You’ve been burned before by a contractor . . . maybe it wasn’t a foundation repair contractor but some other sort of company you hired for home repairs. It stings when you think about your past experience and you don’t want to get taken advantage of again.
What should you look for in a foundation repair contractor? Are there common problems to avoid or good questions to ask? This time you want to do it right and select a reliable foundation repair company for your home.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, our reputation is not built on the number of homes we have repaired, but built on the foundation of trust we have established with over 35+ years in the Brazos Valley community. As a homeowner, I have had bad experiences with contractors in the past and I know what that frustration feels like.
These lessons have not taught me to mistrust all contractors or certain industries, but to apply what I have learned to make my own company better. Plus, I am now armed with some actionable steps the next time I need to find any type of repair contractor and I can share them with you.
This article reviews the 4 top problems with hiring foundation repair contractors, gives you key decision points, and steps to take in choosing a company that meets your needs. Let’s take a look . . .
Problem #1: No Licensing for Foundation Repair Exists
In the Great State of Texas, there is no licensing, formal education, training, testing, or certification to become a foundation repair professional. So the industry is not regulated or monitored for any sort of minimum standards. Any dude with a jack, shovel, wheelbarrow, and a truck can print up a business card and call themselves a foundation repairman.
Avoid anyone or any company who claims to have a foundation repair license, because there is no such thing in Texas. If they are not telling the truth about that, then what else are they not telling the truth about?
I’m not really saying that there’s a bunch of people out there passing themselves off as foundation repair companies that have zero qualifications. I’m just saying that rather than relying on the State or some regulatory agency, you will have to find other means of ensuring that the foundation repair company you select is up to the job.
Problem #2: What Do You Want In a Foundation Repair Contractor?
One of the best ways to avoid problems with a foundation repair company or any contractor for that matter is to define your goals and objectives in the beginning.
Having clearer guidelines will ensure that you select the contractor most likely to match up with your most important needs. Ask yourself these questions to see what is most important to you:
- Do you want the least expensive cost no matter what?
- Are you willing to pay more if it means you’re getting something better or not?
- Do you need the project done in a certain amount of time?
- Are you willing to wait or have the job take longer to get a more lasting result?
- Do you care if the contractor is a local guy or do you prefer a large national company?
- How important is a warranty to you? Do you care if it’s transferable?
- Are you looking for professionalism, communication, or reliability the most? There are a lot of qualities you might want to consider here. Decide which is most important.
Establish what you want and need for your home with a repair project and contractor. Since you will be spending a chunk of change, you should first decide what is most important to you. Then, you will need to rank that list of priorities because you can’t usually “get it all” in one provider.
Once you clearly identify what you are looking for, then begin the *actual looking* part.
We have another article if you need more thoughts on finding a foundation repair contractor that best fits your home priorities if you need more clarity.
Problem #3: How Can You Choose a Reliable Foundation Repair Company?
In three steps you can narrow down your options on foundation repair contractors. Use broader tools first and then whittle your list down with more detailed steps keeping your main goals in mind that you identified earlier.
Step 1: Use the interwebs to weed out the undesirables. Look at their home office address and phone number, is it local or do you care if they are from out of town? Look for legitimate and up-to-date websites and Facebook pages.
Look for robust and detailed reviews on Google, Yelp, Angi (formerly Angie’s List), and the Better Business Bureau. You should be able to drop some contractors easily with the info you find on the web.
Step 2: Ask friends and family if they have feedback on foundation repair contractors. Many people don’t really think about foundation repair or foundation repair contractors unless they have personally needed this service. So, you might not find too many people.
Ask for general impressions or experiences from anyone you know and see how they match up with your goals and your web search list.
Step 3: Prepare a list of questions you want to ask prospective contractors. Or you can just use this one . . .
- How long have you been in business in the local area?
- Do you have the appropriate liability insurance required by the state?
- Do you need to pull a permit with the city?
- What type of foundation repair method/technique do you use?
- After the home is raised, do you do anything to fill the space under the home?
- Will the plumbing be tested as part of the repair project?
- What happens if there is a leak under my home? Who handles fixing it? Cost?
- Do you offer a warranty and what are the terms and conditions?
- Do you have some references or reviews I could see?
- How will you make this easy and pain-free for me?
Problem #4: Who Can You Trust with Your Foundation Repairs?
Armed with your prioritized goals in mind and your list of questions, talk to the shortlist of foundation repair contractors you have narrowed down. Just speaking with someone and getting a feel for how they answer your questions is the first step, you don’t even need them to come to your house just yet.
Trust your instincts and feelings about how they handle the questions. If you feel good about it, then you can choose to move forward with an in-home foundation inspection to get a repair plan and quote for repair.
If you feel that you need to get a second opinion even after going through all the steps above, you should feel free to do so. No one says you have to go with the first person that comes to your house, you are under no obligation to them.
Not a Problem: Time is On Your Side with Foundation Repairs
While you work through this process, know this: take your time and don’t feel that you need to rush to get the repair done. It is safe to live in a home that needs foundation repairs in the vast majority of cases.
Foundation problems happen very slowly over many years, so it’s okay to wait while you work to identify the contractor that you can trust and best meets your needs.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we want you to take your time and never rush or push anyone to decide *right now* what is best for their home. We have been offering honest and upfront foundation assessments and recommendations to Bryan, College Station, and surrounding communities like Caldwell and Madisonville since 1985.
We have a few more reasons to wait as well as some reasons to get started sooner on foundation repairs that you might want to consider as well. Best of luck during your search and decision-making process!