You think you’ve got signs of foundation problems around your home and are looking into repair companies. Olshan Foundation Solutions looks like a big, reputable company and so does Anchor Foundation Repair.
What’s the difference between these foundation repair contractors? Aren’t all foundation repairs about the same anyway? Does it really matter who you choose?
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been helping Brazos Valley homeowners with their foundation problems since 1985. We can certainly clarify the key differences between our company and Olshan and there are several important ones we can list for you.
This article will take an unbiased look at the main differences between our company, Anchor Foundation Repair, and one of our larger competitors, Olshan Foundation Solutions. We won’t be bragging about our company and downplaying Olshan, just taking an objective look at comparing and contrasting our two companies.
Are There Any Similarities Between Anchor and Olshan?
Before we start throwing out all the differences between these two companies. Let’s point out some similarities. I’m just going to put them in a list and then we will explore a few of the ones that need further attention. Anchor Foundation Repair and Olshan Foundation Solutions are similar in that they both:
- Offer slab foundation repairs and some other services too
- Operate in Texas
- Have longevity in the foundation repair industry
- Have an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Offer some type of financing
If these seem like vague, very general similarities, that’s because they are. These two companies are more different than they are alike so there’s not much that I can include in the similarities list.
More About Better Business Bureau Ratings
I would like to explore one of these similarities because it’s a tricky one and that’s the one about the A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau. Because Olshan is a very large multi-state company, the A+ Rating is legit for the company at the headquarters level and somehow they can share that rating at all the satellite branches. But the BBB explicitly states that, “Customer Reviews are not used in the calculation of BBB Rating.” Be sure to check out the BBB customer reviews and complaints for the local arm of the organization that serves your area.
So it’s important to do your BBB research at the local level for a company of this size.
More About Foundation Repair Financing
Many foundation repair contractors won’t offer to finance repairs at all, so it’s a big plus to homeowners that this is available with both companies.
Olshan appears to have an in-house financing option that could be a huge benefit to homeowners who don’t have all the funds available upfront for their foundation repairs. Because they are a larger company, this is something they can offer.
Anchor offers financing through a 3rd party home repair financing called Hearth. So Hearth decides if you are qualified for the financing and sets the terms. It’s not the same as in-house financing because we don’t decide who can get the financing, but it’s something available in case you need options to pay for your foundation repairs.
Anchor vs. Olshan: What’s the Difference?
There are a lot of differences between Anchor and Olshan, some minor and some bigger and more meaningful differences for homeowners. Let’s do another list that you can scan through quickly. The major differences between Anchor Foundation Repair and Olshan Foundation Solutions are as follows:
- Headquarters Location
- Company Size and Structure
- Number of Services Offered
- Local Reviews and Ratings
- Chosen Method of Foundation Repair
- Warranty Policy
Now let’s expand on all of these differences so that you can fully understand the contrast.
Olshan vs. Anchor: Headquarters Location, Company Size, and Structure
OLSHAN is a large multi-state organization with branches in 19 states and they keep expanding. Olshan services are available as far north as Minnesota and as far South as Florida. They have the most branches in Texas which makes sense because their main company headquarters is located in Houston.
Olshan looks to have a tiered structure where a more local headquarters could run several surrounding branches. Each local headquarters will have its own BBB listing and could have management differences between branches.
ANCHOR Foundation Repair is a locally owned, family legacy, one-location company with headquarters in Bryan, TX. Our greater Brazos Valley service area includes Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, and Washington counties. We will sometimes go beyond those counties if able.
Anchor has repaired thousands of homes in Bryan, College Station, Navasota, Brenham, Caldwell, Madisonville, Somerville, Franklin, and many of the other surrounding towns too.
Number of Services Offered by Olshan and Anchor
OLSHAN has the following comprehensive list of available services. Because this company covers more geographic areas it makes sense to see things like basement waterproofing on the list.
They also look to offer auxiliary services like wall repair, plumbing, and drainage management as part of the listed offerings. This might be helpful for a homeowner who just wants one company to handle all the needs surrounding foundation repairs instead of working with separate contractors.
- Slab Foundation Repair
- Exterior Water Management (i.e. drainage)
- Wall Repair
- Plumbing Services
- Air Quality
- Basement Waterproofing
- Crawl Space Recovery
- Crack Repair & Concrete Leveling
- Home Elevation
ANCHOR sticks with a smaller list of expertise areas to ensure quality. We prefer to let the licensed plumbers handle plumbing repairs and the drywall experts handle any wall crack repairs after foundation repair.
Each home repair service requires years of training and experience to do well. We feel that homeowners are better served by using contractors that specialize in those services rather than being a one-stop shop.
Here’s our list of services:
- Slab Foundation Repair
- House Leveling, Elevation, and Repair for pier and beam/block and base homes
- Under-Slab Tunneling
- Concrete Raising, Lifting, Leveling
Maybe someday we can offer all the same services as Olshan under our roof. In the meantime, we maintain lists of reputable local contractors as an available resource to homeowners who might need these types of collateral repairs.
