So you’ve finally decided to replace the insulation in your home — congratulations! Your family and the planet will surely thank you, and you will probably pat yourself on the shoulder for saving that extra 20% in energy bills a year.
Now that you have decided it is time to find the right company for insulation replacement, where do you start? Once upon a time it was easy- there were only 1 or 2 mom and pop companies everyone were using. These days however, there are so many options to choose from it is very hard to know for sure what’s the best one.
To make things easier, here are some top criteria to look at when selecting the right company for the job:
You have to make sure the contractor you select is licensed with the proper license. For any insulation work to be done a contractor must have a C-2 license, and you must always verify it is active. To verify a contractor’s license type and status you can refer to the CSLB website in CA and the Division of Consumer Affairs in NJ.
If the contractor is shown to have a B license (General Contractors License) it means this company cannot legally perform the insulation work for you and that your services will be subbed out to another contractor you never researched, verified, or evaluated before. They might still do a great job, but you can’t really know for sure.
Insurance and Workers Comp.
Before you let anyone provide any service in your home you must make sure they are properly insured with a general liability policy, and that they are covered by a workers’ comp. policy. Many companies tend to falsely claim they have no employees to avoid paying the high costs of a workers comp. policy, but that essentially means that if something were to happen on the job while in your home- you are liable for the damages! Always request to see proof of insurance and workers’ comp. before signing any contract for services.
Over the past year, 20 additional insulation companies opened up in CA alone, however not all are properly trained and certified and have the required amount of experience to provide the best service. Always make sure to ask to see specific certifications and make sure the company you hire is compliant with OSHA.
In California for example, one of the top certifications to look for is an Owens Corning Certified Energy Expert Certificate. This certification guarantees the contractor has been certified directly by Owens Corning insulation provider and adheres to their standards, but most importantly assures the customers their satisfaction is guaranteed by providing a 10 year warranty on the insulation materials and workmanship. To read more about the CEE certification click here.
These days it has become extremely easy to forge reviews online, so how do you know which reviews are legit and which platforms to stay away from? Always make sure you are checking contractors on a few different platforms before making a decision to hire them. A few platforms that are known for their honest reviews are Diamond Certified and Nextdoor.
Diamond Certified conducts surveys over the phone with actual customers of the company before awarding them a diamond certification for the highest rated service in their industry. Not many businesses are able to acquire this title as it requires years of experience and a high level of customer satisfaction.
Nextdoor is also a great platform comprised of actual residents of neighborhoods all over the US that share advice and recommendations of different providers they have used and want to share with their community. The reviews are really only there to make sure neighbors are aware of what to look out from, and who to trust in the jungle of the home service industry.
Due to the increased competition many variations of warranty can be found amongst different companies. Some offer a 1 year warranty, some 5 years, and some go all out and offer a lifetime warranty! Sounds great, but what does a lifetime warranty really means?
California law requires that any product advertised as having a lifetime warranty must have a lifespan of at least three years, which isn’t much of a lifetime at all.
But unless a lifetime warranty is clearly defined- it can essentially mean anything, and is considered by the Federal Trade Commission as nothing but deceptive advertising.
The Bottom line: thoroughly read any lifetime warranty, no matter what you are told. Oddly enough if you dig in a bit, you will often find that the great company offering you a marvelous lifetime warranty has only been licensed and in business for less than a year, so how can you be confident they will be there to service your home in years to come? Definitely makes you think twice before you sign that contract.