Waterproofing and finishing your basement does wonder for the value of your home. A home with a damp basement is virtually impossible to sell and leaves the largest single room in your home wet, moldy, and useless. That space can be finished into a beautiful living space at half the cost of an addition. However, one basement contractor is not the same as another. Make sure you protect yourself from scams and potential problems by finding a Basement Finishing in Chicago with an excellent reputation and quality products.
Reliable Basement Finishing in Chicago
The best way to know the great basement finishing and waterproofing contractors in your area is to ask your family, neighbors, and co-workers. You’ll likely be surprised at how much work has already been done! Gather the names of as many honest basement specialists in the area that you can find.
Once you have developed a list, look up their professional reputation. Most importantly, make sure they have an established business, as 50% of contractors will fail within the first five years. An established business will be there if you need them. Also, be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they have a reputation of satisfied customers. A good company will also gladly provide you with references from recent work – follow up your research by calling them.
If you have your basement finished or waterproofed, it is important to find an expert in the field. A carpenter cannot renovate or waterproof your basement, just as a basement finishing contractor cannot build a porch. Many states require a basement specialist to be licensed and registered – check their credentials with your local building department.
Quality basement finishing and waterproofing
It’s a good idea to find at least three estimates if you’re serious about the job. The best basement remodeling and waterproofing specialists are confident enough in their products and work to offer free estimates, so you have nothing to lose. Be sure to inquire about basement waterproofing products and have some basement finishing ideas ready when you meet with the expert.
There are many products available, and each one will have different strengths and weaknesses. If you are finishing your basement, make sure that all the products you install are resistant to mold, moisture, and flames. Wood is always a bad idea in a basement, and carpet should never be placed directly on the basement floor. The best basement waterproofing system for your money will be a perimeter drainage system with a cast-iron sump pump. It is not always best to accept the least expensive estimate offered – make sure you are getting the most for your money.
Basement Remodeling and Water Tanks Waterproofing
Most contractors ask for a 30% deposit upfront, and almost all offer to finance. However, read all financing information carefully, as there are many schemes where the contractor signs you up for “financing” that is really a home equity loan. These loans tend to have very high fees and interest rates. The contractor is often paid by the loan company for their efforts and will usually not be interested in doing the best job possible for your basement.
Do not allow the contractor to pressure you into signing the contract before you are ready or without reading the paperwork. Be very cautious about paying cash and treat basement contractors who ask you for their own licenses with suspicion, as they may not be licensed to do the work. Extremely long warranties on a product are usually too good to be true.
When agreeing to have your basement remodeled or waterproofed, ask for proof that the contractor has worker’s compensation insurance for himself and all other subcontractors. Otherwise, any worker who is injured while on your property can become your financial liability, leading to lawsuits and requiring you to cover expenses and hospital bills for their injuries. This can be a very expensive and stressful situation!