How to Pick the Right Foundation Contractor
Foundation repairs are rarely small projects. They are often invasive. They tend to be expensive. They are also very important to the structural integrity of your home. That is why it is important to pick the right foundation contractor for your project.
If you are dealing with the expense and inconvenience that foundation repairs bring, it is imperative to choose the right contractor the first time around. It’s important to do your research and ask questions.
Here are topics to consider.
1. Does The Foundation Contractor Specialize in Your Type of Foundation?
There are several different types of foundations, and not all contractors are skilled with each one. A contractor might be extremely experienced with slab foundations but have minimal experience with pier and beam ones.
The last thing you want is a foundation contractor trying to drive a square peg into a round hole because, well, that is the method they always use to fix foundations.
Also, if you do have a pier and beam foundation, look for the words pier and beam, not just crawl space. There are plenty of contractors who do crawl space encapsulation and waterproofing. Some of those can fix the problems that water in a crawl space can cause.
Pier and beam foundation repair, however, can extend beyond shoring up rotting floor joists. If your problem is a foundation issue and not a waterproofing one, it is important to have a contractor who will deal with it as such.
If you have a slab or basement foundation, that is when you will see a lot of your “standard” foundation repair methods such as helical piers or other underpinning systems. These are the types of keywords you should look for.
2. Do They Use Modern Foundation Repair Methods?
You often hear the phrase “they don’t build them like they used to,” basically saying that older products were better and built to last.
That does not apply to foundation repair.
Jacking up a sinking foundation and putting a bunch of concrete underneath to support it might have made sense at one point as an “it’s better than doing nothing” approach. That, however, is a low bar to clear.
You want modern solutions that will SOLVE the problems. While helical piers, for instance, have been around for more than a century, advances in their technology have greatly increased their load-bearing capacity. This allows them to provide greater support for home foundations while being sunk far deeper than their concrete piering relatives can go.
Similarly, scientific advances in soil stabilization have allowed us to provide far greater and longer lasting reductions in soil upheaval with our EcSS 3000 product than were found with previous methods by inhibiting the expansive soil’s ability to bond with water, nearly eliminating the shrink-swell cycle that causes the damage in the first place.
3. Do They Have More than One Solution?
Not all foundation problems have the same cause. That means there is no one-size-fits-all approach to foundation repair.
You want a foundation contractor that says if the problem is a, we do b. If the problem is x, we do y. Unfortunately there are too many out there whose approach is if the problem is a we do b and if the problem is x, we still do b.
Specialization isn’t bad so long as the contractor is honest and good at their job. In this case, if the problem doesn’t call for the solution they provide, they will tell the client this and all either is out is the time it takes for the inspection.
The best case scenario, however, is a contractor who has solutions specifically geared toward different foundation problems.
4. How Established Is the Foundation Contractor in the Area?
Ideally, you want a foundation contractor with a history of doing top-quality work in your area.
This is two-fold. First, it shows that they aren’t a fly-by-night operation. They have roots in the community that they work in.
Second it shows that they have experience with the particular type of soil and other factors specific to the area.
As part of this, check the reviews. Read the comments that people make about the business.
5. Ask Questions, Including Why
Once you have chosen foundation contractors to call for quotes, the next step is them coming to inspect your foundation for damage.
Here, watch out for companies that have decided what they are going to recommend before they step foot on your property.
Ask them to justify why this fix is needed. If they are doing a thorough, multi-point inspection, this should not be an issue.
6. If an Offer is Noticeably Cheaper, Find Out the Reason
Snatching up the cheapest offer can be tempting. Who doesn’t want to pay less?
Make sure you are getting an apples-to-apples comparison, however.
Half measures and flawed solutions can have you repeating the same process in a couple of years when the problem recurs.
It is worth paying more in the short term to avoid unnecessarily paying over and over again for the same repair. Pay the correct foundation contractor once, get it fixed right.
Contact Us to Find Out More About Our Foundation Repair Offerings
At Childers Brothers, we are proud to have served the Texas Panhandle area and beyond for more than 50 years. We partner with innovative companies that create scientifically-proven foundation repair solutions that we have put to the test and found to be of the highest quality.
If you live within our West Texas and Eastern New Mexico service area and are looking for a foundation contractor, contact us to set up a foundation inspection.