In this article we outline the essential steps you should go through when hiring a basement contractor to avoid losing money, time, and your basement.
There are some red flags to avoid in basement contractors and also some positives to look for.
Check on Google, Yelp, and Facebook to see how customers have reviewed the contractor in the past. Look specifically for contractors that didn't finish the job or ghosted the customer.
Sometimes (not always) complaints can be made via the Better Business Bureau or other local review platforms. It's always a good idea to check these as well before hiring a basement contractor.
If the business has pictures of the work they have completed in the past, be sure to check those out, and make sure it is up to par for your needs. Sometimes customers will post pictures on Google as well where you can see the quality of work by the professional.
What makes a good basement contractor?
When you call the company, do they do what they say they will at the time they said they would do it? Have they been honest in all their quotes and processes before you hire them. These can be a tell-tale sign of whether you should hire the contractors of not.
Do they keep you in the loop of what is happening at all times of your project? Sometimes contractors can go through extremely busy seasons, so it may take a few days to get back to you. But when they do, is everything provided that was promised?
This may go without saying, but it is also important to be sure that the basement contractor you hire is well-versed in basement "things". Have they been in business for 5+ years, or did they just open up shop this year? Generally the company that has been in business for longer has more to lose, so they are more likely to provide you with the best service.
Does the contractor have an official license? In most cases it is required by law, and it's suspicious in general not to have one.
It's always a good idea to have a backup plan in case something goes awry. If they contractor breaks something on your house or property, are they insured to cover those expenses and to what extent?
Sometimes products go bad (and it's not always the fault of the contractors). For example, if the basement contractor you hired installs a drainage system, and then the system breaks in a year, will you be able to have the company come out and replace the faulty product. Oftentimes basement companies will have a process for submitting warranty claims, so check to see if the one you are potentially hiring does as well.
Make sure you have several questions lined up to ask your contractor!
And without further ado, here are the best tips we can offer on how to hire the best basement contractor.
Make sure to do diligent research online before hiring a basement contractor. Find a list of the best basement contractors in your area and mark off contractors until there is only one left. This includes reading online reviews, checking out past work they've done, timeline, and budget. Also, it's important to remember that cheapest is not always the best. Sometimes the cheapest do the poorest quality work. Not always, but it's something to keep in mind.
If your friends are homeowners as well, chances are they (or something they know) have gone through basement foundation or water leakage issues in the past. If so, they may know a basement contractor they trust. Reach out by word of mouth or on social media to see if anyone has any recommendations. This can be the best way of finding a crew for you, as you will probably trust your friends more than strangers online.
Salesmen are oftentimes paid on commission. Large companies will oftentimes send out salesman to "sell" you their services rather than finding out the root problem in your basement and figuring out realistic solutions to fix them. Pride yourself on finding a company that provides "realistic" solutions to real basement problems.
Any basement contractor that comes out to check on your problems will send out a quote soon after they leave. Gather a few quotes from different professionals. Most will give these out for free, so feel free to ask two or three different basement companies to provide quotes!
Again, it's important to remember that cheapest isn't always best, but you now can evaluate the pros and cons of each of your quotes. List out what is important to you and your family, and decide based on that.
Before making the decision to bring a basement contractor into your home, be sure to ask about their licenses, insurance, and warranties. This can save you headaches in the future big time!
Our team prides ourselves on living out these qualities. We'd love to help you reach your basement goals, and keep your home safe and dry for good.