Sometimes, customers tell us they were advised by other foundation repair contractors that they can do a foundation investigation, make recommendations, design a repair plan and pricing at a one visit event. Sure, this sounds really convenient when you are in a hurry…. but as noted in my last blog, it doesn’t do any good to shoot accurately if aiming at the wrong target. (link to blog)
There are several reasons why a one time visit to diagnose a foundation problem, recommend a solution and signing a contract is not optimal for hitting the right target:
- The amount of foundation and symptom data to gather, analyze, and process to do with any amount of assurance is almost impossible in a one time visit. (see my series on the 12 steps to diagnose foundation problems)
- A well-documented, common flaw in human thinking is confirmation bias. It is easy to go to a site, form a hasty opinion about what the foundation problem may be and without anyone else to check it, look for supporting data, ignoring data that does not fit the current thinking and come to the wrong conclusion. The more eyes to examine the observations and conclusions, the better!
- The person doing sales type work are generally not the detailed, analytical type needed to process data objectively and carefully; nor are they typically licensed engineers. Sales people generally don’t have that type of personality. If it is done in one visit it really should be done by someone other than a salesperson and those types of personalities rarely will be comfortable doing a rush job in one visit.
- Many times it takes time and patience to reexamine the original thinking and challenge it make sure the original assumptions and conclusions are not overlooking vital data. This lends itself to not doing it on a one-time visit.
- As discussed in my last blog, the observations, assumptions, and conclusions need to be supported by the data and have the oversight of a licensed professional engineer. Unless the engineer is the one going to the site, it would be impossible to do on site in one visit.
I have polled many engineers on this subject. Not one would be willing to go the site, gather data, make assumptions, analyze the data, come to conclusions, make recommendations and develop a repair plan in one visit.
So when you hear that foundation repair contractors, who tout that they without the oversight of a licensed engineer, give an immediate onsite foundation repair evaluation, you need to be very skeptical that the results will be hitting the right target.