It had been mentioned previously on the ‘iFix Rebooted’ post that, among the different categories that these blog posts will fall under, there was one called ‘The Human Touch’. This is a type of post that instead of being written or conceived directly by us at iFix, will be based directly on the words of our clients. This will be iFix as seen and experienced by you, our clients.
Sometimes our clients will speak these words directly through interviews, some other times it will be a direct recount of their first-hand experiences. This post is the latter.
For the purpose of this first ‘Human Touch’ post we will be dealing with Bryan’s experience with us. However his situation was a bit of an odyssey, and we enter his story only at the very end of his long and extenuous journey to get his home back into shape.
So when Bryan first contacted us he was asking for a Pier and Beam estimate. Simple enough, right? And so we went, following our destiny. Or the GPS at the very least. Now Bryan’s house is in Forth Worth; a lovely little house with almost a hundred years of history, even tho it does not look it. Now when we got there we met Bryan in person and set out to make the inspection. (If you want to know exactly what a Pier and Beam inspection is all about, we have an upcoming post about it, so stay tuned)
However as we were at it we noticed there was something curious about it all. The more we looked around the crawl space the more it was evident that a previous repair had already taken place rather recently. We asked Bryan about this and indeed another company had just worked on repairing his foundation, however he wanted to corroborate the current state of his house because of the evident bad workmanship of the previous company.
Now this is where things get interesting. Obviously we had to speak with the truth. We saw no signs of a job badly done. ‘But how could this be? There is damage all around the house!’. He was baffled. And although he was right about there being sequels brought upon by the repairing of the foundation, all of these were only natural given the situation.
Ok, let us go back. So far we’ve recounted the story as we first entered it and the information we’ve given you is the information as we received it. So encountering this specific situation made us ask Bryan about everything that happened before iFix came on board.
We mentioned that his house is both Pier and Beam and almost a hundred years old. As it is only natural, after such an extent of time the wood begins to get damaged. This is pretty much unavoidable. Think of it as a bookshelf. After years of holding those huge (and most likely unread) university tomes, the weight begins to bend the wood out of shape. It is exactly the same thing with Pier and Beam houses. Add to that elements like weather, humidity or the possibility of pests and it is only a matter of time before a repair is needed.
So what made Bryan realize his house might need a foundation repair? Well, he mentioned that in several areas of the house the floor was uneven; some doors were no longer closing as were some of the windows. There was some creaking too. He remembers how a feeling of helplessness had begun to overcome him during the past few weeks. This was his home after all and it’s integrity was suddenly in question.
However Bryan acted quickly. Sure, it might be a costly expense, and none of us would want to ever deal with a faulty foundation, but the alternative was unthinkable. He did his research and came upon the foundation repair company that he eventually hired. And sure enough everything he saw about the company spoke of experience and professionalism. Seemed like a perfectly reasonable option.
And so they came. They made their inspection and per Bryan’s word: ‘They promised they would take care of it and completely fix the problem’. They certainly gave the appearance of knowing exactly what they were talking about as they went through the state of his house. And whatever fears had taken hold of him as they explained the severity of the damage were soon placated by their confidence in fixing it. And the peace of mind this brought to Bryan secured them the job. After all they promised the problem would go away when they were done.
They got to work. Made all the necessary preparations, repairs and adjustments and when they were ready they raised the house. The job was done; the foundation had been repaired. And then came the time for Bryan to see the work they had done. Lo and behold… disillusion. No, that is putting it mildly; Lo and behold… shock and horror. The concrete beam was cracked; the doors could no longer be fully shut, the windows were sticking and one of the bathrooms which had just been recently remodeled had a handful of tiles broken off.
Following the shock of seeing all this came outrage. I mean, wouldn’t you be angry if you were promised your house would be fixed, paid a huge amount of money and this is what you find? Bryan of course let them know what he thought: it had all been a scam, plain and simple. And they would not see a penny from him. And certainly this warranted Bryan to sue them.
