Utility (Water Meter Installation) Bid

by J Scott on May 20, 2014

The contractor we got in touch with last week about the utility work we needed to do (to get cleared to submit our Building Permit) still hasn’t provided us a bid. As I mentioned last week, the head of the county utility department gave me a list of five companies he thought might be able to help us, and I called all five at the end of last week. Only two returned my call (I’m guessing the others also don’t do residential), and of those two, only one seemed motivated to get me a bid.

It took him a couple days to visit the property, but he finally did. Over the phone, he gave me a bid of $4700 to tear up the street, replace the section of pipe from the water main to the meter, install a new meter, replace the section of pipe from meter to the property line and then fix the street and yard. That’s when I realized I hadn’t sent him the detailed site plan, and he didn’t realize that the water main wasn’t in the street — it’s right next to the meter running under the yard. I assumed this would knock a couple thousand off his bid, as he no longer needed to tear up the street, reroute traffic and then fix the street. But, I was wrong.

He only dropped his bid to $3900. I don’t know if there’s something I’m missing or if he’s just trying to take advantage of us, but I personally think that bid is ridiculous. But, instead of arguing, I asked him to send it to me in writing, so I’d have something to use to get clearance from the county, and hopefully we’d be allowed to change contractors after the county paperwork was completed and the deposit was made.

He faxed over the bid a couple hours later, and I plan to call the head of the utility department first thing tomorrow to let him know I had my bid in hand, and see if we can move forward…

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