Before You Hire a Contractor, Read This

| May 3, 2017 | 15 Comments

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PG&E. The opinions and text are all mine. Before you hire a contractor, read this!

Hire a contractor in san francisco

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or anywhere in California, you are painfully aware of the high cost-of-living. California is an amazing place to live, but most of us make sacrifices in order to be able to afford life here. People carpool, use public transportation, buy hybrid or electric vehicles, and ride bikes to work. Many professionals  need roommates, despite earning a good income. We live on a budget because the cost of maintaining our homes, whether we rent or own, is substantial. We are savvy, inspired, and informed people.

Another way we are saving money while taking environmentally positive action is through the use of solar power. I’ve been very interested in solar power since a friend installed private rooftop solar on her home. I wish I would have known more at the time, before she decided to hire a contractor. Eventually, she was very happy with her decision, but the process was a nightmare, and it cost her much more than it should have. One of the contractor’s that quoted the job for her started with a huge proposal. The contractor insisted that everything in the quote was necessary for the job.

When another contractor gave her a quote for 25% less, the first contractor started backtracking. My friend didn’t know who to trust or what to do. My friend went with the higher quote. She learned an expensive lesson and paid more, when she could have increased her energy efficiency before installation.

be informed before you hire a contractor

Photo Credit: Screenshot

If you want to take the first step towards understanding your solar savings potential, check out PG&E’s solar calculator!

use solar calculator before you hire a contractor

BEFORE you hire a contractor…

Currently, many contractors are the primary owners of the upfront customer relationship regarding rooftop solar. Objective guidance and services are often hard to find or lacking.  They want the job and it’s a topic we aren’t as educated about. We can end up with a limited scope of information and might be acting on something that is not in our best interest. There are many things to consider, such as energy efficient measures, before you hire a contractor for private rooftop solar installation. PG&E has many free resources for customers to use when thinking about going solar.

before you hire a contractor information on renewable energy

I love their personalized tips on energy efficiency. I’ve used this in the past and there was a noted difference after implementing some of the suggestions. Try your own free Home Energy Checkup!

PG&E also provides comprehensive information on how to select a contractor. Some things to consider:

  • Does the contractor have any Contractors State License Board complaints pending?
  • Is the contractor a member of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA)?
  • Does the contractor have reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website?
  • Does the contractor have workers’ compensation insurance?

You don’t want to skip over any detail in contractor selection. To see PG&E’s detailed information, complete with relevant links and resources, check it out, HERE

What energy saving measures have you already taken? Share in the comments!

By: Alicia Gonzalez

Category: Home & Garden

Comments (15)

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  1. Around here, tons of solar power panel people go door to door to make a sale. I have not considered getting panels for my home, but I hope others are informed as well.

  2. We haven’t quite made the commitment to go solar yet, but we do try to help reduce our costs in other ways. All of our appliances are energy star, and we’ve been upping our insulation.

  3. Jeanette says:

    I have learned the hard way that I really need to do a lot more checking into somebody before I let them do anything on my house. Just because they’re cheaper or more expensive does not mean that they are the best.

  4. Sarah says:

    Some great information for anyone looking for a contractor. Living in Southern California, I definitely understand the high cost of living. I’ve been duped by contractors before, and all I can tell people is ask your friends, your family, etc. Chances are someone knows a contractor personally whether it’s a friends sibling, someone in your church, etc. It can take a lot of the stress out of letting a total stranger in your home.

  5. suelee1998 says:

    I would love to go solar one day, it would be great for the planet and great for our family. I just have not take the plunge as of yet…

  6. Ugh. It is SUCH a bummer when contractors try to take advantage of you! It’s such a jerky maneuver. I’m glad it all worked out for her in the end.

  7. When we choose contractors we background check them across so many sites now. IT is sad that we have to be super careful these days!

  8. Thanks so much! We’re going through going green right now. Lot’s of decisions but you just helped us out a lot!

  9. It can be so tricky to choose a contractor. I have a friend that lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. I will have to share this with her.

  10. My brother-in-law is a general contractor, so we try to use him when we can. If he’s not available, we rely on his recommendations. These are great tips for those who are planning on doing any projects on their house

  11. So many great tips. This is probably why so many people don’t do the upgrades FEAR.

  12. Cutefetti says:

    Going solar can be so expensive but I would still love to do it someday. When I do start looking into it I’ll be sure to remember the tips from your post.

  13. Sherry says:

    It’s always important to do your research before hiring a contractor. I would love to switch to solar energy.

  14. Toni Dash says:

    These are really helpful tips. I don’t live near the the area but I have a lot of friends there. I am sure they can use these tips. Thank you for sharing!

  15. briannemanz says:

    Super great information! I’ve got to share this info with my parents!

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