Drilling a well by the foot

Philip Morgan

When my wife and I bought that 5 acres of land at the Oregon coast, it had 2 man-made structures on it: a utility pole and a septic tank that had been installed in the 70's.

To live there, we needed to drill a well. Or more accurately, have a well drilled for us.

I'm a reasonably handy guy, but well drilling is a bit outside my wheelhouse. :)

That's when I learned that professional well drillers price their work by the foot. The deeper the well, the more costly the project.

I still have mild financial PTSD from this experience.

We were on a tight budget when we built that house and had the well drilled. Not knowing how much the well was going to end up costing was super stressful.

Of course, the guy who drilled the well gave us a likely range. The neighbors 2 houses down had a 50 foot deep groundwater well (as it's known in the biz). Other neighbors had wells more like 150 feet deep. So we had that basic range, which translated to a range of what the well might cost. But there was still this uncertainty about what the cost would actually be.

And that made me REALLY TENSE because of the aforementioned tight budget for the larger construction project. I was really hoping for a 50-foot well. In fact, I mentally anchored to the 50-foot well price.

Turns out, we needed a 130-foot deep well, and I was not happy about that.

In retrospect, I would have paid a premium to get a fixed, guaranteed price. Paying that premium would not have been great for the overall project budget, but I would have found the money somehow. The reduction in uncertainty would have been WORTH IT.

Because of this experience, I know exactly how the past clients I've billed hourly have felt. I know what that uncertainty does to damage trust and add stress to the project.

I'm not the "profitable software project pricing guy". My friend and Freelancers' Show co-panelist Jonathan Stark is.

He's launching a new podcast specifically about the issue of pricing software projects profitably. I know it's going to be really good because I've seen Jonathan drop knowledgebomb after knowledgebomb on the subject of software project pricing for close to 2 years now.

I recommend you check it out: https://expensiveproblem.com/podcast

Talk to you soon,

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