Local Reviews and Ratings of Olshan vs. Anchor
OLSHAN, as mentioned earlier, has many locations throughout the state and each one could be managed differently. There is a local Olshan location listed here in Bryan, TX. Their online reviews are rated as follows (both rating systems are out of 5 stars):
4.1 stars on Google, total of 9 reviews
4.2 stars on Angi (formerly Angie’s List), total of 11 reviews
If you Google “reviews of Olshan” you will see a wide array of reviews for the many different locations around the country. Some reviews are good, some not so good, illustrating that there is inconsistency in the level of service that people are getting depending on the location. We encourage you to research the online reviews available for the particular Olshan location that serves your area.
ANCHOR has just one location and one local team managing the operation. The online reviews for Anchor are as follows:
5.0 stars on Google, total of 93 reviews
4.9 stars on Angi, total of 32 reviews
We are very pleased and grateful for the reviews we receive. Since we are a single-owner operation with local control, we can ensure excellent service more reliably than someone who manages the branch of a larger organization with no ownership stake. The proof is in the stars.
Chosen Methods of Foundation Repair: Olshan vs. Anchor
But aren’t all foundation repairs and companies about the same? One of the big myths people tend to have about foundation repair is that there’s just one way to do it and all you have to do is pick a repair company. Think of when you get your car repaired. If your car is broken or a part is failing, anyone you get to repair it will do about the same thing to fix it.
So you find the garage that you like the best to fix your car, this could be based on the people that work there, the nice waiting room, the prices, or some other factor that doesn’t have to do with the actual act of fixing the vehicle.
*All foundation repairs are the same* is definitely NOT a true statement.
There are some real differences between the methods of foundation repair used by various companies and we are about to try and give a quick summary of two common methods. There are more methods of slab foundation repair out there offered by other companies than the ones we are talking about today.
OLSHAN uses a hybrid pressed piling method of repair with interlocking steel at the base and precast concrete farther up. They have two options: one is a cabled pressed pile where the piling structure is attached together with an internal cable and the other option does not have the cable.
Pressed piles work in the ground through the soil tension that pushes up on your home, kind of like the way a battery is held in place by a spring.
The biggest pro of this method is that it can be done quickly and the pricing can be competitive for those that are looking for a faster, less costly option. A major con of this method is that the tension that is being used to raise your home changes with the moisture levels of the soil and this affects the longevity of the repairs.
ANCHOR uses a drilled bell-bottom pier method of repair with steel reinforced poured concrete. Drilled piers work in the ground by creating a wide bell-shaped base that resists uplift and settlement and creates a strong pillar for the home to rest on. The base is placed at a stable soil depth that is found to be non-reactive to moisture levels in the soil.
The biggest pro of this method is that its functionality does not depend upon a consistent moisture level in the soil. Since we live in Texas, we know that moisture levels can become very dry, but can also turn soggy, humid, and rainy depending on the season. This method of repair will function through annual weather fluctuations.
The con of drilled piers is that they do take longer to install and tend to be more expensive due to longer install time, higher material costs, and the need for experienced labor.
More Information About Methods
The bottom line is that Olshan and Anchor use such different foundation repair methods that it’s like comparing apples to oranges. There’s so much more to say about comparing these two methodologies. So keep this in mind as you continue reading and researching prospective foundation repair contractors.
Also, check out “Bell-Bottom vs. Pressed Pile Foundation Repair Methods: What’s the Difference?” for the full rundown of pros, cons, and more detailed concept and installation explanations.
Warranty Policies for Olshan vs. Anchor
The warranty policies are also very different between these two companies.
OLSHAN offers a lifetime transferable warranty on the cabled version of their foundation repairs, but not on the uncabled version. Any disputes and problems with warranties are handled through a process called arbitration, which can often end unfavorably for homeowners.
An article entitled “Death by Arbitration” written by Claude E. Duclox in 2005, chronicles the problems with forced arbitration in foundation repair disputes.
ANCHOR offers a lifetime transferable warranty and service agreement on all drilled bell-bottom pier foundation repairs. Anchor does not use arbitration. We have more information available online about the details of an Anchor Foundation Repair warranty for slab repairs if you want to check it out.
Getting a Foundation Inspection with Olshan vs. Anchor
Now that we’ve covered ways that things are different between Olshan and Anchor, are you ready to get a bid for foundation repairs? The next step would be a foundation inspection.
Well dang, I just thought of one more way that Olshan and Anchor are different. It’s in how we handle foundation inspections. Olshan offers free foundation inspections, but Anchor charges a fee for inspections. Now you’re like, “Whaaatttt? Why would there be a fee for this?”
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been faithfully serving Bryan, College Station, and surrounding Brazos Valley communities since 1985. We charge for our in-home foundation inspections because they include much more than someone coming out for 15 minutes to give you a pricing quote.
We want you to feel confident that you are getting an impartial opinion on the condition of your foundation. Check out “Why Does Anchor Foundation Repair Charge For Inspections?” to find out all the reasoning and options behind this aspect of our service for homeowners.