Is it industry standard to for contractor to backfill

growingadviceNovember 14, 2013

after having walkway replaced"

Had a concrete walkway replaced. Looks good (who know about structurally right now of course), 2x4 are going to be removed tomorrow. a couple of dirt-piles and a 1ft trench on either side of the walkway.

when I asked when the soil was going to be taken care of, I was told that "that's a landscaper's responsibility"

What are your experiences? is this usually the way it works?

I didnt expect the back-fill area to be seeded or anything, but backfilled.

If its common practice, I have not problem with it (my fault for assuming), but if not...


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If backfill is in your contract it should be done. Otherwise lot of masons and concrete guys just want to do their thing and get out and don't price in anything but their hardscape thing. Sounds like that's what you got. Sucks, but I wouldn't leap to worrying about quality of install. It's just how some of these guys roll.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Ok. thanks.
If that what it is, is what it is.

Always a amazes me though, How would someone who hasn't been through it before even know to ask. One would think if you're replacing something, I figured that it would look the same after the replacement except with the replaced part. i guess that's I you shouldn't assume.
oh well. Live and learn i guess.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:14AM
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I'm going to help you and anyone else reading this more than you could imagine. Ready?

There is no such thing as "industry standard" for residential work that doesn't require a permit. Get that phrase, that assumption, out of your head.

The only industry standard on which you can rely is this: the contractor will perform the work as described in the contract for the price agreed upon, barring change orders and any contingencies accounted for in the contract (private utilities, a boulder the size of a car, etc).

You can reasonably expect a contractor to do exactly what's written on the contract. Period. Sometimes we throw things in, sometimes we forget to detail out the full scope of what we're doing and by doing what we had always planned to, we exceed expectations (which is always awesome). But never assume that. Assume the contractor knows price is ALWAYS an issue, and he/she is ONLY pricing exactly what you asked for. Imagine what your yard will look like when that specific task is completed and work from there.

"Install 250 lin ft of drain line and backfill" - ok, then what? seed and straw?

"remove and dispose of existing deck" - will the ledger be removed? Will the siding be extended to cover where the deck was?

"Construct a retaining wall 4 ft high by 30 ft long" - will they backfill behind the wall? You laugh, but I had a mason give me a price that looked crazy low, because he had planned on building the wall and leaving the rest to me.

This tends to be less of an issue when going with a design-build contractor, but generally masons do masonry, not landscaping. Electricians do electrical and you'll pay through the nose if they need to dig in the dirt. And so on.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:35PM
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