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Soakwells after handover questions

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by SaberX, 1st Dec, 2015.

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  1. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Did anyone find it much of an inconvenience or run into any notable problems by removing their soakwells being done by the builder in their new home build and switching to using a third party after handover?

    The only problem i see at the moment in terms of logistics:

    a) THe credit back for driveway paving is quite little so i most likely will go with the builder to do this - in other words the planned soakwell the builder had under the driveway would need to be relocated by a third party - they're suggesting back where my alfresco is in the top corner of the block and insist it'll fit?

    Is there any recommendations against avoiding big 1500 x 900s soakwells under your driveway in the first place?

    b) The other 3 soakwells not under the driveway fit out the front of the house - my worry is if you dont' do it through the builder will they just carelessly do the run ins, electricals, underground lines etc in inconvenient places that will prove a problem when it comes to digging and chucking the three soakwells in via a 3rd party? Builder says they'll leave service plans usually in the meter box when they leave... but what worries me are 3rd parties always have a disclaimer where if the services aren't where they state to be, they won't be held responsible for damage.....

    Alternatively if chucking 4 x 1500 x 900 soakwells physically proves a challenge is there any reason why one couldn't go with 1 or 2 large ones and dot a few smaller ones around the sides of the block (in the 1 meter setback areass) or out the back?

    Any recommendations for soakwells around perth area are also welcome. At the moment the most responsive and therefore I assume decent have been perthsoakwells and allaboutsoakwells?
     
  2. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Soakwells are mostly a WA thing so you might not get a lot of answers here. When I built in WA i was happy for the builder to do them because I have horrible memories of helping my parents do theirs.

    If you're interested in doing them yourself (or via third party) you should see if builder will exclude from contract. See if there's a cost difference between them and a third party.

    If not thru builder, you can still request for conduits or pipes or what have you be run a certain way.
     
  3. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Hi D.T. - you don't use soakwells for your stormwater over there? What is the east coast etc's policy/take then on these things?

    Don't plan on digging/doing it myself as I've never done it.... so I would definitely go with a third party, professional party who I hope will do a council approved, good quality system.... The builder is around 5.8k contrast that to a third party who's quotes start around mid $3000's before GST... So there is a sizable difference.


    Alot of builders in WA seem to these days block non-builder's contractors from doing work... I've been told to just do the easier route and beg for forgiveness i.e. get them to go in and lay a prelay 90mm pipe under the garage before it is concreted as nobody would notice it running there anyway? Short of that, hopefully the site supervisor is cool in allowing them in.

    My biggest worry is with no soakwells done by the builder they'd make a mess of organising the run ins and locations of pipework and utilities through the front yard as they don't have to accomodate for the 3 big 1500 x 900s concrete soakwells. Perth Soakwells insists that their modular polypropelene systems can be 'built in shape' wise around pipes and the like yet still remain interconnected and therefore maintain the same volume of capacity?? Never seen it in person though but it sounded 'promising'.

    But any advice would be great or recommendations anyhow as posed in my original OP.
     
  4. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Yes very likely. Most guys will dig from a to b, if you have a soak well in first they have to go around!

    Depends on the site, need to run the numbers with your builder and plumber. Probably depends on the water table level, plus amount of water your catching on the roof

    Perth is a sandpit, soak wells disperse the water back into the ground through the sand. Over east stormwater goes out to the road or a drain. The closet thing over east is a "soak away" system, used for getting rid of liquid from septic tanks in unsewered properties!

    You don't really want to be digging dirty big holes at the end of the job. It can disturb footings/foundations, risk digging up services, damages to new house, or having to rip up concrete to make room it or re designing soak wells
     
  5. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Yep, pipes were built under my places that go out to the street drains. So instead of paying for stairwells, I pay for storm water, which is basically a plumber putting a few drains around that will route water from ground into those pipes.

    Even with the soft sand Perth has, digging soakwells in is a heck of a job. Used to do 1 at each down pipe now I believe they do a couple for the whole house.

    I think you're better off having the builder do it if that's an affordable option. They'll run it in a way that works with the rest of what they're doing. The site plan will show locations for when you're putting anything else in.
     
  6. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Depending on the council some will want them installed by a builder. I know Stirling have that policy as they had a huge issue with an owner doing it themselves and the ground collapsed and because the council had signed off on occupancy and BCA adherence with the building permit, they were somehow blamed.

