You know you’ve got some problems with your crawl space foundation and are in the market for some house leveling work. So you want to get a foundation repair company or house leveler to come to take a look and tell you what’s what.
BUT, how do you know if you’re getting a good contractor? It’s an anxiety-inducing problem to make these kinds of choices. You want someone honest and trustworthy who cares about your home. You don’t want some guy trying to sell you something you don’t really need.
Understandably, homeowners have uneasy feelings when it comes to knowing who to trust with their biggest investment – their home.
After 35+ years in the business of repairing foundations and leveling homes in the Brazos Valley, we find that 100% transparency and two-way communication go a long way in helping homeowners feel confident in our advice and services with Anchor Foundation Repair.
We can tell you what to look for in locating a foundation repair or house leveling company anywhere that shares in a philosophy of service over sales. We will outline and explain 7 good questions that a house leveling contractor should be asking YOU.
What Do You Mean By House Leveling?
First of all and just to make sure you’re in the right place, this article is geared towards crawl space foundation types like pier and beam and block and base homes. We call foundation repair on this type of home *house leveling* for some reason but it’s still basically a form of foundation repair and many foundation repair companies do house leveling too.
I have no idea why it’s called house leveling instead, that must be above my pay grade. . .
So we’re talking about the type of foundation that has a *crawl space* between the ground and the bottom floor structure of the home. We’re not talking about slab-on-grade foundations in this particular article. We’ve got a separate article geared toward slab foundations that you can check out. Just had to clear that up real quick, but now back to the main point . . .
Why Should I Care If The House Leveling Guy Asks Anything?
These kinds of questions signal a contractor’s interest in serving you best over making a commission or sale of their “product” to you. Of course, as the customer, you will have plenty of foundation questions for the contractor too.
But you should pay attention to their interest in hearing the history of issues with your home and how concerned they are with what concerns you most. In other words, they should be asking you questions too.
7 Questions A House Leveling Contractor Should Ask You
This is information that a foundation repair contractor or company should collect from you somehow. They might not literally sit down with a pen and a clipboard and ask you every one of these verbally.
You might even offer some of the info yourself during a conversation and then they won’t necessarily ask, but they should be using all this info to formulate a plan for you.
So at some point in the process of getting a bid or quote, whether it’s with an online contact form, in a phone call, or during an on-site foundation inspection appointment, this kind of stuff should be covered. These are in no particular order of importance.
1. When are you hoping to have the work started or completed?
If you haven’t already made it clear to the house leveling contractor that there is a timeline that needs to be met, they need to be asking you right off the bat.
Timing is kind of a big deal. It is important to cover when you want work to start, how long the house leveling will take, and when it will be completed right off the bat. The other questions on this list don’t even matter if your timelines can’t be met and everyone is wasting their time.
I know I said I didn’t list these in any particular order but this one is kind of a deal-breaker so it’s listed first, and after this, there’s no particular order, I swear . . .
If you need the work started and/or completed by some kind of deadline, the contractor needs to know this to make sure that they can meet that need. Maybe you are selling your home, buying the home, or you might have some big event that you’re hosting.
Many repair contractors of all kinds often have work lined up for weeks or even months, so they might not be able to get to you when you need or want them to. That’s a real-world consideration and something to be discussed early on.
2. What are the problems and concerns you have with your home?
All homeowners have different degrees of concern, focus, and tolerance for problems around their homes. Your contractor should know what your primary concerns are so that they can make sure that those issues get discussed and resolved above all else.
It doesn’t do much good for a house leveling company to come in and repair things in their eyes, but in your eyes, you still see a glaring problem.
3. How long have you lived in your home? Are the problems newer or have they been there for a long time?
Seeing or just noticing a crack in your drywall doesn’t mean there’s a huge problem. Seasons change and cracks can open and close. If you haven’t been living in your home for a long time, you might not know if this is a seasonal shift or an ongoing issue.
Knowing how long a problem has been hanging around and how/when it changes can give the house leveling contractor clues as to what is going on and how concerned to realistically be about it.
Some things are *no big whup* or are best to wait and see about before rushing into repairs. A contractor that encourages you to pump the brakes and offers reasons to wait on house leveling is likely more interested in what’s best for you over “making a sale.”
4. Is there one big thing that you recently saw or experienced that made you feel the need to contact us?
Sometimes problems lurk undetected until a new and sudden change occurs that catches your eye. Knowing what that *one thing* is can give a house leveler key information as to what is happening and recommend the best way to proceed.
5. How concerned are you with the issues that you are seeing?
This is a question that gauges your feelings and feelings are important, so answer honestly. A minor concern should be approached with planning and preparation for the future in case the minor concern becomes major.
Foundation settlement issues are typically not emergencies. Honestly, the vast majority of foundation problems in Central Texas residential homes are not dire safety threats because they are caused by expansive clay soils. Here’s an article addressing the question, “Is it Safe to Live in a Home with Foundation Problems or Settlement?”
Your level of concern should be genuine, not artificially amped up by an alarmist foundation repairman. A house leveling contractor that urges you to *act now* on something that you think is kinda minor should raise some red flags. On the flip side, a major concern that is really troubling a homeowner should be addressed more quickly to get you and your home the stability it needs asap.
We’ve put together a list of good reasons to act sooner on house leveling that make practical sense for homeowners to consider.
6. Have you recently remodeled your home or are you planning to soon?
A house leveling company should want to know what has recently been done to the home and be interested in your future plans. Having this information can impact the repair recommendations quite a bit.
A newly remodeled home means that raising and leveling may cause significant damage to freshly refinished features. Offering home stabilization vs. raising as a solution that will preserve your recent renovation might be your best and only option.
A plan to remodel in the future will help a house leveling contractor to focus on your perspective and take into account everything that you have in mind down the line. A foundation repair plan should take into consideration the ultimate plans you have for your home. It’s not always a *one size fits all* repair solution.
A prospective contractor won’t necessarily know your remodel history or plans unless they specifically ask you about it and discuss the situation with you. A completely different repair solution might need to be considered if remodeling is part of the past or near future.
7. What’s the most important thing we can do to take care of you and your home?
Everyone is different and all homeowners have different needs. Knowing what your top priorities are will enable a contractor relationship built on trust and communication by meeting your most important expectations. This could have to do with the process, cost, timing, or any other special considerations on your mind.
A contractor who wants to make sure they can meet your standards and unique needs is truly working FOR YOU and not for themselves.
Anything I Should Ask The House Leveling Contractor?
You should definitely have some questions for any prospective house leveling contractor. This is the other side of that *two-way street* I was talking about earlier. Asking all the right questions will further empower you to know exactly what you want and need when it comes to leveling your home.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been inspecting and repairing foundations in Bryan, College Station, and surrounding Brazos Valley communities like Brenham and Navasota since 1985. We are all about answering the questions that you have and making sure we ask questions too so that we can best serve our homeowners.
We most certainly do have a list of questions that you should be asking any foundation repair contractor you are considering. Here is the article right here for you to check out: “15 Best Questions to Ask Before Hiring a House Leveling Contractor.”