It’s an age-old question, and there’s no bulletproof method. You never can be 100% sure that any contractor will do the perfect job, whether you need to find the best tankless water heater, install it, or do other HVAC-related work.
If you need to choose and install an electric tankless water heater, you’re going to need an electrician too. The tips below apply to the whole home improvement industry, so keep reading.
But there are a few tips that can help you to weed out the bad ones. So here’s how you start:
Start with a list
You need to make a list of 10-15 local contractors with the right expertise and weed them out one by one. Start with word-of-mouth recommendations. Chances are that there’s someone you know who has recently had renovations. Ask your neighbors. Ask your friends and relatives if they know a good contractor.
Make a big list of all of them. This way, you’ll make sure they are professionals and have relevant experience.
Do some basic research
If there isn’t anyone, Google will be your best friend. Start with googling HVAC contractors in your area and search for reviews. Here is a bunch of useful websites to pay attention to:
- Google Reviews
- Angie’s List
- Home Advisor
It’s also the right decision to look up the reviews for your big list of word-of-mouth professionals.
When you’ve weeded out everyone except the three contractors with the best reviews and recommendations, interview them. Ask as many questions as you need. Make sure they actually answer your questions and not just give a run-around answer.
Get it in writing. When I had my own business, if it wasn’t in writing, I didn’t do it. If you request something and they say sure we will, but it wasn’t written down, it won’t get done. And if it wasn’t on the contract, there’s not much you can do.
Licensing and Insurance
Don’t forget to ask the contractor for a copy of his license. Check disciplinary boards, Better Business Bureau, and local court records for problems. Usually, the license number (CAC#) will be printed on the side of the van. You can also search for that number online.
The easiest way will be to have them pull a permit which in most cities you have to do by law for an AC chance out. Only a licensed contractor in good standing with the state can pull a permit.
Last tip to help you find the best HVAC contractors
And remember, good work isn’t cheap. And cheap work isn’t good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to go back behind the guys who were the cheapest bid and fix all of their mess. Good, cheap, fast. Pick two.
Some additional tips by our experts
If they ask for money upfront, walk away.