Today we are going to discuss the practice that some companies refer to as “Foot in the door” estimates.
What is a “Foot in the door” estimate?
This is an estimate in which a company comes to a house to inspect a foundation, floor leveling, drainage, or other service and provides an estimate for partial repair, which is much lower than any of the similar estimates a client receives. For the points of this blog we can focus on foundations.
In this situation we will use Foundation Company X, Foundation Company Y, and Foundation Company Z as our Companies providing estimates in our example.
Related: What to expect at your inspection
Foundation Company X comes to the house, examines the foundation and offers an estimate of $9,000 with the job lasting 2-3 days and minimal disturbance to your yard or garden.
Foundation Company Y comes to the residence, examines the foundation and offers an estimate of $10,500 with the job lasting only 2 days and considerable disturbance to yard or landscaping.
Foundation Company Z comes to the house offers an estimate of $4,000 for 1/3 of the house with the job lasting 3 or more days and disturbance to only the part of the house being repaired.
All needed repairs for a typical house with standard foundation damage start around $8,000 -$13,000 but also can go as high as $22,000 -$35,000.
-via Cost of Foundation Repair – Get Prices and Estimates – CostHelper.com.
Many times, a company arrives to a residential house, inspects the foundation and gets an understanding for what a client is wanting to invest. Most people are not likely to be ready to pay $9K – $13K for a foundation repair.
Possibly only a section of the house is currently being affected by foundation problems. In this case Foundation Company Z may claim that simply 1/3 of the house is now affected by foundation problems and that for a very much cheaper ($4,000 in this case) the issue can be repaired.
Sounds great, right?
Naturally if part of a house is sagging, or experiencing foundation problems, the soil under the house is identical all over, and more than probably at some point in the coming future the other sections of the residence will require foundation repair.
Firm Z knows that, once the following part of your residence began sagging, you are more than likely to call them back to do the repairs on that section of the house. This means more disruption to your garden a couple of more days of having firm Z at your house, and more cause of stress.
Let’s assume over 4 years your entire residence ends up needing foundation repair, you pay $4000 every time firm Z comes out and they are there for 3 days every time. That is a total of $16,000 dollars over 4 years additionally 12 days of repair time on your residence. Including the time they spend coming out to examine the house each time they are called.
In comparison to the other 2 estimates this would be more time than necessary and more expensive than both estimates. So in the long run the client could have spent definitely more than they had planned and could have had much more time dealing with foundation repairs than required.
Be practical, if a residence is having foundation problems the whole house has to be fixed, even if some parts of the house are not indicating signs. Putting a band-aid on a wound doesn’t heal the wound.
For a free* estimate on foundation repair in Los Angeles, California contact California Foundation Works. Call today! 323-418-2239