Tips on selecting the right drainage contractor
- References. You project is serious business and we've all seen those TV programmes where a bad contractor has literally ruined someone's home. Get as many references as you can from previous customers.
- Get a guarantee. In writing. Beware of contractors who don't offer a good guarantee! If they are confident in their work, they will have no problem offering up a guarantee.
- Do not be swayed by price. Good drainage contractors do not work for peanuts, but prices can vary. You should rely more on references, guarantees, and their knowledge of the subject. It’s okay to shop around a bit until you find a good fit.
- Preferably, a scale drawing should be available. This is a big bonus when it comes to drainage work.
- Maintenance plans. Inevitably, there will be some aspects of your drainage solution that may need to be maintained down the road. For example, grass swales may generate silt that will need to be removed. Leaves could build up on drain grates. Your contractor should either explain to you how to deal with future maintenance requirements or create a schedule for their crew to come out and check on and maintain your system regularly.
- A reputable contractor won’t always jump to the most expensive solution. Sometime your problems may be due to things as simple as too much shade from large trees or insufficient gutters. These are problems with relatively simple solutions. This isn’t always the case, but when it is, a good contractor will let you know!
- Highly regarded contractors will always “call before they dig”. It is possible for them to easily obtain information from the city about where gas, water, and electrical lines enter your yard, but as a responsible customer, it is imperative that you inform your contractor where anything else may be buried in your yard. This includes pumps, invisible dog fences, outdoor lighting wires, sewer lines, cables, irrigation systems, etc. If it’s in the ground, let them know before they start to dig!
Good questions to ask include:
- What sort of guarantee can you offer me?
- Can you show me examples of your work?
- Do you have many references?
- What is causing my drainage problem?
- How are you going to solve this problem?
- Why is this a good solution for the problem?
- How will I maintain the system that you install?
- Do you offer a maintenance program?
- How long will this solution be effective?