I looked around and found that guys with hoes in my area all take
about $5K USD for installation of a 1000 gallon septic tank w. leech
field and this does NOT include the percolation report. The tank
itself costs about a grand $1K, so let's deduct that. The job takes
about 1-2 days. Let's say 2 days = 16 hours. $4K comes out to $250/
hour. That does not sound right. I am sure competitors would bring
the price down. In that case my question is what other costs are
involved? Someone told me transporting the material on-site and
gravel costs need to be considered. Can somebody break down where
does the $5 actually get distributed for a typical installation of a
septic tank with a leech field?
It will take more than 1 man for 2 days and you're forgetting the cost of
the permit ,excavator & operator , dumptrucks & operators , crushed stone ,
gravel , loam , leachfield materials , pipe...Mine cost 8 grand but I had to
pump mine uphill and have a special leachfield due to space so I say the
price is about right..Expect to pay about 4-5 hundred for the
design/soiltest or percolation report as you called it as well...
Priced a backhoe lately? Remember, unless it is a big company, the thing
is probably only digging 2-3 days a week, during the months the ground
isn't frozen. (around here, all the dirt work companies chain snow
blades to front buckets of every yellow thing they have, and park them
at shopping centers around town, just to keep SOME cash coming in. )And
the finance company wants that payment EVERY month, no matter if you had
one job or ten. Same concept as why plumbers in general cost so much,
only a backhoe costs a lot more than a 3/4 ton pickup.
Yeah, get multiple bids. But if you are in a small town or the middle of
nowhere, your choices are probably limited.
Do you have a backhoe? Do you know how to run one?
Do you know how to install a septic sytem that will pass
inspection. Its a heck of a lot more to it than you think.
The best way to learn why is for you to DIY one with a shovel.
Lots of luck on getting it done in two days even with a backhoe.
My friend had one put in when he built his house. Two inspections
required and that dragged theing out a lot. Even in the 70s you could
expect this to cost a couple of $K bucks
My 1995 central Florida experience...
1. Backhoe, operator, two other guys arrive with tank, gravel, pipe and
other necessaries about 8AM
2. Dig hole for 1000 gallon tank, trenches for drain field.
3. Place tank in hole, pipe and other necessaries in trenches
4. Cover stuff up, leave in plenty of time for lunch.
Cost was $1500 total. I'd expect inflation to have bumped that to
$2250-2500 by now.
The wild card is the inspector between step 3 and 4. If you can get
the inspection timed right you might be able to hold that schedule.
Typically you lose a half a day waiting for the inspector before you
can cover it up.
They have been doing these around here (SW Fla) in a day and a half.
Dig and set the equipment one day, get inspected first thing the next
morning and backfill as soon as the inspector leaves.
You also have to add the price of resodding the yard and connecting to
the house. Sod is going for $85 a pallet but the HO can do it. Just
remember "green side up".
They do tend to run cheaper in many parts of FL because they are easy
to put in there. Soil is so sandy you can turn on a garden hose and
the water disappears within 3 ft of the hose. Sometimes a traditional
leech field isnt required. I saw one installed up in Nassua county
that was just a tank with a lot of holes in it with gravel back filled
around it. I suspect this was a pretty cheap install.
Well I don't know since these things are free for businesses...
Here's a bakers dozen I came up with right off and stopped. Let's see how
many people can add a dozen more things that are free to businesses.
Workers medical insurance
Lawers fees for when they get sued
Business Tax accounting
15% self employment tax
7.5% employee social security tax
Employee vacation, holiday and sick time.
Start with the equipment. You have to buy it, insure it, service it, repair
it, pay interest to the bank, Now you have to buy the truck and trailer to
get it to the job. Add registration to all of the above mentioned expenses.
The bank note must be paid even when the equipment does not run in bad
You need a trained insured operator. Operator alone is $50 to $75 when
you add in company paid payroll taxes, vacation, holidays, workman's comp.
Toss in the billing, telephone, office light and heat, warehouse for the
equipment, spare parts, liability insurance, fuel for both equipment and
That $250 is sounding pretty cheap. Stop by my place. I have a machine
that can run most days on two shifts. The note to the bank is $40 an hour,
16 hours a day, 250 work days a year. Depending on what you want me to make
on it, the charge works out to $300 to $400 an hour. .
A lot of those machines are sitting idle now and the operator
is mowing lawns to eat.
Fuel prices are down so gravel is cheaper and plumbers are looking for
I'm sure if you want to sub this out you can save a couple thousand.
My neighbor replaced a leach field for $1600
That's what I was quoted in MT in the late '90s for 3 BR fields.
I cut that about in half by becoming licensed to install them myself
and renting the hoe, but I had several to install.
$5K ain't a bad deal, IMO.
Thanks all for input. Let me see what we have so far:
My neighbor wants to do this, and he gave me a price of $5K which
seems to be market rate around my parts.
He has a dump truck but it will not be needed because the extra dirt
will just be tossed somewhere out there. We live in an area of
The 1000 gallon tank costs $1000
Say gravel and leech pipes and any other misc materials will run
Let's say he hires a buddy and pays the guy $150-200/day=$400. This
guy does not run a business with full time permanent workers by the
http://www.sunbeltrentals.com The hoe he owns costs $830/week to
rent, let's add $200 for gas = $1K
-$1K 1000 gallon tank
-$1K misc materials and buddy labor
$2K for 2 days = $1000/day for operating hoe + know-how
Not so much jealous as not in the mood.
My invoices are not being paid, the economy sux, I am having trouble
finding work, I am going to use my savings to build so that I can
avoid paying rent in the big city for home and office space, and I am
in no mood to give somebody $1000/day unless I absolutely have to.
I want to use this information to know where and how to bargain with
my neighbor. I am thinking along the lines of paying this guy with
his hoe to dig the holes for the footings, water pipes, power lines,
and septic. Then install the septic myself.
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