Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Basement Construction Firm
With so many retrofit and shell and core basement contractors in London to choose from, making the right decision for a project and specific property can often be a daunting task. To streamline this process, Knowles has put together a handy list of questions that can tell you everything you need to know about a basement contractor, before you even hire them.
How Do You Train Your Employees?
No matter how long a company has been in the retrofit basement industry, or how good their reputation is, it doesn’t do any good if the crew turning up to the site isn’t really up to speed with the scope of the project. A trustworthy basement contractor knows that, everybody has to start somewhere, but on location is not that starting point. Look for a basement contractor with a solid protocol for training – especially on vital issues in the highly specialised field of basement construction; such as health and safety, community consideration and waterproofing.
What Was Your Most Challenging Experience With A Basement Project And How Did You Overcome It?
This question can lead you to a surplus of insightful information on the potential basement firm being reviewed. As far as expertise is concerned, if the basement contractor’s ‘most challenging experience,’ sounds remarkably similar to what you are planning, that could either be a red flag (if they were not able to overcome the issues you might face, in the previous example) or a relief (if they are now much better equipped to manage such trials in the future).
Additionally, you want a basement construction firm that, when faced with such complications, shows a real inclination towards a strong work ethic and personal accountability. Did they understand best practice in that situation and do further investigation independently, or did they simply ‘wing it’ and hope for the best?
How Do You Choose Your Suppliers?
Consider, if you will, the old adage of ‘follow the money.’ Often, suppliers and basement contractors have mutually beneficial arrangements in place. That should not necessarily leave a bad taste in one’s mouth per se, but equally, you don’t want to hire a basement contractor who went with the supplier predominantly because of kick backs. A reputable basement construction firm will have focused on quality and reputation above all else, in a supplier partnership.
What Local Code Will Need To be Taken Into Consideration For This Basement Project?
The last thing you want is a retrofit basement that isn’t compliant with local codes. A good basement construction firm should be able to swiftly run through the codes that apply to your specific project, explain why these codes exist, and describe how they will perform their work in accordance with these codes.
What Basement Or Construction Trade Associations Do You Belong To?
Licensing and code requirements can vary a great deal from project to project. But even if your specific basement project has strict requirements, they are, after all, requirements. A basement construction form who voluntarily joins an organisation that holds its members to high standards is demonstrating a commitment to do more than just the bare minimum.
Membership of the ASUC (Association of Specialist Underpinning Contractors) , for example, ensures that your contractors are professionally and technically competent, and insured within the subsidence industry, so you can trust them to do the job well. An added membership to look out for when reviewing a basement firm is the ‘Considerate Constructors Scheme,’ which shows a willingness to respect the local community, protect the environment, prioritise safety and value their workforce.
While some answers to these questions are better than others – and there are a few that should set off red flags – the way they’re answered is important, too. Look for an individual that can answer confidently, without constantly referring to notes or calling to check with someone else.