Quoting mitigation work is typically very easy… and in some cases, very difficult. There are typically a number of ways and locations a radon mitigation can be installed on any house or commercial property. Each way will have its own complexity, particular materials needed, and hours of labor needed to install the system properly. At RMES we’ve installed over 4,000 mitigation systems in Southeast Wisconsin. We’ve visited all sites beforehand, and have provided a written quote to every client before commencing any installation work.
Our client’s have always understood exactly what the job was going to cost, where and how it was being installed, and what the system was going to look like when it was finished. They also had a written quote in hand that guaranteed them a final radon rate under 2.0pCi/L, and the knowledge that RMES has an average post-mitigation radon rate of .5pCi/L in the average home we have mitigated… very close to the quality of outdoor air!
Many mitigators seem to be able to give quotes over the phone. The experienced and good ones won’t. This is similar to giving someone a roofing quote over the phone. There’s no way to tell what actually needs to be done without looking at it… how many and what type of supplies to bring to the site, or how the system will be finished off. We have calls from potential clients that try to describe their house to us. Frankly, many times those descriptions turn out to be fairly inaccurate when we actually look at the property. We would be happy to give a potential price “variable” over the phone… what 95% of our typical home systems are costing these days. That variable is typically very competitive with the marketplace… when installing to exact protocols.
Most potential clients know nothing about mitigations and their protocols…. guidelines of what needs to be included in every radon mitigation. Because of this, many people buy on price as they have nothing else to go on. This typically doesn’t take into account what a mitigator will do step by step relative to protocols, the quality of the materials that will be used, how the size of the fan was determined, the type of sump pump and sump cover, or the finish of the system in the end… what it will actually look like on your house as a permanent installation, which is important to your home’s visual appeal! In essence, price is typically the poorest way to “judge” any quote.
We’ve been asked a number of times by realtors about pricing. Commonly phone conversations goes like this… “We have one quote for a $1000. …one for $1250… which is correct?” When we’ve asked if any mitigator actually “looked” at the property, the answer is typically… “no”. When we’ve viewed these properties, many times the mitigation can’t physically be done as a mitigator has described over the phone, and many times these “phoned-in”quotes are totally unrealistic pricewise relative to the work that actually needs to be done.
What do we at RMES feel a potential customer needs to be cautious of when looking for a mitigator? First and most important… anyone under consideration should come from the State of Wisconsin list of Certified Radon Mitigators doing business in WI ( http://www.lowradon.org/Lists/MitigProf.htm ). This list is updated each quarter of the year. Some mitigators loose their certifications and are taken off, and others are added to the list.
Be careful of mitigating “companies” claiming “they” are certified. Only people can be certified… not companies. Also be careful of companies using “800” phone numbers. These are typically companies outside of a local area or out of the State, hiring “anybody” to come and actually do the mitigation in a client's local area. If problems occur, getting an out-of-State company to fix it is unrealistic, and legal issues and costs can be extreme! If someone shows up to do work on a radon system installation that isn’t on the State of WI list of Certified Mitigators ( http:www.lowradon.org/Lists/MitigProf.htm ), they shouldn’t be working on the mitigation!
In addition, consider only “full-time” mitigation companies such as RMES. Part-timers have a history of typically being around for a year or two, then dropping out of the business. As all radon systems need on-going service, not being able to find the person that actually installed the system when it needs servicing can be a lot of hassle, and add service and new fan costs as no mitigator will cover another’s warrantee.
A mitigator’s experience is also very important if the system isn’t “typical”, or the mitigator runs into problems. How much construction experience do they have? We’ve seen many installations that have improper construction methodology used, actually damaging the house! Correct tools used in mitigaton work are also important and expensive. Many part-timers or people just coming into the profession don’t have the correct tools for the job causing improper or incomplete mitigation work.
And last… get plenty of references and pictures of a mitigator’s past system installations. What previous clients say about them and what their systems look like is going to be in direct correlation to the system you might have installed! At RMES we pride ourselves in never having received any complaints, and now have an A+ rating with the BBB because of it ( http://wisconsin.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=28&bbb=0694&firm=44001668 )! And yes, we do receive many compliments from our clients, or through referals they have call us. Please give us a try!