This Old House Reviews Team Foundation Review Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and data to support our ratings and recommendations. Our team does comprehensive research to make our recommendations, such as analyzing company websites, conducting mystery shopping calls to providers, engaging with on-site chat functions when available, reading more than 50 reviews per company, surveying homeowners, and interviewing industry experts. This allows us to recommend the companies we feature confidently.
Foundation Research Process
Our research process focuses on understanding each provider’s reputation, product quality, customer service, pricing, and availability. Below are the steps we take.
We look at point ratings and customer reviews across multiple credible review sites to gauge customer experiences with each provider. When available, we read at least 50 customer reviews per company we recommend. We look at both positive and negative feedback on the following sites:
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Best Company
- Consumer Affairs
- Google Reviews
In addition to listening to customers, we interact with companies’ websites and customer service teams as a homeowner would. Here are some of the steps we take:
- Browsing company websites
- Chatting with a representative if there’s an online chat feature
- Requesting an online quote
- Calling customer service to ask questions or get a quote
- Reading sample contracts
We request quotes from every foundation company we research. We then compare average prices to determine which providers offer the best value for homeowners.
We interview foundation experts and other industry professionals to give us further insight into real-life applications and foundation business trends.
Factors Evaluated To Compare Foundation Companies
We apply our data to our review standards and use it to rate companies. We evaluate each provider in seven comparison categories: foundation repair services, basement waterproofing services, crawl space services, concrete services, financing options, warranty options, and additional benefits.
Each of these categories include common company features that we assign a point value to. We total these points for an overall category score, then add up the category scores for an overall provider score. These standards are on a 100-point scoring system, with the categories outlined below. Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.
Foundation Repair Services
This is our most heavily weighted category. We give a provider two points for each common foundation repair it performs. Here are the repair services we look for:
- Carbon fiber reinforcement
- Cracked brick or block repairs
- Learning chimney repairs
- New construction pier services
- Pier installation
- Retaining/stabilizing walls
- Soil nails
- Timber pile support
- Wall anchors
Basement Waterproofing Services
We also check whether a company provides common basement waterproofing services. We give providers two points for offering each of the following:
- Basement dehumidifying
- Drainage system installation
- Emergency foundation/waterproofing services
- Sump pumps
- Vapor barriers
- Window wells
Crawl Space Services
Providers get two points for catering to each of the following crawl space needs:
- Crawl space encapsulation
- Crawl space support jacks
- Insulation services
- Vapor barriers
Companies get two points for providing each of these common concrete services:
- Concrete caulking for cracks
- Concrete leveling outside of slab foundation
- New construction concrete services
- Sinking concrete slab repairs
We look at how many financing options a company offers to gauge its convenience and flexibility for customers. We give providers two points for accepting cash or card, which are standard.
We then give providers four points each for the following payment options:
- Payment plan through a third party
- A secondary payment plan option
- Fully customizable financing
- Same-as-cash option
We carefully review warranties to ensure companies provide adequate coverage for their services. We give companies five points for offering a manufacturer warranty and 10 points for giving customers a transferable lifetime warranty.
We look at any additional benefits a company offers outside of its direct service. This can position one company over another if it scores equally in other categories. We award points for the following:
- Serving commercial properties (5 points)
- Having an informative blog (2 points)
- Providing resource videos (2 points)
- Displaying a photo gallery of past work (2 points)
- Offering an online customer portal (2 points)
- Including eco-friendly products and services (4 points)
Factor Weights for Rating Foundation Companies
Below are the designated weights for each of our categories.
|Percentage of Overall Score
Foundation repair services
Basement waterproofing services
Crawl space services
How To Interpret Company Ratings
We consider companies that score a 90 or above excellent. Those that score between 80 and 89 are still good companies as far as reputation and services but may have lost points for factors that are less consequential to some readers, such as not serving commercial properties or offering payment options beyond card or cash. We rarely recommend a company with a score below 80, though when we do, we explain why the provider lost points and why we still feature it on our list.
How To Choose the Best Foundation Company for You
Consider the following when choosing a foundation company:
- Availability: First, check to see which providers are available in your area.
- Services: Next, confirm the company offers the service(s) you’re looking for.
- Warranty: While a transferable warranty is a positive, look for at least a manufacturer warranty to guarantee coverage.
- Price: Get a quote online or over the phone. Compare prices across at least three companies to get the best deal.
- Financing options: Cash and card are standard payment options, but if you need to go another route, check that a company offers other means of payment.
- Customer service: We suggest reading a company’s customer reviews to gauge customer satisfaction. It’s also a good idea to call and speak with a representative to get a feel for service standards and get any questions answered.
About the This Old House Reviews Team
The This Old House Reviews Team is an independent editorial team of subject matter experts who champion the categories and home services we recommend. From the beginning stages of research to the published review articles, our team works diligently to center your interests by identifying common pain points, connecting with people with firsthand knowledge and experience, and crafting content that meets the needs of our audience. We aim to help first-time homebuyers, potential sellers, budget-conscious homeowners, and others from all walks of life streamline their decision-making process for selecting their home services.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.