Blog: Just Because You Know How to Build a Retaining Wall Doesn’t Mean You Should Take it On
Posted: May 14, 2012 | Posted By: Planet Handyman (Larry Hall)
For many people, the idea of tackling every home improvement project that comes up is a source of pride. This is great if you’re a general contractor, but if you don’t happen to fall under that category, you might find that your knowledge falls a bit short.
Take retaining walls for example. Retaining walls are built in order to hold back earth and stabalize a slope. This is a major undertaking in many cases and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do it on your own with the tools that the average do it yourselfer will have. That’s why in this case, even though you know how to build a retaining wall, you should probably call the right contractor to do the job.
Who should you call?
If you’ve decided that you don’t want to take this project on yourself, then it’s time to call in a professional. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, you can do a simple business search in the yellow pages online and will probably have good luck, as not every contractor does this kind of thing, so if they do, it will likely be advertised.
If you can find them, take the names and numbers of at least three individuals and visit their website if they have one.
How the process begins
Once you’ve chosen three contractors or so who advertise that they build retaining walls, you should start making your phone calls. You should have a list of questions to ask such as:
- How many retaining walls has the contractor built?
- How long has the contractor been in business?
- Roughly how long does it take for an average sized retaining wall to be completed?
- Does the contractor have references?
- Is the contractor current on insurance and licenses?
Once this part is done, it’s likely that you will set up an appointment for a contractor to come to you and give you a quote. Quotes should be in paper and include details such as the start and end date, approximate cost, and payment terms of the project.
How to choose
You’re going to want to get a good deal on your retaining wall, but you should also choose the contractor that you felt the most comfortable working with. Once you have your three quotes and have taken some notes, it’s time to decide which one you want to work with. This is the time to do some research on your own of the contractor or company if you haven’t already. Take the time to familiarize yourself with references, other properties that they have worked on and, in many cases, reviews of the contractor and his or her work.
Before you let work begin, be sure to get a contract and take the time to read all of it. If there is anything that you don’t agree to, you should talk to your contractor about it and see if you can come up with a fair resolution.
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