Tips for Hiring a Foundation Repair Contractor
A foundation repair project is not something you should try on your own. Ideally, you should consult with a structural engineer or civil engineer. The Engineer will give you a repair plan; then, you use those plans to solicit two bids from Foundation Repair Contractors. Contact three Foundation Repair Companies for minor foundation issues and ask for detailed bids or proposals.
Feel free to forward us your bid/proposal for our expert review; it’s a FREE service we provide to all homeowners.
Most foundation repair projects are not the same, so stay away from companies that use a one-size-fits-all approach. A typical foundation inspection takes 30-40 minutes unless an Engineer is conducting soil samples or other comprehensive field tests. If an inspector/salesman is at your house for more than an hour, there are two reasons; the first is inexperience, and the second is sales tactics.
Here are some general rules to follow when hiring a foundation repair contractor.
1. Be educated on the methods of Foundation Repair and ask lots of questions. It is generally not a wise choice to base your final decision on low prices. You may be tempted to accept the lowest bid. Don’t trust anything that seems too good to be true; if it sounds too good, it probably is. It is generally recommended to go with the middle bid when it comes to construction.
2. If you do not wish to use a structural engineer, choose a company with a long-term relationship with an engineer. To verify that the company is associated with the engineer, ask for the engineer’s name and call the engineer.
3. If your Foundation Repair requires any underpinning or piering, be sure to read the fine print for a clause regarding the depth of the hydraulic piling (typically 20 to 30 feet. Additional charges will be assessed beyond that depth of $20 to $30 per foot). Do not hire a contractor with a depth clause. A contractor familiar with the area will be familiar with the soil conditions there. This depth clause could potentially double your contract price. It’s almost like having an open checkbook.
4. Foundation Repair projects usually require the removal of landscaping so the contractor can access the foundation, so ask for a guarantee that the landscaping will survive after it is removed and replaced.
5. It is essential to read the fine print on warranties and guarantees for Foundation Repair work. Most reputable companies offer warranties on their work. However, a warranty is only as good as the company’s reputation for honoring it. Whenever a company emphasizes the value of its warranty program, that’s a sales tactic.
6. Imagine you are buying a house with a Foundation Repair Warranty. The first thing you ask is what company they use and what their reputation is. This is known as buyer confidence. This makes all the difference when it comes to selling your house.
7. A salesperson-based company will pay commissions based on the number of piers sold. If a company claims that you need five piers or more, consult a Structural or Civil Engineer. A building permit is required for all foundation repair projects. You can only obtain a building permit if you have a set of Engineered drawings. Before you sell or buy a home with a foundation repair in Florida, you should search online for building permits.
8. Does the company have workers’ compensation and general liability insurance?
9. Deposits of any kind should never be made to a company!! You are being locked into an agreement, and the deposit cannot be refunded.
10. A salesperson sitting before you should never pressure you into making a decision.
These are the top ten things to consider when hiring a Foundation Repair Company.