I’m often asked what really makes one basement waterproofing company different from the other. Sure, there are nuances on how we fix a crack versus another company. We all offer different lines of back-up sump pumps. And every company will try telling you why their proprietary drain tile system is so much better than the rest. That’s what they must do in order to sell a job.
Another thing you will probably find is basement waterproofing prices are all over the board. Our warranties are often different too. So how do you ever go about making a decision? First, do your research. Our recent article “Hiring a Basement Waterproofing Company - Top 5 Things to Consider” should give you a great start.
Once you have narrowed down your choices to a few companies, it all comes down to references. That’s right, references. I’m not going to say the pricing and warranty doesn’t matter. But with most things in life, you get what you pay for. And a warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it.
You might be thinking everyone must have a reference list, so why bother asking? Or you might have already received a few references from another company. If you did, my guess is you probably didn’t even bother calling them as you assume they wouldn’t give you any bad ones. Maybe you just didn’t feel like calling them. Big mistake!
If you were provided references, how many did they give you? Five or ten? Did you recognize any of the names? Do they live nearby? Were the jobs done long enough ago so you know that the repair held up against multiple rain storms? Did they leave any names off their list? Gotcha thinkin’?
A reputable basement waterproofing contractor that’s been in business for several years should be able to provide you with dozens of local references.
What if I told you I could provide you with a minimum of 40 references, all within a five to ten mile radius from your home? Each referral would not only include the job site addresses, but also phone numbers to call and job completion dates. In fact, if you didn’t recognize any of the names, we’d be willing to search even more for you. When you’ve waterproofed over 300,000 basements, there’s a good chance we’d be able to find a friend, family, co-worker or someone you know. If not, I’m sure you might have heard of a few of these companies we've done work for.
I’m going to leave you with one story. A few months ago, I received a call from a really nice woman in Wilmette who had signed up with us to have an Interior Drain Tile System installed. For the sake of privacy, let’s say her name was Mrs. Jones.
Mrs. Jones was so convinced we were the right company for the job, she didn’t initially bother getting other estimates. When her son heard about what she was doing, he insisted that she get one other estimate. I don’t blame him. He was just being a protective son. I can appreciate that.
So Mrs. Jones called me and asked as a courtesy if I would put her job on hold while she did her due diligence. I obliged. She called me back a few days later. I was thrown off guard by the sudden change in the tone of her voice.
From what I could understand, the other company offered her what she thought was a similar solution for a slightly more competitive price. But price alone wasn’t what swayed her. She said the other company claimed they did more work than anyone else in Wilmette. Having been in the business as long as I have, I knew it was impossible - but she didn’t. In her eyes, the other company wouldn’t lie. Mrs. Jones’ son (whom I never met) found this other company online. He convinced his mom to cancel the job with us. He assumed if they had a website, they had to be reputable, right?
When she called me back asking for her deposit back, I asked how many references the other company provided. Guess how many she got from them? Three! Did she know any of the names? Nope. Did the list include addresses and job completion dates? Not exactly. If they had only done three jobs in Wilmette, I can assure you they weren’t “the biggest”. Wilmette is notorious for basement seepage problems.
So to make a long story short (or shall I say a short story long), I emailed her our referral list. Every referral on the list had an address, phone number and job completion date. And as it turned out, Mrs. Jones knew at least two of the people.
Needless to say, Mrs. Jones ended up going with us. I hope you will too.
If you already had a free consultation and would like a list of referrals, just ask your Advisor. They would be happy to email you a list.
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