In the quest to go green and save the planet, people are doing everything from switching to hybrid vehicles to making changes and modifications around their homes to make them more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. For those opting for the latter, many decide to hire green contractors to ensure the job is done right and up to code. However, given the growing trend, many phonies and frauds hoping to make a quick buck have also jumped on the bandwagon, promising to provide sustainable services, when in reality the greenest thing they are equipped to do is paint something emerald.
So how can you be sure you’re getting what you pay for? Well, you’ve got to do your homework and check the credentials and methods of any potential contractors. Below are just some of the biggest things to look for and can be detected either through your own means or through an official background check.
How Familiar Are They With Professional Organizations
Do they keep up with what is up and coming with professional organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council? Do they pay attention to what’s happening within the industry? If the answers to these are no, then you might have a fraud on your hands. Legitimate green builders and contractors stay on top of industry news and updates, because they want to stay on top of their game.
Showing an utter disregard for or sheer confusion about professional policies or regulations, is a definite red flag that shouldn’t be ignored, but rather investigated further. If they aren’t regularly attending conferences, seminars, etc., something doesn’t add up.
What Methods/Materials Do They Plan to Use?
In addition to checking out their professional qualifications, another part of doing your homework involves educating yourself on the types of methods and materials that would work the best with your particular lifestyle and environmental goals. That way, when your potential contractor starts suggesting things he or she can do, you will have a working knowledge and understanding of the subject and will know right away how valid it really is.
If your brief research leaves you more knowledgeable about alternative materials such as bamboo and cork, there’s a chance you’re dealing with a phony.
What Do Previous Customers Say
The last measure I suggest you take to ensure you are getting a contractor who actually delivers GREEN results is to ask previous clients and customers about their experiences with the person in question. Also, if increased energy efficiency is something you hope to get out of it, you might even ask them if they’ve noticed any positive changes in their electric bills. Ideally, if you have made changes to increase your home’s efficiency, your energy bill should go down, so if that hasn’t happened for them and it has been some time since their remodeling, you might think twice before going the same route as they did.
Overall, as I mentioned at the beginning, if you are planning to have any sort of sustainable work done on your home, make sure the professional you task with the project is qualified. Whether you do the research yourself, hire a background check company or a combination of both, just do it! You’ll be happy you did.
Jane Smith is a freelance blogger and writer for backgroundcheck.org and various other websites. In particular, Jane likes to offer insight and advice about managing your online reputation, setting career goals, and making healthy life choices. She welcomes you to email her any questions or comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.