Who: The HVAC contractor you chose should be state licensed by the state’s Labor, Licensing and Regulation board in order to provide confidence in their abilities and expertise in the specialized trade they are associated with. Think about it like this, would you let an unlicensed stylist/barber cut your hair? If you wouldn’t let an unlicensed stylist/barber style your hair with a small financial investment why would you let an unlicensed contractor perform a job in your biggest investment? (Your Home)
What: Most local municipalities require a contractor to be licensed to perform some of the smallest and simplest projects. Often times the dollar limitation is relatively small. Some projects that require a licensed contractor start at $200.00. Check your local LLR for limitations. Contractors will often quote their jobs below the local limits to avoid needing a license. Even if you hire a well-known company, ask to see their license or look it up online. Most municipalities have online access to records. Also, check for an up-to-date business license and LLC or incorporation registration.
When: Most municipalities require a permit for HVAC installations. Only a licensed contractor can pull the necessary permits required for the job. Ask the contractor to provide evidence of the required permits for the job to be completed. Some contractors don’t or won’t pull permits to perform tasks. Why? Good question maybe their work is subpar. Maybe they have a history they don’t want to be exposed. Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask the contractor about background checks. Were they performed on the company’s employees? What about a MVR record? A lot is to be said about a contractor who takes the time to perform these checks. If your contractor takes time to invest in their staff and complete these history profiles, normally they are not a liability when in your home.
Where: Your local municipalities website should have the contractor’s license and permitting information available online. If not, a simple phone call to the LLR will provide the information you seek. Online research can provide a lot of insight into your contractor’s reputation. Some negative reviews could have been left from a competitor that lost a job to the contractor you have selected. Did the contractor respond to the negative online findings in a positive and professional way? Ask the contractor about the information you find.
Why: The closing question that is often asked is, why is your investment price so much more than company X? A fellow HVAC colleague of mine was recently asked why his price was $4900.00 more than the quote the of the previous contractor. The simple questions outlined above explained why. Protect yourself and your biggest investment. Do your research and hire a qualified company to perform your work. My colleague was awarded the job after the homeowner did their research and found the other contractor was not licensed and had no history of permitting. After all, wouldn’t you want your contractor to be able to abide by the local laws set in place to protect you?