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Soakwells after handover

Discussion in 'Development' started by SaberX, 23rd Sep, 2015.

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  1. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    197
    Location:
    WA
    Just wanted to get the collective thoughts of whether it is worth the cost savings to do soakwells after handover. Both from a practical and safety pov. I have the time to do it so that isn't an issue.

    I originally had a $4k PS that was increased to$ 6k as I need 4 soakwells not 2 as originally planned by the builder in line with the CIty of Armadale (Perth based). GIven this the sales rep reckons it'll come close to $6k at completion with the builder and advised his mate did them for 3.5k cash, 4k any other payment method. That said I've obtained other soakwell company quotes via google (went with a few of the major ones popping up) and i'm getting around 3.5k + gst for one option that also does 4 poly soakwells, same size: 1500 x 900.

    My main concern is, given the builder wont allow slab down installation of soakwells by a third party, is there much risk to footings, utility connections etc by having a soakwell contractor do them after handover? I only have a 4.5 m front setback and 15m or so wide frontage, not alot of room to move on the front given one soakwell the builder drafted below the driveway would have to be relocated.

    My main concern is footings and something happening to the general building (paranoia as I've never done this before) - but hear of people even doing the old 10,20 x small bunnings soakwells to their own home with their family members over a weekend.

    Would appreciate anyone who has also developed or done alot of building - is there anything I'm not considering?

    One soakwell contractor quoted me the 4 x 1500 x 900 soakwells all out the front. Another 30 x small ones dotted around the sides, back and front. Is there a right or wrong?? What should I go with? My block is going to be utilised to the minimum side/back setback requirements so not much room for movement or a safety net to my block if they install wrong?? WIll insurance cover me if i insure my house and the contracted soakwells cause footings or the house to fall over in 7 years time? OTherwise one benefit i assume of going down the builder installed path is they do both the building and soakwells and so there's no blame shifting down the track if... touchwood, anything goes wrong?
     
  2. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    625
    Location:
    WestOz
    Without Pics I'm a bit confused by your post... especially the pricing you've been quoted, is the block full of cap rock or something to justify it?

    Won't do any damage short-term, plenty of very old homes around with down-pipes running straight onto the ground, termites love moist soil though.

    Why not leave it for now, wait till you get a feel for the place, decide where patios will go as this will also have gutters, decide how your going to landscape etc as you could possibly run pipe/agi to garden beds.
    Personally, if required I'd install soak-wells myself, even if I had to hire a jackhammer.
    I've modified ex 25lt detergent containers for soak-wells, usually found out the back of restaurants etc, they end up as landfill otherwise.
     
  3. SaberX

    SaberX Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    197
    Location:
    WA
    @WestOz: I've attached a screenshot below Westoz. This one they've quoted me several dozen soakwells.

    allaboutsoakwells.JPG

    The second screenshot (perthsoakwells) quoted me on the basis of 4 soakwells, similar to my builder. As you can see in the attachment the four shaded circles at front of property is basically them copying my builders layout for soakwells.

    perthsoakwells.JPG


    I've spoken to parties who suggest taking out the driveway paving (credit back, obviously less as it wasn't added in, but was part of the building package so obviously they'll root me on taking credits back) then getting the soakwell installed, similar to the builder by having 4 out the front.

    My concern /what blue steele (the exposed aggregate contractor I obtained quotes from) mentioned, was that putting a soakwell under the driveway may set you up for 'possibly' a blocked soakwell being inaccessible without ripping up the concrete.

    Any thoughts on this/the above? Is it impossibly rare or is it good practice to never build concrete or anything expensive/permanent over a soakwell? In which case I may only get 3 in the front and be forced to put one in the back left corner where the alfresco is (shaded in light blue). My biggest worry is if the back is too close for comfort to footings for a 1500x900.

    I am still not sure whether to go with builder (as a perceived risk-less as responsibility of footings /erosions or any problems is the builders, or if it is a no brainer/no complication process going the cheaper route and doing it past handover) or a third party after handover? And also whether to relocate any soakwells under the driveway?

    Conversely if I shouldn't put a soakwell under the driveway for good practice - I could save money by leaving the pavers in by the builder as soakwell access isn't necessary anymore , as most likely i'll get 2-3k back on pavers/crossover to the front versus 4.5k or so for exposed aggregate.

    Thoughts Please?

    Much appreciated.