Presumably, if you’re considering hiring a contractor, you want your project done right. But you also want to ensure that the contractor you hire has the same ethic.
Hiring a contractor is never an easy task. We strongly advise you to educate yourself as best as possible before launching any new project. Like any other industry, the Renewable Energy field has its share of unethical and incompetent people. As it is still a relatively new industry, you must be extra diligent to ensure that the contractor you hire has relevant experience and training–they haven’t just “read the manual”!
Your best bet is to follow the guidelines to hiring a contractor. The CMHC website, Get it in Writing, provides some great tips, some of which we’ve posted here:
There is a lot to know about contractors, contracts and construction. Being informed is the best way for you to keep things on track, and achieve the results you want. Although it shouldn’t be necessary to learn everything about the industry (that, after all, is why you’re hiring someone, right?) you do want to have control over the situation.
2. Get references!
This is a vital step. If your proposed contractor cannot provide you with references, it may well be because none of their clients would recommend their services.
3. Verify that the contractor is licensed or insured.
If they aren’t insured, why not? Do you want to hire a legitimate contractor? (If not, be prepared for the results, which can include botched or illegal work at the minimum, nearly always involves extra money and effort in the long term–to fix it, or have it pass inspection–and usually in some form that you didn’t expect.)
4. Get bids.
Try to get more than one bid for your project. This can be particularly difficult in the RE field, as there may be a shortage of knowledgeable contractors, but it’s still a recommended step.
Check out the CMHC website mentioned above for more information and advice.