When It’s Time to Choose…Choose Wisely!
Your home is typically your most valuable asset, so it’s very important to be cautious when hiring a foundation repair contractor. Most companies advertise online, but that doesn’t mean you can trust them.
Make sure you address the following 10 questions BEFORE choosing someone to fix your foundation.
1. Is the foundation repair contractor licensed and insured?
Licensing protects you, the customer, from contractors who aren’t experienced or have unscrupulous business practices. Your city’s licensing board is a trustworthy source to check on your contractor’s credentials. The licensing committee keeps a record of unresolved complaints and has the ability to shut down contractors who are operating unethical.
Your contractor needs to have insurance, but those who don’t could cause you problems. If a worker for a non-insured company is injured on your property, you can be held responsible
2. Are you comfortable with the contractor?
The foundation repair contractor you hire will be working in and around your home. It is important that you feel comfortable with this person and their ability to complete the job. They should be professional and able to clearly communicate what the job entails and answer all of your questions.
3. Do they provide references?
All contractors should provide you with references. If they don’t provide you with references, then they’re probably hiding something. You can always check online on consumer review sites like Angie’s List and Yelp!
4. Is the contractor respectful?
There isn’t always a “one-size-fits-all” solution to every problem. Your foundation repair contractor should work with you to create the perfect solution to your home’s problem; not try to sell you products and services that you don’t need. Sometimes this means the contractor doesn’t have to do the work and can provide you with the information to do the job yourself. The contractor should also be respectful of your home and time: arriving on time and cleaning up during and after the job.
5. Has the company been in business long?
An established company is likely to be around if you need to contact them. Make sure to enquire about products and services that have warranties.
6. Is the scheduling convenient for you?
Is the foundation repair contractor able to work with your schedule? Can they work evenings, weekends, or begin the process while you’re at work?
7. What is the company like?
A company is only as good as the people it employs. Does it screen potential employees for criminal history and run drug testing? Does the company offer opportunities for continued education and train all of their contractors? Furthermore, do they continually update their employees on job site safety practices?
8. How are customer complaints handled?
Every company strives to be the best, but sometimes people make mistakes. Customer complaints should be responded to quickly, politely and professionally. If the foundation repair contractor becomes defensive and argumentative, this is a good indication that they handle all areas of business in this manner.
9. Do they provide a professional, written contract?
The contract should be presented on a formal document, not a hand written ticket, and should outline what services and products are provided while listing limitations and exclusions. All contracts contain exclusions; however, keep an eye out for broad exclusions that can result in costly repairs for you. As an example, lookout for fine print such as “the contractor is not responsible for any damage outside of the home.”
10. Do they show “bad contractor” warning signs?
According to the FTC, “not all contractors operate within the law.” You should be sure the foundation contractor does not exhibit the following warning signs:
10 Signs to Spotting A Bad Contractor
- The sales person or contractor uses scare tactics to persuade you to sign the contract or agree to have work done.
- The contractor has no ID or the credentials they supplied are outdated.
- The contractor will not provide referrals.
- When the contractor is at your home to inspect the problem, they refuse to leave until you commit to having the work done.
- They stop by because they were “in the neighborhood.”
- Before any work is done, they require that you pay in full.
- The contractor refuses to put a guarantee in writing.
- You’re offered a discount if you pay in cash. This typically means that they aren’t paying taxes and may not be a legit business. If this is the case, you’ll have no receipt and no guarantee on the work performed.
- Asks you to get the building permits.
- The contractor complains about past customers.