10 Things to Think About Before You Hire a Basement Waterproofer

I have been in business for over 25 years, and I have seen many companies take advantage of homeowners. Waterproofing is a very important part of your home. If you can take 5 minutes to read my top 10 ways I’ve seen customers get taken advantage of, it could save you money and years of aggravation.

1.“Lifetime Guarantee”

Who’s lifetime? A lot of companies have a “Concrete” guarantee; they guarantee their work until their truck leaves your concrete driveway! What they guarantee is that they will be gone when you need them. Most contractors give warranties, but exactly what do they guarantee? Here at Frank’s, we give you a written warranty. We specify exactly what is covered and for how long, and we put it in writing. If there is a problem that develops that needs to be addressed, you’ll know you have our company to stand behind our work; we guarantee it! Our warranty offers complete care, with no hidden charges for materials or labor in the event of a failure, and we put it in writing. Frank’s offers a 24-hour return call policy, with a 48 hour home visit when necessary. This warranty can also be transferred should you decide to sell your home to a new owner. We leave your house, but we don’t leave you. We stand behind the work we do for you, and when you need us we will be there.

2.“Thousands of Satisfied Customers”

Where? What cities? Are they here in this area, or are they part of a larger franchise or network of companies that aren’t really represented by the local contractor? Frank’s is a local company, we only work in the Buffalo Niagara region, and we have been in business since 1985! We use no sub-contractors or out-of-state workers, and we don’t offer an out-of-state warranty.

3. “Sure! We have insurance”

This has to be my personal favorite. What kind of insurance; Auto Insurance? At Frank’s we not only have Liability Insurance, but an entire suite of coverage including Worker’s Compensation. If a family member or friend of your contractor gets hurt working at your house, you (the homeowner) are responsible unless the contracting company carries Worker’s Compensation (which is mandatory in New York State for all legitimate contracting companies). Do yourself a favor and insist not only that the contractor you choose carries insurance, but tell them you want a copy of a current policy showing Workers Compensation and your name listed as Additionally Insured!!!!!!!!!!!!

4.“We leave no mess and clean up”

This is another good one. At Frank’s, no job is considered complete until we take care of your property. When we work in your basement we don’t consider the job complete until we clean up your basement. It will be at least as clean as when we started, and we don’t leave until you are happy.

5.$$$ We will have to dig up your entire basement to waterproof $$$

STOP! Waterproofing is not a Once-Size-Fits-All solution. Frank’s will send out a specialist in system design to expertly evaluate your concerns, and then we will tell you what your options are. Some basement leaks are simple to repair and would not require extensive and intrusive demolition of your basement. Sure some leaks are more involved. Some may even cause your sump pump to back up or your washing machine to back up, but you cannot determine the exact cause without looking at the issues individually with a qualified expert. I personally guarantee that my company will find out what your problem is, and then we’ll give you options. We will dry out your basement without drying out your wallet!

6. “Financing”

Financing can sound great for low amounts like $99 a month that some companies promise. If you have to finance your repair, understand that usually financing comes at a premium just like a credit card and may actually cost you over 20% interest. At Frank’s, we are NOT the finance company. We work with the right companies to get you the best financing terms, and often can get you introductory financing with no payments and no interest. We offer that financing at the same terms as if you paid us cash.

7. “Referrals”

“Pick any one off this list.” Wow! Grandparents. Uncle Louie. Personal friends or paid references. Is the other company you are thinking about a Member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau? Are they members of the appropriate certifying organizations like the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors, Inc. (NAWSRC) and the Home Improvement Council (HIC)? At Frank’s we encourage you to look for yourself. Go to the BBB website. We are members in good standing with a number of fine organizations. We also can provide you with a list of customers to view for references. With over 15,000 satisfied customer names, you will probably find someone you know personally. We will even go farther. At any time you can call our office and get the addresses of jobs we are currently working on in your area. Go to the job site and see how the work looks. Talk to the homeowners. See how we leave job sites. Ask questions. Don’t just take our word for it; see for yourself.

8. Other companies may say, “All our field people wear uniforms and our trucks are clean”

That’s great, but what does it mean? At Frank’s we also have clean trucks and wear safety vests, but what is more important than just our look is that we make sure all our people are periodically tested for drugs. We do regular in-house training, reinforcing time-tested techniques as well as teaching new technology and techniques for the many types of repairs we do. We also train our people to succeed with customer service, respecting both you and your personal property. You can be assured of having the very finest people working at your home.

9. “This job doesn’t need a permit”

That is like saying, “It’s not going to snow this winter” when you live in Buffalo. Please be careful! Nearly every waterproofing job done in Western New York will require a plumbing permit and will need to be inspected by a town official upon completion. Don’t just take my word for it; call your local Plumbing Inspector and ask them. At Frank’s, we have on staff our own licensed Master Plumbers and we carry plumbing licenses in every town we work in.

10. “I can save you money if you pay us with cash”

Please think about this one. Don’t find yourself asking,

“Hey, where’s my warranty?”

“What about permits for this job?”

“What happens if I have a problem later?”

“What if I sell my house?”

“What do I do with all this water?”

Beware of a company who asks you for cash. When a contractor tries to get you to pay with cash, you may find yourself with a lot of unanswered questions.

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Frank's Basement Systems
2080 Military Rd
Tonawanda, NY 14150
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