Quiz: Hiring a Basement Waterproofing Contractor

Quiz: Hiring a Basement Waterproofing Contractor

Are you looking to hire a new basement waterproofing company? Is there a leak in your basement that you need to get fixed, so you’re shopping around for a contractor who’ll do the job right? Maybe you read our article on how to choose the right basement waterproofing contractor. But are you really ready to make the choice? Here’s a quick quiz that’ll let you know.

1. Ideally, how many subcontractors should your contractor hire for the job?
a) As many as it takes to do the job.
b) One or two is OK, but more than that and you’re just getting into too-many-cooks syndrome.
c) Ideally, none. Subcontractors aren’t necessarily bad, but they add another level of bureaucracy to any project.

2. What kind of deposit is acceptable for a basement waterproofing contractor to charge?
a) It’s acceptable to ask for full payment up front.
b) Half now, half when the job is done.
c) No more than ten percent. You shouldn’t be asked to pay until the job is done, and done right.

3. Should your basement waterproofing contractor also know about things like mold testing and mold remediation?
a) No. Every contractor should focus on exactly one trade. Otherwise you risk getting someone who knows less about basement waterproofing.
b) Maybe. Though you really should get someone with better focus.
c) Sure. As long as his professional focuses aren’t wildly divergent (like basement waterproofing, and, say, cabinetry), it’s good to hire someone with a fairly broad range of disciplines.

4. Did you check your contractor’s state registrations and licenses?
a) Check his what, now?
b) His website is in good shape and he’s got some decent references. I’m sure all that stuff is in order.
c) Absolutely. He’s registered in my state and his license is current.

5. How important are references in making your decision?
a) Who needs to hear the opinions of people I don’t even know?
b) I might remember to ask for them this time.
c) Vitally important. If I can’t heard from my contractor’s satisfied customers, how will I know if he’s any good?

6. If a contractor tells you that you need to make a decision RIGHT NOW, what should you do?
a) Make the decision while he’s there with you. He’s the contractor, so he probably knows best.
b) Don’t make the decision right now, but keep him on your short list just in case he’s right.
c) Drop him like a hot potato. A good contractor never pressures or bullies his clients.

7. What Internet resources can you use to narrow down your search.
a) The internet? Does that have something to do with YouTube?
b) A Google search, which will reveal all of the basement waterproofing contractors in my area.
c) The Better Business Bureau’s website, as well as review sites like Angie’s List, Ripoff Report, Yelp and Citysearch.

8. Have you checked out your contractor’s list of professional organizations?
a) Check his what, now?
b) I think I saw some kind of link on his website.
c) Yes. He’s a member of the National Association for Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors.

9. What kind of insurance should your contractor have?
a) Car insurance. You don’t want his truck getting impounded on the way to your house.
b) Medical insurance for his employees. That’s only fair.
c) Comprehensive liability insurance. You don’t want to get stuck with the bill if your contractor damages your home (or himself).

10. What happens if you need to cancel the job, or if you find a contractor you like better?
a) You’re out of luck. You already signed the invoice.
b) You could probably cancel the job, but the contractor you hired seems like he really needs the work so you feel bad.
c) You’re still in good shape, because your contractor provided you with a "Notice of Right to Cancel" that lets you cancel the job three business days before it’s scheduled.

11. What’s your rule of thumb when getting estimates?
a) I pay whatever it takes to get a good estimate.
b) I ask for an estimate over the phone from every contractor I call.
c) I only accept detailed, free estimates from contractors who have visited my home and inspected the problem firsthand.

12. Did your contractor explain in detail the work he’ll need to do in your basement?
a) He hit the high points. I wasn’t really listening. Whatever — he’s the professional.
b) He explained it to me in detail.
c) He gave me a thorough written explanation of what needs to be done, with an itemized budget.

13. How useful is the Better Business Bureau as a tool in deciding on the right contractor?
a) Useless.
b) It’s OK. Even if a contractor has a bad BBB score, everyone has a bad day now and then, right?
c) Extremely valuable. It’s one of the best ways to know whether a contractor treats his customers fairly and with respect.

14. You ask one of the contractors on your list a few questions, and he gives you the brush-off. What do you do?
a) He’s a busy man. He doesn’t have time for a lot of questions. It’s cool.
b) Ask him again, and give him one more chance. If he doesn’t answer this time, you’ll seriously consider not hiring him.
c) Cross him off the list. You need a contractor who communicates well with you at all times.

15. How many contractors should be on your list before you start making phone calls?
a) Ten.
b) Twelve.
c) It’s up to you. You know the best answer here.

Scoring. Give yourself one point for each (a) answer, two points for each (b) answer and three points for each (c) answer.
15 to 20 points. You might need a little help making your decision. Go back and read our article on choosing a contractor again, and do a bit more research on how to choose the right basement waterproofing contractor. Or contact us, and we’ll help you out.
20 to 35 points. You know a good bit, but you might not be ready to make the right choice. Do a bit more background research on the contractors on your list, then make your choice.
35 to 45 points. You’re a pro. Whatever basement waterproofing contractor you choose will probably do a great job.