The engineering report has confirmed that your property has sinkhole-related damage. Now what? The engineering company may have provided you with list of sinkhole repair companies in your area but you’ll still be left with this important question, “Which one should I choose and why?”
Making an important decision that affects your property is not easy. If you happen to live in “sinkhole alley,” (Hernando and Pasco counties), you may be all but familiar with the aftermath of a sinkhole. You may have seen a neighbor’s house while it was undergoing the sinkhole repair process. Or, you may know someone who was the unfortunate victim of an unscrupulous contractor. Perhaps, you are brand new to the experience. You may not know anything about sinkholes or what options are available for repairing the damage they cause. Making decisions can be overwhelming particularly when you are tasked with protecting your greatest investment — your home.
If you have a list of recommended contractors, a good way to begin the selection process is to make a list of questions you want to ask before you make that first call. Listed below are some questions you may want to consider:
1. Are you licensed and insured?
At first glance, license and insurance may seem like a no brainer. You may think to yourself, “Of course the contractor islicensed and insured. How else could they be in business?” Nevertheless, it is important to check. Unlicensed contractors abound in Florida and they wreak havoc on unsuspecting homeowners, cause untold damage to property, and often give the sinkhole repair industry a bad name.
You can easily confirm that the contractor you are considering has a license by going to Florida Department of Professional Regulation. Make sure that the contractor readily displays license information on company literature and business cards. When speaking to contractors, ask them if they are “state certified.” This ensures that contractors meet the requirements, such as insurance and good business practices established by the state. Also, make sure that the contractor is licensed to do work in your specific county.
2. Is your company a member of the Better Business Bureau?
Ask the contractor if the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau. Follow-up to determine the company’s rating and to find out if the company has had any complaints lodged against it. Click Here to see Helicon’s BBB rating.
3. Is the company you are considering a full member of the Florida Association of Sinkhole Repair Specialists (FAS3)?
Reputable contractors will be members of the Florida Association of Sinkhole Repair Specialists, also known as FAS3. FAS3 is an association that provides engineers, geologists, and contractors with the most up-to-date and relevant information about sinkholes and sinkhole remediation processes and innovations. FAS3 also sets standards “for conduct, workmanship, and business practices for those involved in the profession.”
4. How many years of experience do you and your staff have in sinkhole repair?
In some instances, General Contractors (GCs) will get into the business of sinkhole repair. While they may have many years of experience doing general construction work and cosmetic repairs to homes damaged by sinkholes, they may not have long term expertise in sinkhole remediation. If construction is slow, some General Contractors may see a lucrative opportunity in sinkhole repair. You want to select a company whose primary focus and years of experience is in repairing the damage caused by sinkholes.
It is also not enough to know that the contractor you are considering has experience in sinkhole repair. You may also want to ask about their staff. Are they well-trained? Have they had the appropriate background checks? Do they wear uniforms so that they are easily identifiable while working on your property? How many years of experience does the foreman who will be managing the day-to-day tasks have? Will your property be left as clean as possible after each workday? Will there be as little disruption as possible to the local traffic on your street while repairs are taking place? Will there be any subcontractors on your property? How will unexpected situations be handled?
5. How up-to-date are your repair methods and tools?
You want to make sure that the contractor uses the most up-to-date equipment, tools, and procedures. You won’t need to understand how everything works, but you have the right to know if the contractor can provide you with the most current and efficient methods for repairing the damage. You could ask, “What equipment advances have you made during your time in business?” Helicon invests a sizeable amount of resources into the equipment used to ensure that every project is done right the first time. Click Here to find out about Helicon’s latest technology advance in drilling equipment, the “TRX-1000”.
6. May I speak with some of your customers?
Reputable companies will readily provide you with customer testimonials that can be verified. In some instances, you may be given the opportunity to walk through a job site under the supervision of a foreman. Helicon provides video customer testimonials on their website. You can read about or listen to customers give their testimonials in great detail. Click here to find out what some of our customers are saying about Helicon.
Trusting your “Gut Feeling”
After you have completed your research and had the opportunity to talk to a number of contractors, you will then be ready to make an informed choice. Your decision will be determined by “hard facts,” such as the ones discussed here. You will also take into consideration how you were treated by the company’s representatives before you committed to getting the repairs done. Were you given a “sales pitch” or did the company’s representatives help you become an informed consumer? How well did the company’s representatives answer difficult questions; for example, how would they handle damage to your property in the unlikely event it occurred? Sinkhole repair costs can sometimes be unpredictable. Ask the company’s representatives to explain how they handle unexpected costs.
While there are many well-qualified sinkhole repair companies in Florida, Helicon prides itself in being an industry leader. With a decade of experience in the field, Helicon provides the highest quality of service at competitive prices. Helicon’s primary goal is to ensure that your experience is as worry-free as possible. At Helicon, we keep our promises.