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- Buying An Energy-Efficient Home?
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- How To Hire A Contractor
- Industry Certification & Training
SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS: FINDING THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR
Now that you’ve decided what kind of efficiencies to implement, it’s time to choose a professional to help you put your plan in place. The prospect of selecting a contractor can be daunting, but these simple tips can help you feel confident that you’ve made a great choice.
If you’re considering a renewable energy system for your home, make sure you begin by increasing efficiency and reducing your overall energy consumption as much as possible. Lowering your energy use will reduce the size of the home-based renewable energy system you need.
Questions for Potential Contractors
You’re looking for a contractor who’s an expert and a professional—someone you can trust to do good work and someone who you’ll be comfortable having in and around your home. These questions will help you identify the right fit for you.
- How much experience do you have with this specific kind of project?
- How long have you or your company been in business?
- Are you insured, and what does your insurance cover?
- How do you handle permitting and make sure you meet codes (if applicable)?
- What types of warranties do you offer?
- Does your company perform regular maintenance?
- What payment options do you offer?
- Look at the FAQs for your project type on this website; you may find other project-specific questions for contractors worth considering.
- Ask your contractor how they will ensure that the work is compliant with any incentive program requirements you may qualify for.
- Check with the Industry Certifications and Training page to familiarize yourself with the types of industry certifications you may see when you are doing your search.
Comparing Bids to Find the Best Fit
Remember, the cheapest bid is not always the best one. Follow these procedures to discover a contractor who offers both a fair price and peace of mind.
- Get quotes from more than one provider; make sure the quotes include any certification information.
- Get bids in writing and confirm that all bids cover the same work.
- Get (and thoroughly check) references.
- Make sure the company has relevant licenses and/or certifications.
- Check for consumer complaints, investigations, pending active judgments or liens with your local consumer protection office, state contractor licensing board or Better Business Bureau.
You’ve chosen a contractor you trust, but you still need to be engaged to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. Follow these practices to get the most out of your project.
- Get a written contract for all work to be performed and make sure that any changes (and associated costs) are put in writing as well.
- Make sure your contractor is using the quality of materials promised.
- Inspect the work the contractor does and make sure to ask questions or point out concerns as they happen.
Finding a Contractor Near You
To search a list of contractors in your area provided by the Better Business Bureau, visit the Energy Action Planner, right on this site.