Your home is probably your biggest investment, so you must hire a foundation contractor that will take care of your property.
The work must be done right to protect the safety of your family and the structural integrity of your home. Choosing the wrong foundation contractor can cost you money, stress, and heartache. Don’t select a foundation contractor based solely on price or that they’re the brother-in-law of your babysitter’s dentist.
Here are some tips to making sure you select a good foundation repair company, like FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL.
A warranty is more than a piece of paper you throw in a desk and forget about. If a company doesn’t offer a warranty, that is a big red flag that they may not do a good job nor care about your home.
If a contractor offers a warranty, they are backing up their work with their reputation and their money. FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL offers a 25-year warranty, meaning that you won’t have to worry about the work that they perform to keep your house stable and safe.
No business wants to do a job twice, especially when the cost is going to come out of their pocket. The warranty reinforces the fact that the company will do the job right the first time.
Read the warranty (if they even offer one) and make sure it covers their work and isn’t just a worthless piece of paper. This is the time to make sure you do your due diligence to ensure everything is above the board.
We know that everyone has to start somewhere, but do you want a rookie practicing on your home? Not only does a company that has been in business for a long time have more experience, but it also shows that it will probably be around long after the work is done.
A long-time company will be able to back their warranties in addition to having a reputation in the area. Some sketchy companies will do a bunch of work and skip town before the bad reviews can hit. They set up in another town and pull the same scam over again.
You can find out how long a company has been in business in California by running its license number through the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board portal. The CSLB results should be to let you know when the contractor received their license.
There are plenty of places that you can read reviews of businesses. Yelp, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and BBB are just some that come to mind. You will be able to read about consumers’ interactions with contractors and find out if there are any recurring problems or praises.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can let you know about any complaints or if they have been reported for unethical business practices. See if there are any patterns, not everyone is going to be perfect, but you can quickly see if a contractor does a good job or not.
Another good source is not as easy to access, but it is worth the time to pursue. You can get reviews from building inspectors and they can tell you about which contractors are trustworthy, competent, and reliable.
Make sure the contractor has clear payment terms. You don’t want amounts to change during the project. Another warning sign is if the contractor wants to be paid in full before the project is completed.
Go over the contract carefully to make sure you understand the payment schedule. The contractor has certain costs that they have to cover, but they shouldn’t need to be paid before the job is done.
Get everything in writing, a verbal agreement is worthless when it comes to a disagreement.
Never hire an unlicensed contractor. The license is just the minimum requirement for a contractor and if they can’t even accomplish that, imagine what kind of work they’ll do!
Most contractors’ employees should have gone through some professional training and be certified in their respective specialties. Affiliations are a good sign that a foundation repair company has experience in the skills and trades that are needed to be a good contractor.
One way that some contractors can offer lower prices than others is to avoid obtaining the required permits. A permit means that a building inspector will need to stop by and make sure the project meets building codes.
If a contractor doesn’t get the necessary permits, that means they will avoid being inspected which also means that they can get away with using cheap materials and shoddy methods. You may save a few dollars upfront, but you are going to end up paying a lot in the end. The cost may be more than money if the repair fails and someone is injured.
This is a tip to keep in mind once you have narrowed your choices down to a few contractors. They have probably made your shortlist because they seem to be competent and experienced, but there are other things to keep in mind.
Some non-technical aspects that you should think about include:
These repairs are probably only second to medical procedures in importance. You wouldn’t just use a doctor or surgeon without talking with them and finding out what is going to be done and what to expect.
It’s important to weed out the shady contractors, but it’s just as important to find a foundation contractor you are comfortable with and trust. It’s a kind of relationship and it must work smoothly for everyone involved.
All of us at FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL welcome your questions and will do our part to make sure you are comfortable with working with us. You can talk to us before, during, or after a project and be treated honestly and respectfully.
Contact us today to learn more about how FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL will make sure your home is taken care of and made strong, stable, and safe once again.
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