Am I honestly to believe?

Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:04 am

So, way back in July I began to have my septic system updated. Up until then it was a cesspool with a pipe that run into an open pit. Its now two months later and it's still not done. My wife and I have experienced the 1050 gallon tank coming out of the hole twice, once during hurricane Irene and then again during tropical storm Lee. Well, this week the contractor comes up to me and says, "We need you to pump the tank out so we can put it back in the hole."

We've had the tank pumped three times since they've put it in. This, being the third time. So, naturally, I reply, "No problem. But, just so you know, this is the last time. We've spent close to $800 just having the tank pumped. We pump it, the tank goes back in the hole and it gets back filled. Nothing for nothing, but this is getting very aggravating. We're on two months now and very little has been done. This gets finished this week."

He agrees and has been at my house every day this week. Rain or shine. And, I'm rather impressed, everything is done except the final inspections and back filling of the secondary tank, wiring for the pump, topsoil and seeding.

But this isn't where the disbelief comes from. At the start of the project two months ago the contractor, engineer and county inspector sat down to discuss details on what was required. I specifically asked about a plumbing permit. It was decided, that since the pipe emerging from the house was not being replaced, dug up, disturbed in any way that a plumbing permit was not required. The county inspector and engineer signed off on it. Fast forward to last Friday. I am served with a citation of $1000 a week for failure to pull a plumbing permit through the town. My wife takes the engineered plans that the county inspector, contractor, engineer and myself signed-off on and the town inspector replies with, "I don't understand what you are talking about. You need to pull the plumbing permit." My wife looked at him and replied, "Seriously? The county says we don't require it and you are making me pull a permit for something that doesn't need to be done? Ok, well, when you come to the house and determine that everything is ok can I have my money back?"

Since when does the town over-ride the county's authority? I've never seen something so absolutely asinine.
I'm On Fire
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:14 am

I would give the county inspector a call and explain the situation. Hopefully they can get in touch with the town guy and resolve it. If not, the next steps won't be fun.
Rob R.
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:30 am

If you need us to start a letter writing campaign on your behalf let us know!

Elections are coming and maybe a candidate or two would be sympathetic to your issue?


http://thereveredreview.com/2011-elections/
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
EarthWindandFire
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: Paulie On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:44 am

Not sure about NJ, but here in MA, everything goes through the town building dept. I would pull the permit, they will let
the fine go given it was signed off , was not like you intentionally blew them off. Good Luck!
Paulie
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:50 am

markviii wrote:I would give the county inspector a call and explain the situation. Hopefully they can get in touch with the town guy and resolve it. If not, the next steps won't be fun.


The messed up thing is the contractor already talked to the county and the county inspector has already talked to the town inspector and he still refuses to back down. I already plan on filing a complaint against the town through the state.

Pauline,

Sussex is odd because things the town used to do has moved to the county. All permits used to be issued through the town, now almost all of them go through the county. We did pull the permit. But we're going to fight it through the state.
I'm On Fire
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:18 am

I had to go through the septic drainfield replacement dance with the county just last year on a rental property. Fortunately It is not within a township so the county was the AHJ (Authority Having Jusidiction). Even so, it took the county about 2 months to decide on a design they would approve (with me doing most of the research from other systems being used in neighboring counties) and cost close to $20k by the time it was done.

In our area a local can trump a county and a county can trump the state when it comes to inspections and permits.

Although in your case it seems the county guy and local guy are in a personal pissing match. If you didn't know it at the beginning, the county guy certainly knew that where you live fell under a township AHJ and should have got that guy involved or told you to do so. I'd be most pissed off at the county guy.

If something similar had happened to me last year given the frustration dealing with the county troll, it would have put me over the edge and you would have been reading about me in the paper.
titleist1
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:22 am

titleist1 wrote:I had to go through the septic drainfield replacement dance with the county just last year on a rental property. Fortunately It is not within a township so the county was the AHJ (Authority Having Jusidiction). Even so, it took the county about 2 months to decide on a design they would approve (with me doing most of the research from other systems being used in neighboring counties) and cost close to $20k by the time it was done.

