Luke is the top guy when it comes to estimating projects, he explained that he's been doing it for many many years and is contacted by insurance companies as well. He was knowledgeable, professional and his quote for the work was done quickly and electronically. All very impressive.
We were having water coming through our garage foundation; all three sides that are set into a hill. Luke's proposed solution was to dig out the sides of the garage that were set into the hill, re-do the drainage tile, waterproof the walls and backfill the walls with crushed gravel. We chose to have them leave the excavated dirt on our lawn to save $2,000 in hauling costs to remove it.
I had single-handedly excavated one side of the garage already, water proofed it and backfilled it. Only two walls needed to be done by Luke's team. I am a desk jockey and it took me about 8 hours to excavate the one side of my garage. I did two coats of waterproofing and then backfilled the wall and all-in it took me about 15 hours.
Luke predicted it would take 130 hours to do the job on the remaining two walls; one wall was smaller than the one I excavated and the other was the back wall and would be much more work. His quote for the work and materials was approximately $8,000. He is the expert, we trusted him and gave Luke the go-ahead.
The start date for the job was missed by several days... Luke's team was very respectful however. Once they started, they dug a test hole on the first day and Luke immediately reported that the digging was harder than he expected and the quote was going to require an extra 50% labour due to rocks and hard clay. Fortunately, the on the second day the digging got easier and the expectation was for the digging to be better and quicker than the test hole led Luke to believe.
I had already excavated one wall so I wasn't sure what "difficult" conditions meant, the conditions on my side of the garage were the same as the other two...
It took longer than expected but when the job was done Luke asked me to do a final inspection. There was a lot of garbage all over, large rocks were left in piles out in the open. Luke's team came back to fix it up the next day at no charge and were very apologetic. Did a great job the second time.
After they left we noticed that their crushed gravel sprayer had covered two sides of our garage in dirt. There were hand prints and dirt marks, paint scuffs and tar lines above ground. I pressure washed the two sides of the garage but was not able to get the dirt off. Very disappointing...
Summary: As the Clean Drains company expert, Luke estimated a job cost at approx $8,000 and ended up charging us over $13,000. It took his team more than 130 hours to do what took me 15 hours (but they replaced the tile drainage on two sides and I didn't (approximately 30 feet total). Note: I did two coats of waterproofing and they did only one. They were nice guys, respectful, and I hope that the job they did will solve the problem. It's too early to be sure.
I'd be happy to have them do work again but would be terrified of the final price vs the price Luke quotes in order to get the contract signed.