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Why You Should Waterproof The Basement BEFORE You Finish it

When a Family wants to finish a basement first it begins with why. What is the intended use? Will it be a play area for the kids? A bedroom or two for visiting family or friends? A home theater?


Next come the ideas.  This wall here that door there.  This for the floor that for the ceiling.  And then you give up and call in estimates from Basement Finishing Contractors who hopefully can design and built what somewhat resembles what you have pictured in your mind.  And if that is the procedure and you have no knowledge of need for Waterproofing a Basement before you finish it that Contractor isn't going to tell you.  


I own my Company and among the many things I do, master craftsmen,  engineer, movie producer, marketing, installs and what? -  SALES!   Did you know The Basement Waterproofing has no Salesmen?  Anyone who comes to your home to do any kind of estimate will tell you he is an owner, part owner, engineer, someone just helping out with estimates or anything but a salesmen.  When I do an estimate?  I'm a Salesmen.


When you get estimates to finish the Basement the estimate is a Salesmen and that is regardless of Gender. It is a great game. Feel you out. Do a little "dog and pony" show.  If they are good they can do a rough design and hit you with a number.  And it is always going to be $10 - $15 - $20 Thousand above your Budget.  Yikes!  Well?  They asked you what your Budget was didn't they?  Sure they did.  But you didn't tell them because you want the control.  The big news is the Salesmen/estimator took control the minute he pulled into your driveway.


Now you're prey, vulnerable.  The Salesmen knows.  He asks you again, "well then what is the Budget?"  And you tell him.  BUT -  the salesmen also knows that number is still less then you have to spend.  You may be trying to work them but like I said, you lost control the minute the salesmen pulled into your driveway.  The Salesmen then goes to work with the pencil and calculator thinking this, figuring that and then hits you with the next number which is that amount you have to spend.  You are relieved and demand there can be no extras.  A day or a week or sometime soon you sign on the dotted line and go ahead with it.  And in that very moment you just lost $20 - $30 - $40+ Thousand Dollars.  Your first loss was when you told the Salesmen the number because the chances are pretty great that the job could be done for even LESS than that Number.  And that is how the Game is played.  


How do I know? 35+ years of experience.  Is that what we do?  Absolutely not!  My pricing is rigid and if any gouging occurs that Salesmen knows I won't PAY them.  I won't have anyone ruining our reputation for reasonable pricing.


And so even if your existing basement resembles the Sahara get it waterproofed and watch each of my videos before hiring a Basement Waterproofing Contractor. If you think I described the Finisher Salesmen as quite the -  me oh my, a Basement Waterproofing Salesmen makes all other Salesmen look like boy scouts.  Even those Carpet and Window guys can't hold a candle.  35+ years experience, remember?


To waterproof a Basement First should cost $8 to $12 thousand give or take.  To Waterproof after, with the Carpentry work, $15 - to $18 Thousand.  If you finish it without Waterproofing you will get mold regardless.  Yes I said regardless.  Then come the symptoms.  Then you realize.  Then the Kids have no place to play, family and friends have no place to stay and there is no pleasure in watching movies on the home theater with itchy eys or a head acke.  And then? Maybe you think about selling?  Maybe you sell it?  But - Then?  Along comes Dan Oconnor with that damn video camera!


My Customer in this video has two Children.  The first a Three yr old, the second, one an a half years old.   What do you think that Judge was feeling as he watched this video?  The Seller is Damn lucky not to be in Jail.   My Contract Price was $15,000 +.  Seller had to pay that no matter what.  But in a case like this it's Triple Damages.  Counting?  $45,000.00. + Medical + Emotional Suffering + + + .  In a case like this the listing and selling agents, Home Inspector, both Closing Lawyers, and anyone else attached to the sale, they all get sued.  Regardless.  And liability Insurance Companies would rather all kick in $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 rather than litigate.


Conclusion?  Real Estate Agents kicked in their Commissions, roughly 8K.  Insurance Company total, roughly $20K.  Total Settlement $58,000.00. And the Judge was going easy.  $30K out of pocket to the Seller.  I would have sent the S.O.B. to Jail!


Now I truly doubt if anyone has read all of this but if you have?  How are you feeling right now?  Who are you?  What do you do?  Real Estate? Home Inspector?  Lawyer?I'd think just the reading of this is too stressful. Think about all that trouble, risk,,, the horror show.  With all that in mind do you think it just might be so much easier and simple to advise a client?  Sure they might fire you but consider that a blessing.  


And now finally, for those who want to get their Basement Finished, what do you think?  No brainer now.


And Folks?  Guess what?  I've another one of these "Real Estate Rip Off" jobs coming up as I'm writing this.   That IS why I am writing this.  When will it end people?  I work in all of Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania so - me and my camera will be around for quite some time... - Daniel J. OConnor (HydroGuru)



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