Grouting as a business?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by shanebingham, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. shanebingham

    shanebingham New Member

    My brother and I have recently been offered the opportunity to act as subcontractors and grout a geothermal drilling companies well's. We have no experience grouting and would have to purchase the pump and equipment to do so. There is someone however who is willing to train us on the pump and grouting the wells. We are just wondering if anyone has any experience acting as a grouting subcontractor or any useful information on how abundant work may be if we decide to do so.
  2. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I would say there is NO least in NJ. You have to be certified to grout boreholes here. You must be a licensed driller of the correct class to be able to grout a borehole for geothermal. Mainly the people doing geothermal drilling are Well Drillers with water well drilling rigs that are being converted to geothermal drills. They already ahve there own grout pumps and grout mixers. I dont think there is enough geothermal going in the ground to be able to have a sucessful grouting only company.
  3. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Where are you located?
    As they say in the real estate business, it is all about location. There are many states that do not even have grouting regs for water wells, so grouting a geothermal bore hole is going to satisfy conductivity but the driller/looper may not be equipped for it.

    I would have a lot of questions about a start up of this type.
    how many bores per year
    how deep are the avg. bores
    will it be standard 20% grout or thermally enhanced
    commercial or residential
    maybe both
    how much geo drilling is going on in your area
    how far are you willing to travel
    how much capital do you have vs. country smarts

    There are a lot of variables here to consider, and not having played with grout before is not a non starter but could be a hindrance. Any experiance with a hydrating material or fiberglass with resin and hardner?

  4. shanebingham

    shanebingham New Member


    Im located in Kentucky near the Tennessee border. I am in direct association with a geothermal drilling company, so any work they get, I would have an opportunity to grout. Their bore holes run from 200ft to 300ft deep, and I was told that the rate of pay I would recieve would be $1.65 per ft. per bore hole. This is labor only, Im not out the price of grout and sand. Just being introduced to this whole thing I ran all my calculations on 400 holes per year at 200 feet deep. I feel this may be on the concervitive end since this one company alone did over 200 residential jobs last year alone. In Kentucky it's not required that the bore holes be grouted, however their is on going litigation to change the requirements. Tennessee from what I have read however is required to grout their bore holes. My experience with grout is minimal,but I am willing to do the homework and put in the work if it turns out to be a profitable venture. I am also fortunate enough to have people around me who are experienced with the grouting and are willing to teach me.
  5. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    sounds like you have done your due dillagence. Thats good money @495 for a 300' and 330 for a 200' bore. If that is labor only and they are stakeing you materials, I can be there in 48hours LOL!.

    It comes down to the cost of the machine and mobelization from jog to job as well as riseing fuel costs and your rate of productivity. It is not uncommon for us to grout as many as 28 300' bores in a ten hour shift with groutzilla. YMMV
  6. GCI

    GCI Member

    RE: Grouting Business

    I knew someone who got tied in with a large drilling contractor here in the Midwest. They basically followed that one company around for a while doing the same thing that you plan to do, which opened the door with several others.

    Last I heard, the person who started the company gave it up after a few years because he was too busy and never got home to see his family. From a business perspective, that is a good problem to have!

    It's all about who you know. Being tied in with a large contractor is a very good first step.

    Good luck!
  7. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    1.65/ft labor only is good. You could grout almost all residential and a lot of small commercial geothermal jobs in 1 day. The material gets expensive fast and if someone else is footing the bill for that too, then there is a opportunity to make a business out of this.
    I personally can not imagine a large company that would not be interested in grouting there won boreholes though. Seems like a big expense to subcontract out that portion of the job.
  8. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Which grout mixer / pump are you looking at buying?
  9. shanebingham

    shanebingham New Member

    Grouting Pumps

    The pump and mixer I have been looking at is from Geo-Loop. It has a sand auger, 500 gallon water tank, plus a 50-500 mixer which is one of the largest they offer along with a 1000 ft hose reel.. It is a trailer package so everything is very accessable and cuts down on the labor part of the job, or so I've been told. The price on this package is in the $40,000 range.
  10. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    That's the Grouter system to buy. I'm looking to buy the same one for us too. The sand auger is a bit extreme though unless you have a lot of thermal enhanced grout being mixed up. But If you said you have a large geo driller willing to sub out the grout, then pull the trigger and. Start mixing.
  11. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I have my fingers in a lot of pies and this is the advice I give to all those pies. $40K is alot of money:eek:. If you fully understand the task at hand and how it all relates to what you are attempting to do, the best machine you could have is one that you built, or had built locally by a fab shop.

    This aproach is harder than laying down the check, but you will get in return:
    exactly what you want
    an understanding of it's inner workings
    a machine that can be modified localy
    prolly cost a lot less.
  12. shanebingham

    shanebingham New Member

    Bingham Geothermal Grouting LLC.

    It's been a few months since I last posted, I thought I'd give an update and welcome any feed back. My brother and I started our grouting business and it's in full swing. We were lucky enough to land a job only 3 days after we purchased the equipment. (GeoLoop Sand Auger/Trailer package). Grouting is hard and dirty work, but we have hung in there and feel really optimistic about the future of our business.
  13. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Nice work

    Good to hear and all the best.
  14. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I am glad it all worked out for you. I am curious though, how do you charge for your services? By the foot, by the hole, by the job?
  15. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I would imagine its broken down by a fixed price/ft depending on diameter of bore. (Just like drilling).
  16. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Hey Eric,

    glad to see you online. Did you have to evacuate from the storm?
  17. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I rode out the storm just fine. 12 miles inland made a huge differance. The coastal areas did not fair as well. Thank God the eye collapsed and it speeded up it's westward journey, instead of spinning around us. It could have been a lot worse.

    People who have moved here to retire are alot better at heeding the evacuation mandates. In the good ole days a storm this size would have prompted a gathering of the Pirates for adult beverages ocean front, in defiance of the Govenor! lol
  18. shanebingham

    shanebingham New Member

    Sorry I didnt reply earlier waterpirate, but yes, we have been charging per foot. However the depth of the holes and the amount of holes per job does have an affect on our pricing along with the distance we may have to travel.
  19. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Our shores in NJ are destroyed!
    My brothers house is on a lagoon off of the bay and it had over 5ft of water inside of it!
    The shore points in jersey are still closed down and not allowing people in yet.

    Sorry to high jack, I will not post anything unrelated again.
  20. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Hi Da,

    I was wondering how you made out? We are a lot more freindly over here than other places, so tell all you know. The worst sand shift here was in an area I have drilled alot. so far knowone has called to say " black spahgetti is sticking up in the side yard" but I am holding my breath.

    Route 1 at the indian river inlet will take aprox. 1 week to dig out. that is alot of sand.

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