We are often asked if we can provide a price over the phone. We wish it were that simple. There are many factors to consider prior to pricing a job. How much oil is left in the tank, where is the tank located, what is the access to the tank, are there nearby buried utilities that may be in the way, etc. are some of the things we look for when pricing a project. It is our policy to conduct a site visit, prior to providing an estimate, in order to assure our estimate is as accurate as possible. The site visit is FREE and comes with no high pressure “take it or lose it now” sales pitch. After the site visit we will send a detailed written proposal by email, typically within one day, for your review.
Some of our competitors would rather not take the time to conduct a site visit. Many will just provide an unrealistically low number over the phone. Their proposals contains a bunch of “out of scope” costs that are buried in the fine print. Inevitably those extra costs end up making the price higher than was promised. Still other companies will request the client to fill out an online questionnaire to get a quote. Those quotes are never guaranteed and contain subjective questions, such as “describe the access to the site.” Often these customers are told that they didn’t “accurately describe the site conditions” on the day the job is to begin. To start the job the customer will then be asked to sign a “change order” that authorizes higher prices for the “discrepancies.”
Know What’s Below
Enviro Clean Tank Services utilizes the Dig Safely NY system. The photo below illustrates the importance of conducting a site visit in addition to using Dig Safe NY. When we first heard of this project, we were informed that the tank was in the open with nothing around it. Looking at the surface of the site, we could immediately see we would be working around the natural gas (NG) service, electric service, and the septic line. The only public utility that would have been marked out by DIG SAFE NY is the natural gas line.
- Grounding rod for the electric service
- Natural gas (NG) line
- Septic line
- Oil tank supply and return lines
After the tank’s removal, a few additional items not identified by both the homeowner and DIG SAFE NY, was encountered but also was expected due to our advance inspection. See photo below.
- Septic line (line cut to allow for removal of tank)
- Footing drain
- Mystery pipe (probably an electric conduit)
- Petroleum contaminated soil
Once hired the next question we are typically asked is “when can you do the job?” Most municipalities will require a building permit be taken out prior to any work being performed. The length of time for the permit to be issued varies from one building department to the next. After the permit is issued we may then need to schedule an inspector to come out the day we do the job to review our work. Each building department has different inspection schedules so wait times will vary. Although we cannot control the speed with which your permit is issued we can promise that the paperwork will be sent out immediately upon receipt of a signed agreement and deposit. Concurrently we will file a Dig Safe request while we are waiting on the permit so no time is lost. Upon issuance of the building permit we will schedule the project – typically on a first come – first serve basis.
We are always available via phone or email. The person who you spoke with is the same person you will deal with during the entire process. We understand, especially with homes being sold, that there is a myriad of things that the seller and buyer are trying to organize. Often the tank project ends up being one of the final items that must be done prior to the title transfer. It is not lost on us that real estate agents, buyers, sellers, attorneys, movers, employers, etc. all have a need to know when the job will be done.