How to Hire the Best Shreveport Foundation Repair Specialists | Homeowner’s Guide

Your home’s foundation is literally holding your house up. So it’s important that any problems with the foundation are taken care of right away by a professional contractor who specializes in this type of work. Neglecting your home’s foundation can lead to an increasing number of problems, including severe structural damage, plumbing issues, and even pest infestation. The longer foundation problems linger, the worse they become, and the more expensive repairs will cost.

This all means that you don’t want to trust your home’s foundation repair to just anyone. There are a lot of shady contractors out there who are happy to take your money and don’t care about your house. The following is a list of questions put together by the authorities in foundation repair from Shreveport Foundation Repair Specialists to ask when hiring a foundation repair specialist.

What Kind Of Guarantee/Warranty Do They Offer?

Any foundation repair work should come with a guarantee and warranty. If your home’s foundation crumbles two months after it was repaired, you shouldn’t be on the hook for paying for more repair work. Ask the contractor what kind of guarantee they offer. A good warranty will cover both materials and labor. Make sure you know the specifics of the guarantee/warranty before signing a repair contract.

Are They Licensed and Insured?

The state of Louisiana does not have a specific license for foundation repair. However, anyone working on your home’s foundation should be licensed with the Louisiana State Board of Contractors. And while not required, the company you hire to do your foundation work should also have a structural engineer on staff or one they contract with. Depending on how damaged your foundation is, a structural engineer may be needed to ensure repairs are done correctly.

Your contractor must also have general liability insurance. This will protect you from many claims that can arise from having work done on your house. They must have builder’s risk insurance (also known as course of construction insurance). It will protect the property under construction, in addition to materials, supplies, and equipment.

Finally, the state of Louisiana requires a license bond. Basically, the bond ensures contractors comply with local and state laws and building codes. A license bond is required in most municipalities to obtain a building permit.

What’s In Your Repair Contract?

Read over the repair contract carefully before signing it or handing over any money. One of the most essential parts of the agreement is securing the required permits. Most jurisdictions require by law a structural permit for any work on a house’s foundation because the engineering is critical to the home’s safety.

A big reason why some contractors are reluctant to get permits is that they’re unable to repair your foundation using sound engineering standards. If the contract doesn’t say anything about permits, or that permits are optional, it’s probably a good idea to look for a new contractor.

There are a lot of risks associated with not filing for a structural permit for foundation repair work. These risks include everything from the safety and integrity of the foundation to having to disclose unpermitted work to potential buyers.

Also, the contract should lay out the payment schedule. Depending on the estimated cost of the repair, it’s not unusual to make a deposit before work begins, with the balance due once repairs are completed. Be wary of any contractor requiring full payment upfront.

The contract must also include a lien waiver. This means if the person doing your foundation repair work doesn’t pay their suppliers and any subcontractors, those suppliers and subcontractors cannot file a lien against your property to force payment. Lien waivers are often overlooked, but having one will ensure you’re not on the hook for your contractor’s financial mismanagement.

Finally, who is going to pay for any repairs to the house’s siding or other structures if damaged during the course of the foundation repair? If it’s not in the contract that the contractor is responsible for those costs, then that’s a red flag. Legitimate foundation repair contractors who care about their professional reputation will cover those costs should an accident happen.

Check Customer Reviews And Ask For References

Anyone can put up a website and use slick marketing materials for advertising their business. But this doesn’t guarantee the contractor will do quality work. This means you want to read as many customer reviews as you can about the contractor. You can find reviews on their Facebook business page, Yelp, Google My Business Results, and so forth. Don’t always rely on reviews the contractor publishes on their website since these can be easily faked.

Further, it’s important to ask for references. These will be former customers that can give you their experience working with the contractor. It’s a good idea to ask your references the following questions:

  • Did the contractor complete the foundation repair job on time?
  • Was the project completed on budget?
  • Would you recommend this contractor to friends/family? Why or why not?
  • Were there any surprises?
  • Did you have any problems while working with this contractor?

This is your chance to find out what it’s like working with the foundation repair contractor before signing a contract or handing over any money.

Take Your Time Finding The Right Contractor

Finally, it’s okay to get price quotes from several foundation repair contractors. Just don’t forget that cheaper isn’t always better, especially when it comes to the structural integrity of your house. And don’t let a contractor try to rush you into hiring them to repair your foundation. Trust your instincts. If something seems off about a contractor, they’re probably not someone you want to hire.