Although you might not have heard of the job title, this is an essential part of the skilled trades with growing opportunities for those willing to take the plunge.
By Alex Berezowski
Are you interested in a career as a foundation repair contractor? There are plenty of homes, businesses, and other properties in need of the skills and services of a trained and experienced professional. That being said, getting there is half the fun, rich with rewarding skills development opportunities, and there are several things you need to know before jumping into the profession.
With that in mind, here are some essential tips for all prospective foundation repair contractors out there. Let’s get started.
Learn the Fundamentals
Obtaining a proper education from an applicable post-secondary institution enables you to learn the essentials of foundation repairs. Not only that, but you’ll pick up a few extra skills and techniques along the way, especially if your programming of choice is more involved and includes a field placement.
To become an Ottawa foundation repair contractor, you first need to develop a firm grasp of what causes foundation damage, how to look for telltale signs and red flags, and in what manner to safely address them. From the selection of appropriate materials and following correct repair steps to curing, dealing with footings, and preventative measures, there’s a lot of ground to cover. You should be able to diagnose situations, identify risk elements, and take appropriate actions to ensure the right type of foundation repair for every common scenario quickly and accurately.
Obtain a License and Keep it Active
Depending on where you are in the world, there are different requirements for those seeking to obtain a license as a foundation repair contractor. In order to legally operate as one in a specific state, province, or another region, you must meet all the eligibility criteria for a license approved for working in that area. Check with your local contractor laws, rules, and regulations to confirm what is needed beforehand.
In order to build a reputation for solid work (a little foundation pun there), you need clients. In order to attract them, while licensing is essential, a prospective foundation repair contractor shouldn’t overlook the benefits of being certified by a reputable local or national organization. For example, the National Certified Foundation Repair Specialist accreditation is offered only to those with two complete years of industry (either in foundation evaluation, estimating, or field supervision), employment by another certified member, and evidence of operating correctly like a portfolio demonstrating your workmanship.
This is one of several options available to you, which will vary depending on where you live and intend to operate in the long run. Regardless, the more certifications you can not only rack up but also maintain renewals with, the more trust a prospective client will place in your capabilities.
Never Skip on Insurance!
We sometimes hear of prospective clients planning a large job with a so-called contractor, with everything going smoothly. However, upon asking for proof of insurance before starting the job, the latter will back out and say they’re “not the right fit” for the client. This is not how to do business as a true professional, especially for work that shouldn’t be treated as a mere hobby like foundation repairs. The client is relying on you to be prepared for every eventuality, including compensation for any workers alongside you injured during a job or worse.
The last thing you want is to leave a prospect on the hook for medical bills, the financial stress of a structurally unstable home caused by an error on your part, or otherwise. Therefore, workers’ compensation and liability insurance policies should be active before you go anywhere near a client’s foundation. Your policy should align with the type of work you’re doing so the client is never left to pick up the cost of repairing damage caused or other issues that may arise.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your career as a dedicated foundation repair contractor. It’s an exciting role with plenty of adventures and opportunities ahead, and we hope that these pointers help you set off in the right direction.
About the author:
Alex Berezowski, Owner and General Manager of The Foundation Experts Inc. Alex has trained extensively as a certified concrete and masonry repair technician and is an indoor air quality specialist with over 25 years of hands-on experience in foundation structural repair and waterproofing. The Foundation Experts Inc. provides the highest level of product and service for foundation repairs to homeowners in the greater Ottawa region with a high level of knowledge, insight, and communication that, according to many of their clients, is unrivaled in the construction industry, in both official languages.