Where can I find a qualified contractor that is right for the job, and what should I know before hiring them?
When hiring a contractor, it’s important that you are choosing them for the quality of their work and for their training and credentials rather than solely on price. There are a variety of consequences to hiring someone that is going to do a poor job installing your equipment. We recommend calling around to different installers in your area to ensure that they can meet your time frame, the scope of the project, and are well qualified for the job.
Before you hire a contractor, clearly establish the scale of the project and a clear budget to work within. Write a complete description of the work you want done on your home. By doing so you will understand the scope of your project and you can find a contractor that will be the most suitable for the job. This detailed description should be given to potential contractors when you ask for a bid or proposal for your project.
Go through a proper screening process before hiring a contractor:
- Find potential contractors based on recommendations from family, friends and neighbours, or by thoroughly researching contractor websites.
- Interview potential contractors. (See: ‘What questions should I ask a contractor during the interview process?’)
- Look for their certifications and credentials (business license, trade membership, records in the Better Business Bureau, technical qualifications, etc.).
- Obtain written bids or proposals from at least three of your top contractors. (See: ‘How do I ensure that I am getting a fair price for my requested services from a contractor?’)
- Follow-up with their references to speak with homeowners who have previously worked with a particular contractor.
Check the Better Business Bureau for reputable contractors in your area.
For tips on hiring a contractor, visit the Canadian Home Builders' Association.
For tips on hiring a gas contractor, visit FortisBC.
Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.