Case Studies

AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists

Putting homes on solid ground throughout Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee
  • Written by: Self-submission by Leah Gradl of AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
  • Produced by: James Logan
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Plant a seed, and watch it grow. That’s exactly what Ben Bayless Jr. and Craig Williams did nearly 15 years ago when they decided to plant the roots of their foundation repair and waterproofing business deep into Alabama soil. That red, clay-based soil proved to be rich with opportunity for a new residential repair company. Alabama Foundation and Waterproofing Specialists (AFS) was founded in the year 2000 as a home-based business serving residential properties across North Alabama and the Birmingham market. Today, AFS serves the entire state of Alabama, southern Tennessee and western Georgia.

Both Bayless and Williams are intimately aware of the grueling work and countless hours that go into the launching a successful business. That’s why they founded their organization on values that endure: honesty, integrity and a relentless drive to always put the customer first. The company’s slogan is We Support Everything You Love. AFS puts those words into action every day. “We treat each and every home as if it’s our very own,” says Bayless. “We want every customer to be completely confident that investing in their home’s foundation or installing a waterproofing system will build its value over the long run.”

From humble beginnings in which AFS operated out of a garage and promoted its services with paper flyers…to a multi-state operation that employs over 100 professionals, AFS offers a comprehensive range of services such as foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation and de-humidification, and concrete raising. After serving nearly 30,000 homes across its territory, AFS applied its deep structural expertise to the commercial and municipal sectors as well. Today, AFS can count the Department of Transportation as well as numerous geotechnical and structural engineering firms among its client base.

An investment that pays

“We understand how stressful foundation or water damage is to a homeowner,” notes Craig Williams. “That’s why everything we do is based upon homeowner education – helping our customers understand the root cause of a problem and how to achieve a permanent solution.” The average residential foundation repair project can range from $8,000 to upwards of $25,000 depending upon the nature of the property and the extent of the damage. While many projects can fall below this amount, AFS takes special care to help customers understand the true value of installing repairs.

Crawl space systems help create clean, dry spaces beneath a home, which adds additional usable square footage. The same applies to crawl space encapsulation. By controlling the environment beneath the home and eliminating excessive moisture levels, homeowners can save up to 15 percent in heating and cooling costs. AFS also advises customers and builders on how to meet proper building codes. There are now requirements for encapsulation of crawl spaces. AFS partners with builders and homeowners to incorporate the best solution into the building plans. For example, waterproofing a basement before pouring a concrete slab can save 30 to 40 percent of the cost.

In order to provide further value to customers, AFS launched a Customer Care Program which offers customers a free first year of sump pump maintenance and pump replacement. Priority service and other annual maintenance benefits are included as well.

AFS inspectors look at nearly one thousand homes every month. The organization uses that depth of experience to craft the best homeowner experience, which is personalized every step of the way.

Applications for the business and commercial sectors

Commercial and business property owners look for long-term value and performance too. That’s why AFS has its own in-house engineer. Bayless notes, “To best serve our commercial clients, we placed top priority on adding an engineer with a background in structural repair to our team. The ‘P.E.’ credential gives them confidence they’re working with the best.” Many commercial clients have contacted AFS for assistance in repairs that allow their business to operate without interruption. Recently, AFS has seen a surge in concrete raising projects that are designed to remove the trip hazards caused by sunken, uneven concrete. “Shopping center managers, city engineers and other property managers know they need to provide an environment that is safe for tenants and customers, ” says Bayless. “Concrete raising can be performed for about half the cost of replacing a concrete slab – a tremendous savings to the property owner. We inject a poly-urethane mixture beneath sunken concrete to raise it back towards level.” He continues, “The trip hazard is gone, and the concrete can be used right away. It’s a win for everybody.”

Family first

AFS is a large, multi-state operation employing over a hundred professionals. But, what owners Bayless and Williams really want customers to know is that AFS is a family. “When we complete repairs on your property, our relationship has only just begun,” says Williams. “We consider every one of our customers a member of the AFS family, and we’re going to stand by our work for a lifetime.” AFS uses customer satisfaction as a primary performance indicator. The organization issues surveys to every customer, and that feedback is immediately addressed in operational meetings. We provide on-going professional development opportunities to our team so that they can maintain certifications in our industry-leading products. “We can accomplish a lot for our customers,” says Bayless. “But, if we know another contractor is a better fit, we’ll provide that referral too.” That is one example of honesty and integrity that helped AFS with the Torch Award for Ethics by the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama.

AFS has deep roots in southern soil. As a relationship based business, they understand how to make homeowners across Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia feel right at home. 

Published on: July 6, 2015

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