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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is the best waterproof flooring for a basement?

There are several great options for waterproof basement flooring. For example, epoxy floors are waterproof but are thicker and sturdier than paint. Make sure the concrete substrate has been prepared for application. 

Tile is a designer’s dream, giving you a moisture-resistant surface that’s infinitely customizable. Rubber sheets or tiles are also good waterproof options, particularly for playrooms, workout areas or laundry rooms. 

Vinyl tiles and planks imitate wood or other materials very convincingly, provide moisture resistance and last a long time. And sheet vinyl is affordable and a great waterproofing solution for those in need of quick fixes.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To set up a consultation or appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by performing an online search for local professionals near you.

Message the contractor, and see if they are willing to set up a video consultation call instead of an in-person site visit. With video chat, the contractor may be able to assess the scale of the project, give you better information on what needs to be done and perhaps provide an estimate. Be sure to discuss virtual payments, as well as general strategies for staying safe.

Can I use digital payments to pay for general contractor services?

Currently, many general contractors are using common digital payment services like PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Pay and more. And more will likely adopt these and similar platforms as coronavirus continues to force companies to take on digital capabilities.

Contact general contractors beforehand to discuss whether they accept digital payments, and take all necessary measures to meet social distancing recommendations. You can also compare general contractors side-by-side online to see which ones accept digital payments.

Do general contractors offer remote or virtual services?

General contractors perform manual work and typically need to be present to complete their projects. However, if you come across a profile that states the contractor is offering remote services, ask what those services include. You can also ask if they can perform a consultation via video call and if they can do the job while following guidelines from the CDC and local agencies.

Does a general contractor need to enter my home?

Provided the project is located inside your home, completing the job would require a general contractor to enter your home. But if your project is located outdoors, a general contractor will likely not need to enter your home. Discuss your options with general contractors in your area before hiring.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a general contractor when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a general contractor, avoid any physical contact, don’t shake hands, keep 6 feet of distance between you and the pro and sanitize all involved surfaces. Also, use digital platforms to communicate and make payments.

How can I find out if a general contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

To find out whether a general contractor is considered essential in your area during the current coronavirus pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website, which will have information on essential services.

Find information on national recommendations by visiting CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

Reviews for Ashburn basement professionals
Tiffany B.
Neil and his team did an excellent job renovating my basement. He was very accommodating even with multiple changes to design/plan and my basement looks transformed. Very pleased!
Best Impressions, LLCBest Impressions, LLC
Thumbtack Customer
David is an excellent contractor to work with. He always came through, met expectations and beyond, did high quality work with integrity and strong ethics. He will make you always feel like your job is the only job he's working on. And did I mention value? David came in with the lowest bid for the job, but was completely worth it. Beat other bids by at least $1000... Huge savings without sacrificing quality or time. Had our basement finished from bare walls within 3 weeks. The electrician he used was EXCELLENT. I couldn't be happier with how our basement turned out.
Noble Roofing and General Contracting LLCNoble Roofing and General Contracting LLC
Brandon M.
*was unaware this review never made it to thumbtack....maybe we just had back luck, but wanted to give people a heads up.* I was initially hesitant to leave a review, as I do not like to impact a business or livelihood with such few reviews, and many of these problems were because I was not stern enough to bring these issues up until it was too late. But each day I see problems with the finished product, and I need to get it off my chest. We hired S.S Remodels LLC to complete a fairly standard "finishing" of our basement. We had a plan in place, and a decent amount of materials (drywall, 2x3s, 2x4s) were already purchased. We were framing the basement so that it would be square, as the foundation was not poured straight, adding a wall to our laundry room/to separate the HVAC, and adding a sink/toilet, which already had sewer and drain lines. Electric was already run, but we requested the addition of a switch for the bathroom. Fairly cut and dry, no huge surprises. All in all, framing, adding two wall/doorways, priming (as they insisted they had to prime the walls), trim/baseboards, and installing of the laminate hardwood flooring. The positives: I appreciated that they showed up when they said they would, were open to discussing things, and got the job done quickly (which may also be considered a con now that I see the results). Sean seemed like a nice guy, and his staff was fairly courteous and friendly as well. The negatives: When I began looking for contractors, I did so because I knew if I tried to finish the basement myself, it would be a half-finished basement, and there would be many areas I did not know how to complete or would complete incorrectly. Now, as we begin painting and such, really paying attention to the details of the work completed, I realize what we got was a quarter-finished basement that we paid "professionals" for when we could have achieved similar results ourselves for much less money. Here is why I feel that way. For starters, there was previous "framing" on the foundation that was incorrect, it wasn't straight, the studs were too far apart, nails weren't driven all the way in, studs were split, the heights were off, etc. This crew didn't seem to mind and tied right into it without checking if it was correct....which it was not. I mentioned several times the foundation was not poured straight, I pointed out areas that would need to be furred out to make things straight/level, this was not addressed and has led to wavy walls, a ledge around the foundation that in areas is slanted, has different heights, not lined up, and more. Overall just looks rushed and done poorly. Then there are issues with: -Terribly mudded corners, seams, patches -Multiple screw/nail holes/random holes/dents poking through the drywall, trim, ledge, pretty much anywhere a screw or nail was used -Wavy walls -Wavy/angled ledges that don't line up correctly -Gaps in the trim/baseboards -A joke of an electrical box cover -A rushed access door -Terrible choices on where the water lines for the sink/toilet were put in -Outlets at random heights -Things we were told would be done that weren't -Many other issues that look rushed, bad, or just incorrect altogether include missing pieces of drywall, not taking into account dryer vents, etc. (Please refer to photos) As you can see from the photos, some of these complaints are nitpicky, but most of these are just not a good job. All in all, the job seemed rushed and the attention to detail was lacking. I feel the price we paid did not match the services and, more so level of service we received. We could have had similar results had we done it ourselves, for much less of a cost, which is exactly what we wanted to avoid. As previously stated, much of this was on me for not being sterner, but, at the same time, when you hire a professional, it should be done right from the start. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way with a quarter-finished basement. *upon further review, they installed the sink drain incorrectly so there is a leak, and broke the connector nut to the toilet, causing it to run constantly. Changing to a 1 star.*
SS Remodels, LLCSS Remodels, LLC
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