They say, “good help is hard to find.” When it comes to property improvements…well, good help is still hard to find.
Unfortunately, almost everyone either has their own story or, knows someone who has been burned by an ill-executed home improvement project. That’s why contractors get a bad rap.
Finding and vetting someone can be difficult, technical, and outright confusing. So, if you’re not a technician yourself, hiring a green infrastructure contractor can feel like a game of chance. The fact is that (just like with anything else) not all install professionals are created equal.
Key Considerations When Selecting a Green Infrastructure Contractor
When it comes to designing a green infrastructure solution on your property, there are a ton of considerations.
Only an experienced professional will really be able to implement a properly functioning system. So, if you’re taking on anything more intensive than, connecting your downspout to a rain barrel, you might want to seriously consider hiring a professional green infrastructure contractor.
Ask the company if they have experience with that specific type of construction.
In the case of green infrastructure, you’ll want to ask about rainwater capture systems, cisterns, green roofs, bioswale installation, rain garden design, and/or conservation landscaping, depending on the project that you’re taking on. Don’t ever be intimidated to ask, as any credible professional knows exactly how technical these projects are and might even consider it a compliment! Also, feel free to ask for pictures or even the locations of other nearby projects they completed.
Ask to see their contractor’s license and ask about any training or certifications that are relevant to that type of installation.
This is really important if you are hoping to file for incentives because a common requirement for getting rebates or other incentives, is that the work is performed by a certified professional. So, if you’re applying for an incentive (why not?) double-check that they have the specific certifications required by the incentive program.
Find out how long it will take to install your project.
Most projects take place during warmer months, so make sure that you get a clear timeline for (1) when the project will begin and end (2) the total length of time that it should take (3) a range of hours so you know how much labor you’ll be paying for (4) any predictable bottlenecks that may delay the timeline (e.g. permitting process, ordering materials, etc.)
Ask them about ongoing maintenance and who will be performing it.
Any qualified professional should be able to help you understand how to maintain your new feature. Ideally, the professional you hire will be the point of contact for maintenance, but if not make sure you understand that ahead of time, so you can plan for it. Also, make sure that you get clarity on seasonal considerations because the last thing you want is for your system to get totally wrecked after the first winter (unlikely, but possible). Here are some examples on maintaining a green roof over the winter.
About Early Access to the RainPro Network
To support property owners through their journey to stormwater sustainability, Rainplan created the RainPro Network. The RainPro Network connects project owners (you) with experienced installation professionals who have specialties in different types of green infrastructure construction.
Each contractor and company that bid on your project using the RainPro Network is hand-selected and personally interviewed, offering you the highest quality that your marketplace has to offer. Selecting a contractor from the RainPro Network, takes you off the hook in finding the right person because you know that anyone bidding on your project has the experience to perform the job.
Currently, we’ve rolled out Early Access to our Contractor Match feature in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV Area). So, if you’re located in those states part of your Rainplanning process includes requesting bids for your project in our RainPro Network.
We’re currently planning our expansion into new markets starting with Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. But other states will be coming up soon. To get notified when we roll out in your area, sign-up here. In the meantime, we hope that this was helpful. You are always welcome to schedule