Points to Look for When Hiring a Foundation Repair Contractor
When hiring a foundation repair contractor, or any contractor for that matter, it is crucial for a homeowner to do their due diligence. This could save them thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Many homeowners are not aware of the resources available to assist them in checking their contractor’s qualifications. We don’t see many Los Angeles homeowners checking contractor’s license numbers, ensuring the license is active or verifying that the contractor’s license is applicable. Are they properly insured and bonded? Many LA homeowners take for face value what a contractor tells them. Don’t get caught flat-footed. Do your research, take your time, and heed the following:
- A General Contractor’s license (B) does not itself authorize a contractor to perform foundation work alone. A C-8 license is for Concrete. Check the Contractor’s State License Board at www.CSLB.ca.gov to find out more.
- A General Engineering Contractor’s license (A) is the most advanced building license in the State. It authorizes performance of more advanced structural (for ANY structure including dams and skyscrapers) and grading work. Check above state link.
- Any claims of “Structural Engineering, In-House Design-Build or Engineering”, etc., can only be made if a Structural Engineer, licensed in California, is a corporate officer in the company’s corporate documents. Ask for this.
- Some “Contractors” do not, in fact, even have their own licenses. This is due to the fact that they have no experience in foundation work. A tradesman must have 4 years of “journey-level” experience (operating at the highest level of the trade) just to be able to apply for a Contractor’s License. If this qualification exists, there will be a good track record over many years, of successful foundation projects actually done by the contractor by his or her own hands. Check above state link.
- Contractors, even if qualified per the above, are required by law to carry valid Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Ask for a valid certificate of insurance.
- Contractors are required by law to carry a License Bond for their license. Ask for a valid certificate.
- Contractors should carry General Liability Insurance in order to protect customers from various liabilities which could arise. Ask for a valid certificate of insurance.
- When it comes to getting licensed, one could be lying about their qualifications and fake their way into a license without having any experience in the particular field. One should always ask for references they can check out, i.e., previous customers etc. It is a felony for someone to falsify their licensing information.
- You should always ask for your contractor’s license number and look them up on the CSLB (Contractor’s State License Board). Follow the instructions below:
Enter your contractor’s license number and click search
You can now see all of your contractor’s license details for the license number provided. This will show all business information, their license status, classifications, bonding info, etc.
In conclusion, we have seen it go on for far too long that homeowners who are not doing their due diligence are being taken advantage of, paying out far too much money in unnecessary and/or avoidable expenses. Please check on all the above points when hiring a foundation or seismic repair contractor to avoid the nightmares you have likely heard about from your friends or family. Please call us if you need help on this. We will assist you whether you use us or not. Alpha Structural, Inc. (323) 258-5482 or email us.