Choosing a Solid Foundation Repair Contractor
From a structural point of view, the most important part of your home is its foundation. A strong foundation prevents groundwater from leaking inside, as well as supports the frame of your entire home. When signs of foundation problems occur, homeowners should consider it a priority to have repairs made – but not without doing a little homework first. Selecting a solid foundation repair contractor can take a bit of time, but in the long run you will be glad you did some investigating. Here at Just Foundations we’d like to walk you through an order of considerations we feel are necessary so that you make an informed decision on who will be taking care of your home.
To see that a foundation repair contractor is widely advertised on the internet or has a whole page taken out in the Good Ol’ Yellow Pages does NOT automatically mean it is a skilled and experienced foundation company; it means they have marketed themselves well. Foundation repairs cannot only be costly and time consuming, you don’t want to have to continue making ongoing repairs as a result of the job not being done properly the first time. Your selection should be tailored to your needs, not simply the price.
Rule of Thumb
Get estimates (also known as quotes) from at least 3 separate contractors. Have a good discussion with each of them, ask a lot of questions and have them explain what will happen in ‘layman terms’ if you are unfamiliar with the terminology they use. Same thing goes for their terms and conditions as well as the materials they plan to utilize. Taking notes helps!
Once you understand the process, the next essential step is to check on several factors concerning jobs a contractor has done in the past: Was the work completed? How well was the work executed? If there was a complaint how was it handled? Did the contractor damage anything on the property while working such as sprinkler systems, plumbing or landscaping? And if so did they rectify the situation properly? Know it is virtually impossible for any contractor to thoroughly please all his previous clients, so don’t be shy to get the contractors side of the story on a past complaint. See if you can find a past job where warranty coverage was honored; a lot of shifty companies will dispute the coverage or flat out delay fixing an issue until the warranty period has passed. Trust your instincts and stay away from companies that refuse to provide referrals.
The Devil is in the Details
So maybe now you have your eye on a particular contractor. You then need to ensure that the contractor is properly licensed. Beware of outdated credentials and an absence of ID; a contractor who only engages in above board practices will be able to promptly produce a legal and valid license for you. For your reference, the licensing board where you live would have copy of your contractor’s credentials, history and track record – it’s a good place to double check if everything lines up as you were told. Be wary of any contractors that ask you to obtain building permits and be sure to check into their insurance. Proper coverage should clearly read that you will not be held financially liable should any of their employees become injured while working on your property.
Before You Sign
You should be provided you with a written and signed agreement that explains all the terms and conditions. Read through the written agreement thoroughly and ask for clarifications if you have any doubt. Pay special attention to guarantee clauses as well as the fine print and be sure you understand the contract before signing. Beware of contractors who create pressure on you to sign the agreement right away as well as on who demands upfront payment above and beyond the industry standard of a 30% Deposit before starting work and/or offers discounts for clients willing to pay cash.
Just Foundations provides quality work from licensed professionals, and offers competitive rates with excellent referrals. Give us a call and we’d be pleased to come and provide an estimate for your needs.