Permitting and Warranty
In some instances that may be actually true if that contractor performed a thorough research of existing legal documents and after establishing horizontal and vertical controls - found out that proposed work will be more or less the same as was originally permitted within plans signed and sealed by the professional engineer registered in the state and approved by agencies having jurisdiction. Everything else - require permit modification.
However, the chances are - that particular contractor did not do any preliminary investigation other than visual inspection, neither he/she performed an engineering survey to verify compliance of water management area to original permit.
Are you willing to take the chances as an owner that work may be performed on your property by contractor without compliance with minimum engineering standards accepted in the industry, does not have supervision, periodic inspections and certification by an engineer, does not have government oversight and puts all liability on the owner, if it ultimately collapses due to deteriorated sub-surface condition (which is not even a contractor's fault). Not to mention the quality of materials and proposed technology and construction methods which the owner is not qualified by education and experience to determine or compare and only relies on the testimony of different contractors. There is no reason to pay more for substandard job or litigate, face delays and pay extras later even if the initial bid seems low.
- "Another contractor told me that he/she will give me a life-time warranty, so there is no risk for me..."
Any warranty given without FEMA approved risk calculations for specific design events having a certain probability of occurrence in any given year - is unsubstantiated, uninsurable and meaningless, mostly because if the contractor has to come back and loose money or go to court as a result of his wrongful assumptions - he/she will ultimately be out of business or impossible to reach. Even 5% chance in 20 years becomes 100%. Most of the time, we found that contract between the owner and contractor is very weak, because no technical specifications, plans, cross sections, soil profiles and stability calculations were ever developed by an engineer. At best case scenario the contractor is only responsible for worksmanship and material. Every other factor, which may be contributing to failure can be argued by forensic engineer as pre-exsisting condition, clearly ourside of scope of works and in full accord to the contract.
The rule of thumb here is - you get what you are paying for. As an example, one over-pumped geotube, unstable and having insufficient tensile strength will be significantly cheaper than two, properly installed, per official government guidelines. The price of repair in just a few years and liability in case something bad shall happen due to unsafe condition - is what many owners are not aware of or unwilling to take into account.
Permits are mandatory for any work below High Water Table elevation and for Geo-Tube(tm) installation and for Dredge/Fill anywhere in the Broward County.
Owners hiring contractors without plans approved by Broward County Department of Environmental Protection may be fined for violation, if they get caught!