. The $7,900 had the parts, most of the lines dug and would be completed by the end of the day.

I decided it would be unfair to call him off, since I had failed to let him know of my change of plans. I told him what I done yesterday and wasn't sure I was going to use him for the whole project. I asked him to give me a number for the portion of work he will do today and I'll pay him and may go with another plumber for the rest.

Then I get a call from the office guy who offered to knock off $500 from the bid. Sure that helps, but I will still try to hone in on what it would take in money and time to get it done with the $700 plumber in a side work situation.

I allow myself to make mistakes as long as I learn from them...


A happy employee... Because they worked a 12-hour day in the heat on Monday to get the walls poured, I got doughnuts yesterday for the guys.
Cleaning the walls
Next summer it won't be so hot down there!
Our exterior staircase (stairs not included, yet!) I love the lines in this shot.
Home Depot took delivery of our lumber a month early, they are air conditioning it for us.
Formed double window well.

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