In our area a local can trump a county and a county can trump the state when it comes to inspections and permits.

Although in your case it seems the county guy and local guy are in a personal *censored* match. If you didn't know it at the beginning, the county guy certainly knew that where you live fell under a township AHJ and should have got that guy involved or told you to do so. I'd be most *censored* off at the county guy.

If something similar had happened to me last year given the frustration dealing with the county troll, it would have put me over the edge and you would have been reading about me in the paper.


Its funny you mention being pissed off about your system install. My wife and I are at our wits end with the county, town, engineer and contractor. At one point I went off on the contractor telling him that if I had access to the equipment it would've been done a long time ago. We're pissed off at everyone. And rest assured, complaints are going to be placed on all parties involved when its complete.
I'm On Fire
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: samhill On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:46 am

Seems to me that everyone but you should know exactly what permits & such would be needed, that begins with & most likely will end with the contractor, the Gov. is never wrong or will ever claim responsibility for any misinformation. IMO the contractor that I assume does this type of work on a regular basis should know most about what is needed.
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:01 am

$1,000 per what? Did you actually have to pay? Arghhhhhhhh!!!! If I hired a contractor to do the job, I would simply hand him the bill.... I'd think that's HIS (her) responsibility.
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:23 am

Freddy it's $1000 per week until the permit is pulled. We didn't have to pay because we filed for the permit but plan on fighting to get our money back.

I agree, it is the responsibility of the contractor to pull permits. To date, he has pulled only one. I've paid and pulled for two. One for the septic which was almost $300 and now this one. It was another point of contention between the contractor and I. He has been told on more that. one occasion that it his responsibility. My wife and I will be deducting the cost for the three tank pumpings and the two permits from what we owe him. By the time this is done we'll of spent close to $13000.
I'm On Fire
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: stokersmoker On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:58 am

The township where I live is also in the process of installing a new septic system. I just got a notice in the mail that says we have 90 days from 9/3/11 to hook up, or they will charge us $1000 A DAY for non-compliance! Yikes!

Asside from that, in my contract is included the septic system pumping and the cost of the permit, as well as a three year guarantee on all work done. Pretty much everything from soup to nuts is included in this contract, and I have to ask why yours is not? I agree with samhill and Freddy, all the permitting, laws, rules, regs, should all be handled by the contractor. That's his job to make sure that his work is in full compliance with everybody. He should know all this ahead of time and keep all his customers in compliance if this is his profession. I mean, it's the same thing if you hire an electrician, right? He is to know what is up to code and what is not, and if your house burns down due to an electrical fire from his shotty work, guess who's getting sued? I'd pass on those fines to him and tell him good luck.

Another thing I have to ask is why is there a town inspector AND a county inspector? Is there a state inspector, too? How about federal? How many times does the thing need to be inspected, and how many damn permits do you need? Sounds like overkill to me. Then again, I used to live in Vernon. Glad I moved! :dancing: I only have to get a township permit. The county has nothing to do with it, and like I said, my contractor is handling it. It's included in the contract.

And about pumping out the tank so many times, maybe I'm confused, but aren't you not supposed to run the water, use the toilets, etc. while the work is being done? Is that why you had to pump again, or did it fill up with rain water? If it's the latter, why didn't he take measures to prevent that if he knew he wasn't going to be done before the storm came that everyone knew was coming? I'd be highly PO'd too.
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:03 pm

I'm On Fire wrote:I agree, it is the responsibility of the contractor to pull permits. To date, he has pulled only one. I've paid and pulled for two. One for the septic which was almost $300 and now this one. It was another point of contention between the contractor and I. He has been told on more that. one occasion that it his responsibility. My wife and I will be deducting the cost for the three tank pumpings and the two permits from what we owe him. By the time this is done we'll of spent close to $13000.


I feel your pain on the cost....ours ran close to $18K with what the county required. You are much more patient with your contractor than I would be. It is very hard to find good people to work with, but keeping the bad ones only costs you time, money and sanity. I have weeded out a few bad ones over the years and have kept in touch with those that are great to work with for excavating (1 bad one), electrical (2 bad ones), masonry (1 bad one), etc. I haven't found a drywall guy that I am happy with yet, so I still do my own mud work, but would love to hire that part of the project out since I am rather slow at it.

