There are many different criteria that should be considered when choosing from a list of drainage contractors, because unlike building a wall or plumbing a toilet, there are different methods that can be implemented. A good drainage contractor will not only look to stop the formation of stagnant water around a structure; he will also determine the proper methods to prevent it from reoccurring. Also, many drainage contractors will quote very appealing estimates and only temporarily fix the problem if hired, so measuring their overall competence is essential during this process. The best drainage contractors will be experienced, honest, and fully insured to ensure that the problem is taken care of permanently.
A consumer may find it difficult to gauge the overall experience of various drainage contractors after just one meeting, so it is important for him to ask for references with every contractor he comes into contact with. An acceptable substitute would be an engineering degree coupled with a clear description of how to remedy the drainage problems, but there is often no better source of knowledge than other consumers' past experiences. Whenever possible, it is often helpful to seek references from the local chamber of commerce or others who have experienced similar situations.
Drainage contractors are required by most state and local laws to carry full liability insurance as well, and neglecting to verify this can prove to be a very serious mistake. Since much of the work will entail digging a series of trenches and culverts to redirect the flow of water, there is always a fair chance that a power or water main could be damaged during construction. A mistake like this could lead to thousands of US Dollars (USD) in damage, so it is important that the contractor have protection that does not make the homeowner liable. Also, do not accept what drainage contractors say when they are confronted about insurance; always ask to see their policy card and verify that the account is in good standing with a telephone call.
Perhaps the most important trait to look for in drainage contractors is honesty. A good drainage specialist will quickly identify any problems with the general layout of the land around the existing structure, and if a simple repair is not possible, then he will quickly inform the consumer of each potential setback. Less honest contractors will quickly accept the project knowing full well that it can not be completed at the agreed price, and far too often, these matters end up in civil litigation because the problem was never solved.