iStock_000057141124_SmallWe’ve seen many articles float around about the importance of selecting reputable contractors when you’re dealing with your home maintenance. Whether you’re choosing a contractor to manage your $100,000 home renovation or a $500 septic pumpout – the same rules apply. Make sure that reputable and licensed contractors are doing the job. While we’ve already done a run through of tips for getting septic installation proposals, these concepts can be applied to any aspect of the proposal process for any number of contractors. Basic best practices like requesting references and Google-stalking are always recommended when you consider any contactor. But what about property damage? Here are a few ways that owners can protect themselves from septic contractors.

Confirm that contractors pay workman’s compensation.

If an employee of the septic company is injured on the job – it shouldn’t be the homeowners responsibility to pay. It’s important to make verify that contractors have a worker’s compensation insurance plan in place and associations may even want to consider adding their name to the contractor’s insurance policy – since proof of insurance is easy to procure and then later cancel.

Educate yourself on your septic system layout.

Part of protecting your property means being intimately familiar with the ins and outs of your system. Be sure that you have knowledge of the layout of your system within your yard to make it easier for new contractors to come and service your system. This will prevent unnecessary digging or potential damage to your drainfield by uneducated, reckless contractors.

Understand what you’re paying for.

Just because a bill is a lot more than you expected doesn’t mean that you’re being overcharged. Take some time to have a contractor go over the different pieces of the puzzle – from the system that you choose to the different controls, alarms and effluent filters. Different components can vary wildly in price so having a good understanding of the benefits in making a more high end choice will be valuable for you as a homeowner.

The more you know about the design of your system and what’s included in your proposal and paperwork – the better situated you’ll be to deal with any issues that you come across. Reputation is very important when you’re selecting a septic contractor, but be sure that your contractor has the appropriate insurance (beyond basic licensing) and educate yourself on exactly what they’re doing and how they should go about it. Communication is important with any contractor, but when you’re dealing with massive equipment like excavators it’s important to be proactive to avoid damage and protect yourself with knowledge.

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