One of the more expensive repairs a homeowner can face is that if the home’s foundation, which averages $4,436, and some people end up paying around $10,000. While it may not be easy to repair, it is relatively easy for most homeowners to tell there might be a problem. Doors and windows will not close and latch easily anymore and cracks will appear in the walls, especially over doors and windows and where walls join, and possibly cracks will develop through ceramic tile or vinyl flooring. When these problems do manifest, the unfortunate owner must sort through the good and bad to find a contractor. To do this, here are five questions you should ask every contractor you think might be a likely candidate.
- Are You Licensed and Insured?: Requirements vary in every state, so know the laws for yours and ask the contractor explicitly. You can check with the state licensing board to be certain.
- How Much Will It Cost and How Long Will It Take: Everyone knows the cliche of the contractor running over schedule and over budget, but the reality is that should not be the case for someone who genuinely knows what they are doing except in the rarest of cases.
- What About A Warranty?: Most companies and freelancers that repair foundations offer a warranty, so eliminating will not be accomplished based on whether they responded withn a yes or no. To distinguish between contractors, homeowners must actually read the warranty, including all of the fine print.
- Do You Have References From Previous Foundation Repairs?: Obviously, a flustered “no” will be a bad sign for a contractors professionalism and experience. If they say yes, but there are only a few, or worse, just one, then this is not a person anyone should hire on either.
- Will You Be Able to Help With Landscaping Advise?: Some primary reasons for a foundation weakening and breaking over time is improper drainage of groundwater and soil erosion, as well as landslides and expansive soil. A contractor that will not help you fix whatever problems could destroy the repair, especially when not doing so can negate the warranty, does not deserve the work.
Financing the repair of a home’s foundation is bad enough without hiring a dishonest individual who may or may not make the problem worse. With these questions to at least three contractors for comparison, any homeowner should do well.