Any big project can turn out to be an absolute nightmare – or a wonderful dream.
It all depends on the quality of solar contractor you hire.
Just like any profession, you have good ones…and not-so-good ones.
So, let’s evaluate how you find a contractor you’ll absolutely love:
Look, every contractor needs certain certifications to be able to do the work they want. But remember, this simply means they passed a test and understand how to do solar installation.
It does not mean they are fair, honest, and a pleasure to work with. You can get contractors with great paper qualifications who are an absolute pain-in-the-butt to deal with.
Things don’t get done on time. Costs aren’t as promised. Calls don’t get returned. You know how the drill goes.
Definitely make sure your contractor has the correct certifications. They should have NABCEP’s Solar PV Installation Professional Certification. But, weight most of your decision based on their reputation.
Never put all your trust in one single source. Instead, give your contractor an overall reputation grade based on your research.
Energy Sage allows you to search for solar contractors and read consumer reviews on them no matter where you live in the entire country. Check the contractor at the BBB. Read their Google and Facebook reviews, if they have them. Just Google their name and read what you can at various websites. Analyze their own website to see what professional associations they’re a part of.
This gives you a clear picture of what the market in general thinks of their reputation.
By this point, you should have a short list of several contractors you want to talk to. Create your list of questions. Get answers from each, and compare what they told you.
Above all, read the contractor’s personal demeanor. Honest people are nice, have no problem answering any question (regardless of how contentious it may seem), and they don’t tell you what they think you want to hear. They also place very little, if any, pressure on you to choose them.
If the contractor seems easy to work with, that’s likely your best choice, even if they cost more.
Speaking of cost, it’s rarely wise to go with the cheapest guy. The cheap guy cuts corners, doesn’t return your calls, and really doesn’t care all that much about what you want. They just want to get the job done as fast as possible to maximize their profit.
Try to find a solar contractor that charges just above the market rate, but who isn’t the most expensive.
Typically, they understand the value of their services. And they charge enough money such that they don’t feel rushed to cut corners on the installation.
They charge those higher prices because they’re looking for better customers like you who appreciate the work they do, rather than the customers who just want to save a buck.
And even though they charge more up front, you have so much less stress and a far lower risk of something going wrong now (or 5 years from now), that you actually save money by doing it right the first time.
Take your time. There’s no rush. And once you analyze all these factors, you will end up with a solar installation contractor who makes you ecstatically happy.