I don't understand why more contractors don't get it that doing a good job and being a stand up guy will help their business immensely. The guy that did the rental drain field for us last year was the second excavation guy I worked with (the first guy didn't last through the first project). Over the years, he finished digging the footer back in the early-90's after i got rid of the first guy, then did the footer & slab for a garage, then dug the basement and footer for an addition, buried a propane tank, then moved our septic tank and redid our drain field on our house about 5 years ago then did some grading work on a flip. I have also recommended him to quite a few people over the years and they have all been happy with him as well and made their own referrals. The thing that sets him apart for me (besides doing good work in very close to the price/time frame he quoted) is that he'll actually listen to what you want done and communicate with you very well through the project. I have never been surprised by a delay or an extra cost afterward, he always lets you know immediately if something unexpected comes up and what he thinks the impact is going to be. The grading project and garage footer project were less than he quoted because they took less time than he anticipated. I'm not saying he can retire on the business we sent his way, but at least he didn't have to spend $ on advertising to get it!
titleist1
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:58 pm

Stoker,

Yes, there is a state inspector in Jersey now. As far as contracts are concerned; what's that? We've asked repeatedly for a contract and have not seen one yet. My wife asked again yesterday. I'm gonna go home here this afternoon and ask him for it again. I've also asked him what is covered under said magical invisible contract and don't get straight answers from him. He's a nice guy, but I won't be calling him again and I won't be recommending him. The tank has has to be pumped out three times because it came out of the ground twice. And sine July it was only a holding tank, the rest of the system didn't exist.

Titelist,

I flipped out on him a few weeks ago. After Irene. We had a huge argument in my driveway over the tank coming out of the ground. He had promised me it was going to be completed by the time Irene hit. Well, it wasn't. We stood in my driveway then at the water filled hole and my exact words to him were, "You promised this was going to be done. Didn't you? Well? Look, if you had been here all last week like you had said you were going to be I wouldn't be in this position. The tank would have never come out of the ground." He looked at me and said, "Well, you can find someone else to finish it for you then." and he started back to his truck. My response was to get in his face and scream, "EXCUSE ME!! YOU'VE BEEN *censored* PAID!!! NOW FINISH THE *censored* JOB!!" I still can't fathom why this project has been two months+. Every time I've every lived someplace where I've been involved with a septic system re-engineering and install it's taken 3 weeks at the most. I'm trying to keep calm, I want it done and don't want to find someone else because I don't have the money for it anymore.

EDIT

Just met the electrician whom is going to be wiring the pump. My first impression of him? I don't like him. I asked him a question in regards to how he is planning on adding the pump to my generator panel. His answer? "Oh, I don't teach." then he ignored me. Hmm...I didn't ask him to teach me. I asked him how he planned on doing it. It's my house I'm the customer and I have questions. If I throw anyone off the jobsite it's gonna be him.
I'm On Fire
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:22 am

You are definitely in a tough spot if the guy has been paid for the job already, I can see why you are trying to pry the work out of him. I would think that for a project like that you'd pay 1/3 up front, 1/2 the balance after 1/2 the job is done and then the rest when its complete - that has been my experience. Keeps the incentive for them to keep showing up and finishing the job.

That electrician obviously has forgot who is working for who.
titleist1
 
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Re: Am I honestly to believe?

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:34 am

I'm going to have a little talk with the contractor whom hired the electrician. I think I'm gonna tell him to find someone else to do the electric because I don't want this guy on my property. I've only talked to the electrician a few times, once on the phone and once yesterday. He gave me the impression that he didn't want to talk to me. Every time I asked him something yesterday he'd go, "I try not to open my mouth, I tend to get in trouble." That to me sends the wrong message and he's already gotten himself in trouble because he hasn't given me a good first impression. At least the septic contractor even though his worth ethic sucks will let me ask him questions and hang out in the middle of the construction with him so I can see what he's doing. This electrician is a tool.
I'm On Fire
 
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