What’s more tedious than a leaking basement in Virginia Beach, VA? Researching waterproofing companies to fix your leaking basement, that’s what. Even so, the research that goes into finding a business or contractor to waterproof your home is an essential part of the waterproofing process.
But how can you determine whether or not you’re working with the right people?
First thing’s first: you’ll need to decide early on whether you want to work with a contractor or if you want to work with a larger basement repair company. Basement repair companies have lots of tools at their disposal, but they won’t be able to negotiate their prices as freely as contractors will. Comparatively, contractors will be able to customize their waterproofing jobs to your needs more readily.
With that in mind, let’s explore the factors that you should consider when looking for someone to waterproof your basement:
- Licensing – Any and all contractors you’re interested in working with must be licensed to work on your home. Why? Because proper licensing does more than let you know that a contractor is legally allowed to waterproof your home. A license – or, alternatively, an appropriate certificate – makes it clear that the contractor you’re interested in working with has the education to back up their waterproofing solutions. Without these documents, you risk letting someone come work on your home without verification that their solutions will actually prevent future flooding. That’s one risk you don’t want to take.
- Insurance – Speaking of risks worth avoiding, make sure the contractor you employ to waterproof your home has insurance. Ideally, your contractor of choice will be able to provide coverage for all of their employees while also covering their equipment and waterproofing process. That insurance will save both them and you a lot of money if something happens to go wrong during the waterproofing process.
- Experience – Experience is a difficult factor to quantify. On one hand, you ideally want to work with a contractor who’s performed the kind of job you’re interested in before. That kind of work history means that a contractor will be able to attend to your stated problem with ease and adjust any tried and true practices to suit your individual situation. On the other hand, contractors who aren’t affiliated with family waterproofing businesses or who are just finding their footing won’t have as much of a work history as more established industry leaders. If you’re interested in working with a contractor but find that they don’t have a long history in the waterproofing industry, don’t write them off immediately. Instead, take the other factors noted here into consideration. Experience is an excellent thing for a contractor to have on their side, but it’s not the end-all, be-all of qualification factors.
- Reviews – If you’re waffling on a contractor based on their experience, take a look at the reviews third-party sites have regarding their work. Consumer and employee reviews will often provide you with an unfiltered take on how a contractor works and what you should expect upon employing them. Of course, you’ll want to take many of these reviews with a grain of salt. Contractors are quick to boost glowing reviews. While you shouldn’t dismiss the commendations, be sure to see what kind of complaints have risen up regarding your chosen contractor in the past. In some situations, your contractor may be the victim of an unfortunate encounter. Most of the time, though, you’ll be able to suss out any patterns that suggest their customer service history may be subpar.
- Budget and Pricing Flexibility – Surprisingly, pricing isn’t the first factor you should consider when contractor shopping. You do need to ensure that the contractor you’re researching is licensed first. After you’ve verified the legality of a contractor’s operation, you’ll be able to start price comparing. Larger basement repair companies may not be able to negotiate as freely as contractors, which is a limitation worth keeping in mind as you look for someone to work with. If you’ve chosen to work with contractors, pull together several quotes from more than one contractor to compare to one another. If the contractor you like best isn’t able to price-match their industry peers, you may want to see what other options you have on the table.
- Installation Schedule – Every contractor is going to have its own installation schedule. While you’ll be able to suss out the average amount of time an installation will take upon receiving your first estimate, contractors can never plan things that could come up during an installation. Even so, be sure to talk about your preferred schedule with the contractors you’re interested in hiring before making a commitment. Contractors should have the flexibility to work with your needs if they’re going to serve you well.
- Available Warranties – Ideally, your basement waterproofing contractor of choice should be able to offer you access to a warranty after their job’s been completed. Warranties will protect you financially should the contractor’s work fail to meet industry expectations.
Take your time during the research phase of your waterproofing adventure. As long as you consider your options with care, you should come away from your experience with either a contractor or a business with a basement as tight as a barrel.