What should I ask an insulation contractor?

Find the right contractor who could help you lower your energy bills.
Installing or replacing insulation can lower your energy bills and make your home a more comfortable place in which to live.

Once you've decided to hire a professional to insulate your home, take the time to choose the right one by keeping the following tips in mind.

  • Decide on an insulation budget and a preferred finish date

    Before you talk to potential insulation contractors, know how much you can spend on insulation and when your project must be completed.

    Once you've decided on a budget, estimate how much new insulation you want in your home. Ask yourself questions such as "Is the second floor too warm?" You may realize you need a radiant barrier in your attic or some other reflective insulation.

    When it comes to budgeting, of course you want to spend the least amount possible, but don't skimp too much. A well-done insulation job can save you money on your energy bills.

  • Get estimates from at least three insulation contractors

    Find prospective area insulation contractors on Kudzu.com.

    When insulation contractors bid, make sure you know exactly what you'll get for that amount. Know what kind of insulation the contractor wants to use and why.

    There are several kinds of insulation: fiberglass, batt (or blanket), foam, and loose-fill. Each type works best for different needs. So when a contractor suggests one kind of insulation over another, ask why.

    Ask these kinds of questions of each contractor you contact, so that if one suggests a different kind of insulation, you can decide who has a better rationale.

  • Confirm your contractor's availability

    If a particular contractor is your first choice but can't work on your home until winter is over and you've overpaid hundreds of dollars to heat your home, you probably will need to continue looking.

  • Check insulation contractors' references and experience

    Once you get references, make sure you follow up on them and make sure the references are for jobs completed in the last two years. You need to know about the quality of the contractor's recent work.

    When you contact former clients, always ask whether their energy bills decreased. This will give you more information when comparing different bids.

  • Ask about warranties

    Many insulation contractors offer a guarantee or warranty for their work. Find out if a prospective contractor does and what the warranty or guarantee includes. Are their any additional charges included? Know the fine print.

  • Confirm insurance

    An insulation contractor should have three types of insurance: personal liability, worker's compensation, and property damage. You're protected if they're protected.

  • Agree on payment schedules and a contract

    Ask potential contractors whether they are open to a payment schedule that follows the work's progress. Also take a look at a sample contract or a template to make sure it meets your expectations.

    In the contract, you should expect to see a specific description of the work to be done, a payment schedule, a start date and an estimated completion date.

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