If water is coming through your foundation, it’s a good idea to waterproof your walls. But before embarking on this, it’s important to know what the process costs and how to get a good estimate. Wet, moldy, and musty basements are a serious concern for homeowners, so it’s easy to get carried away and spend too much. If you’re informed about the products and process involved, you’ll be able to have good work done for a good price.
When to Consider an Estimate
Before you start getting estimates on waterproofing, whether residential or commercial, you should understand exactly why you’re doing it. Waterproofing walls will prevent water from entering your basement from the outside. There are some large-scale exterior remedies to this problem, such as improving drainage around the house or installing a drywell, but the best way to start is by waterproofing the interior of the basement. If water is coming through your walls, the basement will smell musty and mold can develop, so this is when you want to waterproof your walls. However, if the issue is not with water coming through the walls but the basement is still humid, waterproofing will not solve the problem. This can simply be addressed with a de-humidifier.
Inside or outside?
At this point you may be wondering if waterproofing the interior of the basement really solves the problem. It does, but not nearly as well as waterproofing from the outside. The downside to waterproofing from the outside is that it’s a very involved process and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The best time to do this is during construction, especially if you’re building in an area that supports damp basements. Waterproofing from the outside is simply not practical for many homeowners, so doing the interior is the way to go.
Cost of Materials
Now that you’ve decided to waterproof the interior walls, you should look at the costs of some of the most popular products. If you’re going to be using sealers and coatings, which are similar to paint but much thicker, you should count on the cost of materials being at least $1 per square foot of wall. This includes filling cracks and multiple coats. The price can add up quickly, but it’s important to be very thorough in the application. By cutting corners you may be stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.
Getting the Estimates
Finally it’s time to begin calling contractors for estimates. This can be an intimidating process, especially for those who are less familiar with the process. The most important thing to keep in mind is to shop around and get as many estimates as you possibly can. The more information you get from contractors, the better. So do not be afraid to call around and get a lot of opinions and prices. Something else to be aware of is that it’s not always a good idea to go with the lowest bidder. You have to operate under the assumption that the cost of materials for each bidder is roughly the same. If this is the case, then I would cross off outliers from either end of the spectrum.
If someone is drastically higher or lower than the rest, that’s a red flag. Rather than immediately choose the lowest price, I recommend taking a closer look at the contractors who were in the middle of the pack. This shows that they have a good feel for the market and do not have overhead costs that are prohibitively high or unusually low. This is another reason to get more than a few estimates. The larger the number of bids you receive, the better you’ll be able to determine a fair price.
Keeping Things Fair
There are two types of contracts that you may have presented to you. The first is the “time and materials” format. In this type of contract, the company will send you invoices for material and labor as it’s consumed. There is a time and a place for a T&M contract, but waterproofing a basement is not it. You’ll want to make sure that the bids you receive are for a fixed price. If the project involves demolition or anything that makes it less than straight-forward, you’ll need to allow for the possibility of surprises. If this is the case, you can build a contingency in to your budget which will only be drawn from if something unexpected comes up.
Contact Dirt Connections for Fairfax Waterproofing
In order to help the project go smoothly, ensure that all expectations are understood clearly by both parties. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting what you pay for and the contractor can be sure that he isn’t doing any work for free. Dirt Connections has decades of experiencing in assessing both residential waterproofing and commercial waterproofing projects. To receive an expert quote for your upcoming home or facility waterproofing project, call Dirt Connections or send an online message today.