But there was still the other problem at hand: his house still needed to be fixed. And so Bryan called yet another company. And so they came. They made their inspection and per Bryan’s word: ‘They said that the previous company had only made some aesthetic arrangements so he could see them ‘working’ and tried to charge their money while leaving a mess in their wake’. ‘Ok, can you fix it? And how much is it going to take?’ ‘Well, it’ll be about 8,000 dollars’. Yup, you heard that right. That is eight grand, additional to the downpayment he made to the previous company.
But what was he to do? The house still had a severe foundation problem.
And then came the fateful moment. Like encountering an oracle in the middle of the desert at the very last of your strength…. came his neighbor. ‘Whatever you do, don’t pay this other company a cent and before you do anything else, call iFix’. No, we are not joking. That is literally what his neighbor told Bryan. And fortunately for him, he did call us.
Now you are up to date about what happened before we came into the picture. And we hope you like plot twists because here comes not one, but two. As it turns out and we mentioned this to Bryan, everything we saw around the foundation told us of a job that had been done the right way. ‘But what about all the damage?’ He (rightly) protested. Well, here’s the thing. And this is something that we always make sure to mention to our clients whenever we carry out an inspection. A foundation repair job consists in fixing the foundation and leveling the house. It is not magic. Most of the time there will be some damage left behind. Generally this will be around plumbing, doors and walls. Remember the example of the bookcase? The same example still applies. After years of pressure the wood of the foundation is bent out of shape. You can always level it back but the deformation of the wood will most likely remain. We will always mention the worst case scenario: if it doesn't happen, all the better. If it does, you were already prepared. So as Ezra Kramer said when hunting down Jason Bourne: ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst’.
Once Bryan understood all this then came the next question: ‘What about everything the second company told me, about actually fixing it?’ Remember what we said about the second plot twist? It was not the first company that tried to scam Bryan, but the second. Most likely they planned to work on some of the esthetics, maybe fix a frame or two and put the tiles back in the walls of the bathroom, fake working on the foundation and charge $8,000 dollars for it. Let that sink in: $8,000 dollars.
We cannot accurately describe Bryan’s face when he heard all this. Vexed would fall short. But among his disbelief there was also relief. After all not only his foundation had been fixed, we had also saved him from throwing 8K down the pipe.
Next thing we did was to tell him he should totally pay the first company what was due. They might have not warned him about the sequels but they had done their job properly.
‘You know, my neighbor wasn’t wrong about you guys. He told me you were the most honest foundation repair company around’ He said warmly, before adding how grateful he was for saving him from throwing a fortune away. There was no point for us to lie to him, or to any client for that matter. Sure, we could’ve made a quick buck out of him like the second company planned to do. But that is not who we are. That is not iFix.
So to cap things off there might be a moral or two to all of this. First is that you always have to have in mind that, as we mentioned, repairing the foundation might sometimes bring upon some sequels. And this is completely natural. The one big mistake that the first company did was to raise the expectations in an unrealistic way. Perhaps innocently, or perhaps to secure the job. But one always has to be completely transparent regarding results and expectations to the clients, otherwise we might find ourselves in a similar situation to this.
And the second moral to this story is: beware of scammers. Unfortunately the second company in this story are not the only ones to try and scam the clients like they tried to do with Bryan, so always beware and compare before selecting a company for your foundation repair.
And so we left; we might not have gained a new job, but we are certain we left a good impression on Bryan and we reaffirmed his neighbor’s confidence in us, and to us that is far more valuable than making a quick buck out of clients.
Having said that, let’s put in a third moral (I mean, who doesn’t like a good trilogy, right?): If you want a job well done from a trustworthy company, with the knowledge of what will happen and what to expect beforehand, and the complete certainty that we will do the best for you and your house, then don’t hesitate to call us. We are iFix. And we are here for you.