You need to hire a foundation repair company, but how do you know who’s reputable and trustworthy? Are there any warning signs or red flags that might tip you off that a contractor is less than legit? Not only are you worried about the safety and stability of your home, but now you’re worried about hiring the wrong contractor too. Oh dear, this feels too hard already . . .
We understand the stress and anxiety that comes with overwhelming repair projects. After 35+ years in business, Anchor Foundation Repair has seen other companies come and go. We are familiar with common indications that contractors might not be as committed to the Brazos Valley community as we are and can tell you what we know.
This article will list and explain some of the red flag signs to watch for when choosing or hiring a foundation repair contractor (works for other kinds of contractors too). Ok, I’m waving you on to the next section now . . . yes, that was a flag pun. Consider this your warning that there may be more puns in the future . . .
8 Foundation Repair Contractor Red Flags
First, let’s just qualify this red flag idea that I am talking about here. When I say red flag, I mean something to make you stop and evaluate further (not necessarily an absolute *turn around and run in the other direction* situation). I guess it would be better to call it a yellow flag, or a *proceed with caution* kind of thing.
We’re not saying that every one of these problematic indicators are absolute deal breakers. These are just things that should give you pause and take time to look into before charging ahead and committing to a particular foundation repair contractor.
Here are 8 common signs that a prospective foundation repair company (or really any type of contractor) might need further vetting and verification before hiring:
- No local contact info,
- Very new,
- No names and no faces,
- Out of nowhere to everywhere all at once,
- No pride in appearance,
- Lack of professionalism,
- Multiple reschedulings, and
- Non-committal website and offerings.
Now let’s elaborate.
1. No Local Contact Info
Some businesses will show an out-of-town address or phone number on their website or other contact info listings. Larger well-known corporations might not offer local addresses and phone numbers (or have a 1-800 number) and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if it’s a small unknown company or contractor that you’ve never heard of before, be more aware when you notice strictly non-local contact info.
Some contractor or company that is *trying* to get business by expanding into the area is a riskier choice. They might not be around later if they don’t get a good foothold in the local market. They might be a sub-contractor of a larger corporation where they are using the corporation’s marketing clout but don’t have the service or skills to back that up.
Locally-owned and operated businesses tend to be more tied to the community and committed to the area. Local businesses have way more to lose if they perform poorly, so they tend to try harder to provide the best service possible. Anyone well-established and waving the “local” flag in your city ends up being a safer bet in our opinion.
2. Very New
Being new in business is not automatically a bad thing, but again it’s something to pause and think about. New businesses are certainly trying hard to make customers happy so that’s a good thing.
However, when long-term or lifetime warranties are part of a large home project like foundation repair, you should feel confident that the business will be around if you need them in the future. New businesses fail all the time, it’s a risky venture for them and for your foundation repair project.
Using a new-to-business contractor might be fine for small repairs like fixing a light switch or unclogging a toilet. But if a warrantied repair that the company can *make good on* in the future is important to you, choosing a well-established company is in your best interests.
3. No Names and No Faces
When perusing contractor websites or printed materials, does it feel very generic, inauthentic, and personality-less? There’s no mention of owners, managers, or crew leader names. Do you see only pictures of people who are obviously stock photo models in staged situations? Or even photos of homes that are clearly not the style of homes in your area?
When you see websites and materials that have no *real people* in them, it’s an indicator of non-local or corporate management. The people working for the organization are less likely to feel ownership over the products and services because well . . . they don’t own it – literally or figuratively. They just work there.
Employees might change too often for them to bother showing their names and faces. Or perhaps a small start-up person just paid someone to make a *professional-looking* website that reveals no character or company values.
You can’t really fault big corporations for this because that’s just what they do sometimes with fancy marketing departments and whatnot. But when it’s a small operation, it should give you pause.
4. Out of Nowhere to Everywhere All at Once
You’re generally aware of local businesses where you live. Then all of a sudden you see large amounts of advertising for some company you’ve never heard of. What’s the deal?
Sometimes established companies in other areas try to expand. They have to push out a ton of advertising to make that happen. Their company is experiencing growth and they’ve got to invest considerable funds and effort into marketing to bring awareness to the area they are moving into.
Growth is not a bad thing . . . for the company experiencing it . . . but it might not be a great thing for you as the customer.
An expanding company needs more people to work for them so they can handle the additional business activity and more customers. Sometimes this process goes well, is organized, and everyone gets properly trained and sometimes it doesn’t . . .
