When it comes to any type of construction project, you always want to make sure that you are getting the best price and the highest quality work. Sometimes finding the right company is tough, as there are many contractors out there that promise “expert installment” and the “lowest price around.” While these sound promising, you need to make sure that they are not just lies leading you into a bottomless money pit.
Look for Experience Based on Your Solar Application
Hiring a contractor is like hiring an employee; you are hiring them to do a job for you. Always remember that you hired them to do a job for you, and you should always expect the highest quality work. When you look at their history, always look for experience. Some of the critical things to look for are their recent installations and how many have they done. If they haven’t had any recent ones or constant work, question why that is. If they haven’t installed many solar panels, it is a good indicator that they are new or it’s not their area of expertise.
Always check for proper licenses. You can always call your city or county building department to make sure that they are licensed. Also, always make sure to check and see if the contractor has an active or pending judgment or lien. Judgments and liens are a sign that the contractor has breached a previous contract and did not deserve payment.
Always Ask for References
They always say word of mouth is the best way to advertise your excellent work, but it can also help you as a customer. Reputation is vital because it can help you in choosing the right contractor for you. When you select contractors, always ask for references. Most companies will be happy to provide references, as they know the importance of maintaining their reputation.
However, if they don’t readily hand over an extensive list of references, they are new or fear past jobs may give them a bad review. References will often reveal the quality of the company’s work and how effectively they worked with their preceding clients. Some of the best questions to ask are as follows:
- Did they show up on time?
- What kind of work did they do for you?
- Did you get the results that you expected/wanted?
- Would you hire them again for future work?
- Did they stay within your budget or the quoted cost?
- Was the communication between you and your contractor adequate?
Communication is critical when it comes to the quality of work. If there is an issue, your contractor should inform you immediately and explain the process of fixing that issue.
A great way to find out about the contractors you are considering is to read their reviews online. Just like with asking references, reviews can say a lot. Consumers in this day and age are smart, they can tell what is a real review and when to take a bad review with a grain of salt. Green Power Energy is listed on Google, SolarReviews.com, Energysage.com, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook, and Home Advisor among others. For an example of what a solid Google review reputation looks like for a contractor, check out Green Power Energy’s google reviews. You will find a weighted average of 4.8/5 with 189 reviews. This is a great indicator of a company as the reviews go back years. Even if there is a bad review, what is important to see how the company responds – it shows they care even after they have left the home.
Here are Green Power Energy’s reviews on google: https://www.google.com/search?q=green+power+energy&oq=green+power+energy+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l2j46j69i61l3j69i65l2.2549j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x89c38b81663bc9eb:0x11aabd264a8c5d52,1,,,
Compare Total Costs
In New Jersey, the average cost of solar panel installation is around $12,388. Before beginning the process of vetting contractors, make sure you research the average price for services. That way, you know if they are overpriced, or in some cases, underpriced. Underpriced may sound good, but the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Typically a cheap contractor ends up costing you more in the long run from higher maintenance costs and potential requests for additional money as they work. You want to make sure that the cost reflects the quality of work that you want. Compare contractor’s prices, then compare it to their experience and references.
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