You don’t want to trust just anyone with the safety of your home. When you have a basement leak on your hands, though, you need to act fast. The right contractor will, ideally, be able to ease you through the stress of basement repair while also providing you with an upstanding repair job. How, though, do you go about finding this contractor amidst the sea of others?
How to Qualify as a Basement Repair Contractor
What do potential contractors need to do to qualify for work in basement repair?
The process through which a person becomes a basement repair contractor isn’t exactly secret, but it’s certainly not a career path that readily makes itself known to someone who doesn’t have family in the business.
If a repair contractor to-be wants to find her way into the industry, she can spend a year or two working at a trade school to better understand her craft. Alternatively, she can take on an apprenticeship with an existing basement repair company. What matters more than this initial path is the contractor’s eventual certification. Basement repair contractors need to be licensed either by their state of operation or the city in which they work. Once a contractor has secured the appropriate license and permits, she’ll be able to help you waterproof your basement. Anyone who attempts to work with you prior to this point is putting the structural integrity of your home at risk.
What to Look for in a Basement Repair Contractor
The qualities your basement repair contractor needs to have are many and varied. What, though, are the core requirements a contractor should meet before you invite them into your home?
As has been mentioned, your basement repair contractor absolutely must have all of the licenses and permits required of them by the state in which you live. Contractors who offer to work on your basement who don’t have these qualifications may not have the training, experience or legal permission to perform the work you need to be done. If you want to stay out of legal trouble, it’s best to find a contractor who’s been approved by your local government.
Ideally, the basement repair contractor you hire on will have some degree of insurance coverage. While this coverage doesn’t have to be as comprehensive as possible, having any at all is a sign of professional responsibility. When a contractor protects themselves, their employees and their tools with the appropriate insurance coverage, you can rest assured that you won’t face legal or financial consequences for any mishaps that may accidentally occur during the job.
Contractors who work without insurance actively put their own safety and the safety of their employees at risk. While risk-taking has led to some brilliant industry innovation, you don’t want a risk-taker in charge of the people working to waterproof your basement.
When researching basement repair contractors, you’ll also want to check and see which contractors in your area provide their clients with warranties. Warranties exist to help you pay for any repairs your interior or exterior drainage system may need after its initial installation.
Not all basement repair contractors are going to offer you a warranty on their work. The ones who do, though, are interested in securing your business in the long term by providing you with support and quality work.
Experience in the Industry
This is where things start to get tricky. You might assume it’s best to work with the basement repair contractor who’s been in the industry the longest. You’re not entirely wrong. However, there are plenty of new-blood contractors who have the education needed to waterproof your basement.
With that in mind, don’t use the listed experience as the factor to make or break your decision on a contractor. Instead, weigh this factor alongside other ones, like customer service history and budget, before hiring a contractor to work on your basement.
Consumer Reviews and Customer Service History
Third-party review platforms are the best places to learn more about the way your contractor of choice works. Why? Because contractors, no matter how well-intentioned, will collect their best reviews to host on their websites. Comparatively, third-party platforms offer their best approximation of a non-biased customer service analysis.
That said, do take the reviews you read regarding a contractor with a grain of salt. Contractors work one-on-one with all of their clients, and sometimes they hit it off more readily with some than with others. Even so, if you’re noticing a trend of positive or negative reviews, tuck that information away for a rainy day. It may just help you avoid a contractor from hell.
One of the best things about working with a basement repair contractor is the ability to negotiate overall costs based on your budget. Before you reach out to a contractor, be sure to get a free quote for the work you need from multiple sources. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to approach each of the contractors you’re interested in well informed and with the data to back your negotiations up.
Finally, be sure the basement repair contractor you’re interested in working with can meet your preferred repair deadline. Most drainage systems, inside or outside, take between one and three days to install. Communicate your needs with your contractor, and you’ll receive a personalized estimate that takes the chance of a mishap into account. Any contractor who’s not able to provide you with an estimate or who isn’t willing to learn more about your repair schedule probably won’t take to your gig with your best interests in mind.
Don’t let a leak in your basement keep you from enjoying your time at home. Reach out to a local contractor ASAP. Your home will thank you!
- Author- Holly Richards-Purpura
Holly Richards-Purpura is a content marketing strategist with the Groundworks marketing team. Groundworks is the nation’s largest foundation services company. Holly is responsible for online content across Groundworks brands including web pages and blog posts. Her previous experience includes writing local website content as the Internal Marketing Coordinator at Ohio Basement Authority and writing news and feature stories as a general assignment reporter at the Zanesville Times Recorder newspaper.
Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband, Dave. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her favorite movies and TV shows, as well as attending local festivals and events. She also has a passion for New York City and enjoys traveling to the Big Apple whenever possible.Holly Richards-Purpura
Content Marketing Strategist