They have the term *growing pains* for a reason and that’s because it’s hard, troublesome to go through, and the process might not be seamless. You might get the short end of the stick on quality service or skilled workers (or both) when a company is dealing with growth and a lot of new employees.
Is that the work environment you want for the people you are counting on to do major repairs on your largest investment?
5. No Pride In Appearance
Looks matter. Companies and contractors should be aware that they are being judged by customers on their appearance. Sorry, but it’s true.
It seems like there’s a push to accept all appearances out there, but when it comes to choosing a company or contractor to work on your home, they should take pride in their appearance and reflect a good image for the business. It promotes an image of conscientiousness and attention to detail.
- Can a dude that looks like a slob do a good job repairing your foundation? Well, certainly.
- Do guys get dirty when they work on your home? Um, yes.
However, a more polished appearance of any contractor coming to your home is a signal. It means they respect you enough to look halfway decent (and maybe even smell okay) for you. It means they pay attention to the small things, are thorough, and are careful with what they do.
Of course, dressing well and being clean can also just be *keeping up appearances* with no skill or quality service to back it up. There’s always a chance that it’s just a facade. But most of the time it still can be a good indicator of overall company character.
If a foundation repair company or contractor isn’t taking pride in their appearance, what else aren’t they taking pride in? Their workmanship?
6. Lack of Professionalism
The last item was about how a prospective foundation repair contractor looks, this item is about how they act. Professionalism can be summed up into a list of behaviors that translate to respect for the customer, things like:
- Kindness, courtesy, and politeness,
- Being on time,
- Listening and displaying an understanding of the homeowner’s needs, and
- Doing what they say they are going to do when they said they were going to do it.
When you might be spending thousands of your hard-earned dollars on foundation repair, we think you deserve some professionalism from your contractor. These professional behaviors are good indicators of thoroughness and company character.
If a foundation repair company or contractor is behaving with a massive lack of professionalism, how confident are you that they are going to do a professional job repairing your home?
7. Multiple Reschedulings
This red flag could probably be lumped in with No. 6 as a lack of professional behavior, but it deserves its own section because the resulting issue for you is different.
Let’s say you have an appointment with the contractor and at the last minute they have to cancel and ask to reschedule. Why is this?
- It could just be that the appointment before yours went long, or he suddenly had to go pick up his kids from school, which is understandable and totally normal.
- Having to reschedule multiple times could mean that your contractor has poor time management skills which indicates more possible problems with future performance in repairing your home.
- It also could mean that a company trying to expand into your area is waiting for another appointment to get booked to make it worth it to come to your house.
Is this really the priority you want to be placed on your concerns and your home problems – someone waiting until it’s *worth it* for them to come help you? Continually putting off your needs to save themselves some time and gas money sounds like a red flag to me. . .
8. Non-Committal Website and Offerings
This contractor is not taking a stand on anything. Their website is very general and there is no clear method of foundation repair that they explain. Even the services offered seem like a little bit of everything, yet specializing in nothing in particular.
Not that this company or contractor can’t do a good job for you, but a non-committal website and offerings indicate they are casting a wide net and hoping to get a lot of bites. But in this case, that wide net might not catch anything but confusion.
A company that is not making it clear what they do seems to be hoping to be a jack of all trades. When it comes to repairing your home foundation, you want people who know exactly what they are doing and how to do it.
A contractor should believe strongly in the quality of their product and convey that with confidence on their website and in their selection of services. Otherwise, their repairs could be as flaky as their level of commitment.
What to Look for In a Foundation Repair Contractor
Now you know a bunch of red flags issues that could be problematic for you when selecting a foundation repair company. Not that any of these red flags should immediately make you run away, but you’ll need to evaluate further if you’re okay with the situation. Decide what’s most important to you and find the contractor that matches best with your needs and values.
But now you’re like, well what *should* I look for in a foundation repair company instead? Basically, look for the opposite of everything listed above:
- Locally Owned and Operated,
- Community Minded,
- Confident, and
- Ready to Put Your Needs Above Their Own.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, hey, we’re all those things. . .
Why shouldn’t you have it all? With Anchor serving your foundation needs with excellence, you’ve got 35+ years of expertise in the Brazos Valley and a 5-star Google rating too. On top of that, our drilled piers are the gold-standard, tried-and-true foundation repair method with a lifetime guarantee.
You get a well-planned, well-communicated, well-executed home project because you deserve the best that your hard-earned money can buy. Want to know more about what sets us apart from other foundation repair companies? Check out this article on our signature service features next!