The following resources should get you on the way to making energy-saving improvements in your home. Remember, whether doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor, it is important that you have a good understanding of the options and opportunities available. This checklist will help you make the best choices for your home and budget:
Prework inspection. An independent energy assessment or home performance review is an essential first step to evaluating how your house is currently operating. Proper diagnosis (from someone who is not selling specific products or services) can lead to energy-saving suggestions based on actual measurements and analysis—not on speculation or exaggerated claims.
Education and research. Once you have a report in hand with specific recommendations, it is time to learn a little more about your options. Information is available from many sources—the task is finding what is trustworthy and useful.
Selecting a contractor. Choosing a contractor is much like a job interview—and you are the employer. The state of Minnesota, through the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), establishes standards and safeguards to help homeowners avoid hiring disreputable or unqualified contractors, and to protect them against sloppy or poor quality construction.
Bids and contracts. Get at least three bids that meet your minimum requirements: