25 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Foundation Repair Contractor

Alright – so we’ve been around the block a time or two or three. But, whether you’re a seasoned foundation aficionado or green-horned novice, we all have questions about foundation repair burning deep in our souls.

We’ve compiled the top 25 Q’s we’ve been posed over the years (outside of the existential queries like what is the meaning of life and will I ever get a girlfriend?) My Magic 8 Ball never has the same answer for those lines of inquiry.  

1.  Is the structural polyurethane foam dangerous to my animals?

Structural Polyurethane Foam poses no immediate health risks to you or your furry friends due to our precise, targeted delivery system. 

The expanding foam is dispatched directly beneath your foundation/affected locale and does not emigrate from the treated area. 

That being said, if your pooch has a B-General Building Contractor License and access to SPF, we never advocate it as a dietary supplement. 

2. Is there significant noise pollution?

There will be some noise, but we’re not talking about a System of the Down concert. 

A typical foundation repair project involves jackhammers, generators, and hydraulic motors (nothing above 100 decibels). 

And this noise is intermittent and never a continuous ‘round-the-clock cacophony. We adhere to all neighborhood noise regulations and curfews.  

3.  How long will the process take (from start to finish)?

The timeframe for a lift/stabilization project is contingent on the magnitude of the project. On average, we are in-and-out in only 1-2 weeks.  

4. What time will the crew get here in the morning? When will they leave?

We prefer to begin our jackhammering around 4:00 am…said no one ever. Our foremen always give you an on-the-way phone call to let you know their ETA. 

Typically, our crews arrive on-site around 8:00 a.m. and roll out by 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Before we leave, we always cover all open excavations and we never leave tools onsite. 

Our crews strictly adhered to OSHA’s safety regulations and work hard to ensure a safe job site.  

5.  What are the measures you are taking to ensure customer safety against COVID-19? 

First and foremost: your health and safety are always our top priority. We recognize COVID-19 poses unique communication restrictions and all of our design specialists follow CDC guidelines. When we meet with you, we:

  • Wear masks
  • Wear cute little foot booties
  • Keep a distance
  • Sanitize all tools prior to entering your home
  • Sanitize all tools prior to exiting your home
  • Use copious amounts of hand sanitizer

We take COVID-19 very seriously. Any team member who was potentially exposed is sent home for two-weeks (no matter how many times they test negative during that time).

In addition, anyone who has even a sniffle is immediately sent home and tested. In short, if Dr. Fauci had acolytes – we’re those groupies.  

6. Will you need to use my electricity for your drills/equipment?

NopeNadaNah. We have our own generators that run all of our heavy equipment. And say, for example, we were to use your electricity, the so-called spike in the electricity bill would be negligible.

7. Will the foundation lift cause any structural damage to my house?

Abso-freaking-lutely not. Take comfort in the knowledge that your precious load-bearing walls, wooden-skeletal-frame, and foundation slab are all safe

However, the monkey-wrench is there is a good chance there may be surface, cosmetic damage if you tried to fix these eyesore issues before your home was returned to maximum practical recovery. 

Plaster might pop back out, things of that nature.

The vast majority of these issues can be easily remedied with a little plaster and a little paint after the lift/stabilization is completed – then you’ll never have to touch up again.

 It is imperative to wait to remodel until your foundation has been stabilized. 

We always work with the homeowner every step of the way (even through the micro-steps) to ensure the homeowner’s goals are met. 

8. How long is the warranty?

We have a lifetime warranty for all steel pier systems that covers material, labor, and peace of mind. In addition, our polyurethane has a 10-year warranty

The one caveat is: we can’t guarantee we’ll be as good-looking in a decade or two – but we’ll do our best.  

9.  Is there financing/different payment options?  

Of course! We offer competitive financing through outside companies whose interest rates will keep you interested. (*Note – these rates and terms are all based on credit). 

Some clients refinance their homes to pull in the Benjamins needed, but most clients qualify for a small loan (about the loan size of a car).

10.  Is it really worth the financial investment?

It. Is. Definitely. Worth. The. Financial. Investment. It’s damn near impossible to sell your home if you suffer from foundation woes.

You’ll be forced to sell to a cash buyer, which directly translates into at least 30% off your home’s value.

In addition, any remodeling you take on before your foundation is properly repaired – you’ll just have to do it again. It’s like Groundhog Day except you’re not using the same money over and over again.  

Your home is your biggest investment. Provide you and your family peace of mind by knowing your foundation is stable and secure.   

11.  Will the construction workers need to use my restrooms? 

Nope. We rent porta potties for when nature calls, especially when we know we’ll be on a project longer than 3 days.

12.  Will the foundation lift damage my neighbor’s property?

Not unless you pay us extra. Obviously, just kidding – the foundation lift/stabilization does not and will not affect your neighbor’s property. All of our work is incredibly localized. We’re like precision surgeons – our work is laser-focused only on the affected area.  

13.  Will it change the topography of my yard?

Never. Your koi pond, swing set, flowerbeds, and hot tub are safe. We subscribe to a ninja-esque espionage mentality. Once the stabilization or lifting process is complete, it looks like we were never even there.  


14.  Will it affect my swimming pool?

Your swimming pool will not be affected unless we are working directly on your pool; in which case, your pool will be improved by our stabilization.  

But be warned, if you have pool noodles or pink flamingo floaties, we just might be tempted to take a dip.  

15.  Can I be home during the process?

Absolutely. We actually recommend that homeowners are there at the beginning of a project and the end.

You’ll definitely want to see the construction crescendo/climax when we lift your house. Trust me, you’ll want a big bag of popcorn handy. 

16.  Will I need to have my home lifted again in the future?

Your odds are better at winning the lotto than needing us to come out and repair your foundation again. 

So, if for some reason you ever do need to call-collect on your warranty, go buy Powerball ASAP. We always shoot for a one-and-done lift and stabilization process. 

But if the wrong stars align or mercury is in retrograde or whatever – your warranties have you covered.

17.  Are my gas/power/water lines in danger of being hurt?

Not likely – gas, water, and power lines all settle with the home. We always take all the precautions we can, utilize DigAlert, and identify all utility locations long before a shovel even hits the dirt.

18.  Will you have to pull up my favorite shrubbery to access my footings?

Unfortunately, in some select cases, we may have to pull up your favorite-baby-bush. It all depends upon optimal pier location; however, never fear, we have green thumbs

We always go out of our way to protect loved plants and shrubbery. And, if they do need to be temporarily relocated, we have had success returning said greenery back to their natural habitat. 

19.  Are you insured/bonded/protected in case you are injured on the job?  

In the unlikely event a Dalinghaus Construction employee is injured on the job, the homeowner is never held liable. We are insured up the wazoo.  

20.  I just put in an addition last summer. Does that complicate the process?

Additions, if not properly demarcated, can complicate the planning process. Typically, this just adds thirty minutes to your inspection time to nail out the exact location of the additions.

We cover this potential hiccup and more in our blog post How Long Does a Foundation Inspection Take & What Can Add Time.  

21.  Comparably, how are you priced against your competition?

Well, at our last price-fixing conference in Switzerland, all of the construction-Dons decided on a rough ball-park premium of about $24,000 per home. 

Of course, I am joking (for legal purposes), but most of the foundation-repair companies in Southern California are similarly priced. 

That’s why it’s imperative to compare apples-to-apples if you get several bids/proposals. Here, check out our competent competition in the 5 Best Foundation Repair Companies in Southern California.  

22.  What am I going to get from you after the inspection?

Our ultimate goal is to provide you with peace of mind. Either your foundation is in superb-tip-top-shape or requires some TLC. Either way – knowledge is power. 

Upon the completion of our inspection, you will receive a full report that summarizes your foundation’s issues and an accurate CAD drawing.

Unlike some of our competitors, we pride ourselves on including all of the floor evaluation measurements. Some unsavory gents and disreputable companies sneakily omit important measurements. 

The goal is to leverage or finesse “the big picture” to increase your bill. They may want you to lift your whole house when just lifting a section would do – for example.  

23.  How long does the permitting process take?

Great question! Let us know if you figure it out (we’d love to know).  

Permit. It’s almost an obscenity – the dirtiest of dirty words in the construction biz. The permitting process depends on the city. We typically see an average of 4-12 weeks to get your permit. 

If you would like more specific information on the city you live in, please feel free to drop us a line so we can provide you averages.

24. Do you have engineers on staff?  

We have no engineers on staff. We do this because we don’t want any conflicts of interest.

Some of our competitors have engineers in-house and it allows them to make recommendations that might not necessarily be the right or most cost-effective fix. 

We work with the best in the industry, including Waypoint Engineering, Helfrich & Associates, and Engineering Services & Design of SoCal, Inc.   

25.  Are you qualified? Why should I listen to you?

We have a long litany of swanky certifications and licenses. We have a:

  • B-General Building Contractor License
  • C-61/D30 – Pile Driving/Pressure Foundation Jacking License
  • C-8 – Concrete License
  • A – General Engineering Contractor License
  • A License to Kill (in crayon up on my office wall, not certified by MI6…yet)

Ok, so we have nothing to do with Her Majesty’s favorite double-O agent, but we have over 50 years of combined foundation experience and have stabilized over 1,200 foundations in Southern California alone.  

Read more: Importance of reputable reviews

What Else Do you Need to Know? 

Admittedly, we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to questions about foundation repair.

Did we miss a specific question you’re itching to ask? Please contact us if you have any further questions and take a look at the slew of articles we already have for you to soak in:   

3 Common Problems with Foundation Repair

You can book your Free Foundation Inspection through the button below. 


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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