Did You Know?
According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, "insulation saves over 600 times more energy each year than all the compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), Energy Star Appliances, and Energy Star windows combined."
Another interesting finding for all green-home lovers would be this: The current insulation in U.S. buildings reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment by 780 million tons each year. And if this doesn't seem to be a motivational reason enough, insulation can save your energy bills by around 20%!
So, yes, be it due to the need to save our planet, or your bills, there is every reason for you to get your home insulated. Before you go ahead with finding the right company/contractor to get the job done, there are certain things that you must take note of. Firstly, you must find out whether your house has preexisting insulation. To know this, you will have to get in touch with the manufacturers, and find out the type of insulation used. Another important point to consider would be the R-value of the insulation, and if it meets the industry standards. An R-value is the number that indicates the efficiency of the insulation to resist heat transfer. The higher the number, the better the insulation. After determining the need for additional insulation, the areas that need it, and other relevant factors, begin your search to find qualified professionals.
Finding the Right Professional Help to Get the Job Done
1. Seek Referrals from Trustworthy Sources
Insulation is something that has become an imperative part of modern-day homes. You are sure to get some worthy names, suggestions, and referrals from your friends, family, and neighborhood. Just spread the word around that you need a professional to get this task done, and many good referrals will definitely come your way. However, this is just the beginning, there are many other things that need to be done.
2. Look at What the Web Says
The next obvious step would be to browse the web. The internet has become more like a magic screen that can give you amazing useful information without moving around. One such info in relevance to this subject is this: Visit the website of the Insulation Contractors Association of America (ICAA), and go through the list of contractors accredited by them in your area. We also suggest that you should check the contractors' Better Business Bureau report to find out their customer reviews and ratings, to chalk out at least 2 to 4 trustworthy options.
3. Check for License and Insurance
Though most accredited contractors are likely to be insured and licensed, you must still not take this aspect for granted. If possible, we suggest you visit the shortlisted companies in person to evaluate their professionalism. Ask them a copy of their insurance and license. Don't just take their word for it, because in case a mishap occurs during the task, you might get into serious trouble. You may also ask them about the tools they use, the projects they have undertaken, and any referrals that they can provide.
4. Ask for Free Home Analysis
Most reputed contractors offer a free home analysis and consultation, though most may not, but there is no harm in asking for it. Ask a representative of theirs to visit your home. Tell him about any existing insulation. Ask what areas would require what kind of insulation―foam, blown, loose fill? Ask for tips to maximize their services and any additional inputs that he may have to offer. Pay close attention to the confidence level of the representative. Confidence reflects experience, which is what we need in the contractor we hire, right?
5. Ask for Price Quotes
After the shortlisted contractors have visited your home, ask them to give you a price quote, preferably free. Again, you are asking for these quotes because you need to compare the cost of services with the quality of work these contractors claim to provide. Remember, the least expensive contractor needn't be the best, and vice-versa. You need to evaluate their experience, professionalism, reputation, and work, when taking the final call.
6. Evaluate the Final Contract Thoroughly
The contract should include everything from payment policies, to the agreed work, to the type of insulation that would be used, cancellation policies, insurance, and the like. Do not assume anything when carrying out a task such as this. Include all the major and minor details to save yourself from any future conflicts.
To conclude, we'd like to add one more point. Another fairly important criteria is to choose a contractor who understands your needs, and is able to build a good rapport with you.