When hiring a contractor, many homeowners rely on a recommendation from a friend or relative or perhaps an advertisement they come across online.
However, doing a little more due diligence could wind up saving you big time when it comes time to choose the right foundation contractor for you. How big is big time? Think five figures in some cases. Here are some quick tips to look out for when choosing a foundation repair contractor:
A General Contractor’s license (B) does not give the contractor the clearance to perform foundation repairs. For that, you need a C-8 license for concrete (we know because our foundation repair specialists have them). You can find out whether your contractor has the appropriate licensing through the Contractor’s State License Board at www.CSLB.ca.gov.
While you’re there, make sure your contractor has a general engineering license. A General Engineering Contractor’s license is the most advanced license for builders given out by the state of California. It authorizes the license holder to work on advanced structural and grading work. It is also a prerequisite for ANY structure including dams and skyscrapers. While it might not technically be necessary for your project, knowing that your contractor can perform this advanced level of engineering work means they will bring engineering-grade expertise to your project.
This is a prerequisite if your contractor makes any claims regarding engineering, structural engineering, or “in-house design-build” expertise. Ask your contractor to provide this documentation. They should be able to do so easily.
It sounds crazy, but some contractors don’t have their own licenses. This is because they don’t have experience doing foundation work. To even be considered for a contractor’s license, a tradesman must apprentice at a “journey-level” for at least four years. If they have a contractor’s license, the state will have a record of years of successful foundation projects that this contractor performed with their own hands. Check the link above to find this.
Make sure your contractor carries worker’s compensation insurance.
Your contractor should be able to produce a valid certificate of insurance. They are required by state law to carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance to be considered a contractor.
By law, contractors must carry a License Bond for their license. This comes with a certificate. Ask your contractor to produce their valid certificate.
A good contractor carries General Liability Insurance. This protects themselves and their customers from the various liabilities that can happen during a construction project. If your contractor cannot produce a valid certificate of liability insurance, do not hire that contractor.
We understand that, in a perfect world, all contractors would follow these seven guidelines as we do, and there would be no reason for homeowners to have to shoulder the burden of verifying these documents themselves. But, that is not the world we live in, so it falls upon homeowners to check these points and make sure their contractors are following the rules and doing it the right way.
Of course, at Alpha Structural, we make sure all of our employees have their documentation in order at all times. However, we’ll be happy to assist you in your foundation repair and answer any questions you may have about hiring the right contractor, whether you choose us or not. Call us at (323) 258-5482 or email us. We’d be happy to help you.
A foundation is more than just the bottom floor of your property. It is the base that supports everything you work so hard to protect. At Alpha Structural, Inc., we treat each project with that level of responsibility and respect. That’s why families and businesses across Los Angeles choose us to protect the structures that protect them. If you want your foundation built to the Alpha Standard, contact us today to schedule an inspection.