    Unfortunately it has meant that some builders then ramped up their cost for the soakwells they install and people had no choice but to pay.

    Its usually something you just have to suck up.

    Our 12 year old soakwells have just caused a massive sink hole in my front garden path when my Dad walked over the paving in top of the soakwell. Thankfully he wasn't hurt and now we have to fill it all in again.
     
  7. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    Well the builder wants to charge 5.8k whereas the soakwell guys externally are quoting 3.3k + gst... so quite a big difference for one item? They reckon their modular polypropelyene system can be built around any pipes /items in the way anyway if that's an issue?

    My biggest worry would I guess be the whole foundations disturbing/issue. But they say that there is a safe distance that they do the soakwells from the house to ensure foundations are left protected, and that by doing the council approved spec soakwells then one can't be blamed by an engineer for any foundation damage as the appropriate rain water spec system has been installed and is routing suitable amount of water away from foundations?

    In the event that foundation damage does occur where a proper contractor was used who was meant to have installed council spec stormwater soakwell systems and the like - would this be covered by relevant building/tenant insurance typically?
     
  8. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    I'll check with the council to see if they allow a third party contractor.. this soakwells company supposedly does it for many of the big guys all the time, the only exception would be the timing of when it's done (more post handover given the builders wont allow them on site during builds these days).

    Apart from that yes, I believe they do 4 big ones now than 1 at each downpipe from the sounds of it. 3 big ones up the front of my land and one up the back alfresco area seems alot more safer for foundations to me than having it dotted around the perimeter of my house I'd feeL?
     
  9. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Are those prices apples with apples or has the Builder included other work like guttering and downpipes and other plumbing work?
     
  10. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    I'd assume so. Builder just gave me a fixed cost so they should do everything possible to get it setup.

    The quote im looking at currently for reference states supply and install of soakwells, 90mm stormwater piping, connection ans fitting. Industrial geofabric wrap around soakwrlls, digging soakwell holes etc.

    Only thing they dont include is removal of soil from property, any earthmoving/hard digging/ root breaking /clay digging, compaction etc to be done by ur paver or landscaper etc.

    So seems like that's alao all the bells and whistles? Compares at 3,685 incl gst.
     
  11. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

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    I guess my main question is has not many pplz experienced gettinf a professional 3rd party in after handover rather than paying the large price the builders offering??

    Im assuming its a possibility but largely unlikely to have a professional diggin soakwells from outside a minimum safe distance and upsetting foundations of a ready made house?? Or does anyone have advice to the contrary??
     
  12. Geoff Stephenson

    Geoff Stephenson New Member

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    My name is Geoff Stephenson and I run a Soakwell Installation Company in Perth WA. Wanneroo Drainage. I do a lot of Private Work for my Clients after Builder's Handover. I know from Experience that the Services, Power etc can be Installed anywhere also there is no Guarantee that the Power or Gas will have Danger Tape on them, or there depth. The Power has a Drawing, Can't call it a Plan in the Meterbox. The Gas has a Plan also a Drawing in the Gas Meterbox it has Measurements on it off the House etc. The Water and the NBN (Telstra) have no Plans. You have to Locate them from the Meter or the NBN Pit.It's down to the Installer to locate these Services. Also you have to take into consideration the location of the Sewer Connection. I locate them the old fashioned way (with a Shovel) before I start Digging with the Excavator. I take full responsibility for Locating and Digging around Services. I can understand where the Builders are Coming from there are a lot of Unprofessional Contractors in the Business. It is true that the Pricing from Drainage Contractor to Builder is far Different. It boils down to how many hands the Soakwells have to go through e.g.. Soak well Contractor to Plumbing Company to Builder, Everyone gets there piece of the pie so to speak, As to going direct to the Soakwell Contractor. I'm old fashioned and only use Quality Steel Reinforced Concrete Soakwells and Lids I have been doing this for a living for a long time and had no Come-backs. But I fully understand the point of the Client usually when it comes to the Soakwells the money is running low. Hey costs with Building blow out. They alway's seem to. Then the Soakwells hold up the Landscaping. Still believe you are better off finding a Private Contractor to do your Soakwells. It's just finding the right one.
     
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