How to Evaluate Insulation Estimates
Things to Consider When Getting an Insulation Bid
Obtaining & reviewing job estimates is a crucial step in the insulation contractor hiring process. When comparing estimates from different contractors it's important to make sure that your comparing apples to apples. For starters you want to make sure that every aspect of the job you discussed is included in the written proposal. Make sure you review the estimate in its entirety and ask questions about anything your unsure of. Each insulation estimate is different but here are some things that all estimates should have.
#1. Make Sure Everything is in Writing
This sounds like common sense but this is the number one reason for complaints to the Better Business Bureau. Customers often complain that the contractor they hired verbally agreed to perform additional work not included in the estimate but failed to do so. A written proposal will make sure you and the contractor are on the exact same page and that they plan on doing everything you want done. Some contractors will refer to this as the scope of work. This defines what the contractor is planning on doing for you. Make sure it covers all the things you want completed. It should also spell out any preparation work, protection of surrounding areas, clean up, etc
#2. Compare Materials & Coverage Area Estimates
Like any construction job, charges for material should be included in the written proposal. The material used and estimated coverage area play an important factor in the overall costs of your project. Installing cheaper insulation materials or using less product are common ways for insulation contractors to win bids. When comparing estimates you want to make sure that estimates use the same type of insulation material and that those materials will be applied to the same coverage area.
#3. Get a Project Start & Completion Date
You want to make sure that you get the project start and stop dates in writing. Scheduling is an important factor when deciding on an insulation contractor. You don't want any surprises so make sure you talk about when the job will start and how long it will take to complete. Things change and some factors like weather are outside of anyone's control.The important thing to remember is that you want to make sure you get the contractors estimated start date in writing & that you understand how long it will take to complete the job.
#4. Cheapest Isn't Always Best
We have all heard the old adage that you get what you pay for. This statement rings especially true when it comes to hiring an insulation contractor. If a contractor's bid come through way lower then other comparable estimates that you received then you need to find out why. First you need to compare materials and coverage areas like we previously discussed. Then you need to try to look at the estimated labor costs associated with your project. If your getting the same amount of material and your labor costs are comparable then you need to figure how why the estimate is so much cheaper. We recommend asking the contractor why their bid is lower then the others. If your satisfied with the answer then go ahead and proceed but remember If something seems to good to be true it probably is.
#5. Verify Insurance Coverage
It's important for your insulation contractor to be properly insured. At a minimum they should have liability & workers compensation insurance which protects you from damage during the insulation process. The contractors should also have a theft and dishonesty bond and comply with OSHA standards for a safe workplace.