By Katherine Oakes
Making the switch to solar power is not your average home improvement project. There are many factors to consider and even more decisions to make (some easy, some not so easy). Unlike many other home projects, such as kitchen renovations or picking out the perfect tile for your bathroom, switching to solar often requires a lot of time spent gathering the right information and weighing your options. Although it may be a more strenuous process, it is certainly worth it.
To help make the transition as seamless as possible, you’ll want to hire the right person for the job. To help you make the best decision, here are four ways to know you’ve chosen the best solar contractor for your home.
Know What You Want First
Before you start the search, sit down together and ask yourself and your family members the big questions. Be clear on your budget and the cost of solar panels, as well as what types of solar panels you want for your home—this will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or confused by the many different opinions and estimates you’ll get from outside sources. A solar panel installation is a long term investment, so your choosing the best contractor is extremely important. No matter how well-intentioned they are, it’s your home and you’ll be the one living it. So the more you know the easier it will be to hire the right solar contractor for the job.
They Have No Problem Giving You the Necessary Information
A proper solar contractor with the experience and skills to get the job done right is able to provide you the following information without hesitation:
● A permanent place of business and a working phone number
● A tax ID number and a valid business license
● A contractor’s license and professional documentation
● An active A,B, C-10 or C-46 license for photovoltaic (PV) systems
● Proof of insurance for every type of work the they may perform on your home or business, including, general liability and worker’s compensation.
It’s also worth your while to check the disciplinary boards, the Better Business Bureau, and local court records just in case. Be diligent and double check their licenses, as well as any complaints or litigation history. To be safe, ask the contractor for copies of the major subcontractors who might also be working in your home. If all this checks out, then you’ll know you’ve got the right individual.
They Are Good Communicators
There’s nothing worse than feeling stressed out, confused, and frustrated with someone who you’ve hand-picked to work on your home project. Like with any good relationship, clear lines of communication are vital for success. When it comes to installing your solar panels, the same goes for hiring a solar contractor. Here are some easy ways to know you’ve got a great potential contractor:
● They can easily provide references for past projects (and they check out!)
● They’re transparent about their installation process, the products they use, any applicable warranties and work practices
● They’re able to provide a clear payment schedule with options for purchasing, leasing and financing
● Bonus points if they can offer you information on post-system installation services like cleaning and maintenance.
You’ve Interviewed at Least 3 Other Candidates and…
You still want to hire them! When hiring any contractor (especially for solar panels) a good rule of thumb is to always interview two or three other candidates before making your final decision. This will help you to get a good sense of the other options that are available and when it’s time, will make you feel even better about your choice. As a client, you should feel confident and assured, relaxed and stress-free. After all, you’ll be on your way to a lifetime of free clean energy, so this is one home improvement project you can really feel good about. For more information on costs, types, and local contractors check out the solar experts at Modernize Solar Panels.