If you want to install a pond, an in-ground pool, or a patio in your backyard, chances are good that you are going to need a grading contractor in order to make sure that the land is flat enough to handle the installation and ensure that it is steady. However, you want to make sure that the job does not exceed your budget for the job. You will likely call several different grading contractors so that they can come to your home, look at the situation, and give you a rough estimate for the job.
Here are some questions that you should ask in order to make sure that the estimate is as complete as possible so that you can create an accurate budget for your entire landscaping project.
1. Does This Estimate Include the Equipment Charges, Including Structure Protection?
The first question you need to ask is if the equipment is covered in the estimate for the job. Most estimates will include the charge for the equipment that is needed to do the job, but you also need to make sure that the estimate includes the materials needed to protect any structures that might be affected during the grading process. These materials could include blankets that are used to cover fountains so they aren't chipped by flying stones or filler material that will keep smaller buildings level while the ground around them is changing. If your estimate does not include the materials needed for structure protection, then you might be in for a surprise when you get your bill.
2. Does the Estimate Include the Time Needed to Set Up and Tear Down?
Next, you are going to need to make sure that the estimate includes the hourly pay of the workers as they set up the job and clean up all of the equipment. This can be a time consuming procedure depending on how greatly you need the grade of the land to be altered.
3. Does the Estimate Include the Costs of Any Permits?
In some areas, you will need a special permit for having your land regraded because you will be interfering with plumbing lines and electrical lines that more than one person depend on. These permits cost money. Sometimes, the grading contractor will take care of getting the permits for you and put them in the estimate. Sometimes, they will get the necessary permits but charge them for you at the end on the bill. You want to make sure that you budget for the permit.
For more information about your estimate, talk to your grading contractor. He or she might be able to provide you with a breakdown of your estimate, as well as disclose any other costs that might occur during the grading process.