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What is an Insulation Contractor?

By: Ryan Litwiller on June 11th, 2018

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What is an Insulation Contractor?

Insulation Contractor  |  spray foam insulation problems

You think you need some insulation updated or added to your home but the work is really dirty, time consuming and much more complicated than any DIY project you feel comfortable with.

If you are in this situation, a trusted insulation contractor should be able to help you with this project.

However, since insulation isn’t something you purchase often, you may not know the first thing about insulation contractors including what type of insulation contractor you need, what kind of services they offer, and how to find one.

RetroFoam of Michigan has been an insulation contractor in Michigan since 2002. Since we are focused on teaching homeowners about everything and anything insulation, we’ll answer these questions so you can feel comfortable talking with and hiring the right insulation contractor for your project.

What is an Insulation Contractor and What Do They Do?

Would you hire a family doctor to perform heart surgery?

Probably not. Actually, no, you definitely wouldn’t do that.

In the same way, you shouldn’t consider hiring just anyone to install your insulation, but a specialized insulation contractor who focuses on the insulation you are looking to use.

According to Energy Star, an insulation contractor is a specialized contractor who installs thermal insulation. They can specialize in one type of insulation, such as fiberglass, cellulose, or spray foam, or install more than one type.

At RetroFoam of Michigan, we only install foam insulation - injection foam and both types of spray foam, open and closed cell - as we have found it to be the best at solving comfort and energy efficiency problems homeowners often face. We know of other insulation contractors who install all different insulation types, and others still who offer insulation as an add on service to their main line of work - whether that be roofing, siding, or other general home improvements. There can be pros and cons to any of these specializations, so it is important to find the right insulation contractor that meets the needs of your project.

Types of Insulation Contractors

In addition to how specialized an insulation contractor can be in the products they use, they can also be specialized in the type of work they perform - residential, commercial, or industrial.

Residential Insulation Contractors

Residential insulation contractors, or home insulation contractors, work with homeowners and sometimes builders to install insulation in either new build homes, existing homes, or pole barns.

In the case of insulating existing structures, insulation contractors work with homeowners to understand any challenges they are facing to determine the best course of action. Common problems that insulation can help solve are things like:

  • High monthly energy bills.
  • Uncomfortable rooms - either too hot or too cold.
  • Drafts in the home.
  • Freezing pipes.
  • Ice dams.

For new build homes, insulation contractors work with homeowners and builders to help them create the home of their dreams and reduce the likelihood that these become problems down the road.

Commercial and Industrial Insulation Contractors

Commercial and industrial insulation contractors work with builders, architects, and project managers to meet building specifications and codes. They insulate projects such as office buildings, hospitals, schools, and manufacturing facilities.

Many residential insulation contractors will do some light commercial insulation work, but most commercial and industrial contractors won’t do any residential work as their companies are set up quite differently.

The Business Structure of Insulation Companies

Insulation contractors come in all shapes and sizes including the owner-operator, subcontractor, and team structures.

In an owner-operator company, one or two people do everything. From marketing to answering the phone to selling jobs to installing the insulation, the owner-operator is involved in every aspect of the business. This setup usually has high quality work but scheduling and communication can be a challenge with the owner pulled in all directions.

Other insulation companies may only do the marketing and sales then subcontract the insulation installation to another contractor. It can be hard to know the true quality and reliability of work with this setup, as well as getting the work scheduled in a timely manner.

The team approach is usually a larger company with teams in place to work in all the necessary departments, like customer service, sales, and install crews. This structure offers homeowners everything they desire including a great experience, quality install, and most often a lifetime warranty.

You should find an insulation contractor whose business structure is best setup to meet your needs.

Finding the Best Insulation Contractor for Your Project

Searching Google for “residential insulation contractors near me” is the quickest way to find insulation companies serving your area.

Others have found success in asking their friends or social networks for referrals.

Checking with your local chamber of commerce or home builders association is yet another option.

After finding a few contractors, it is best to check out their online reviews to see what people are saying about them, as well as review their website to see their expertise in the services you are looking for.

Some additional things you will want to learn about insulation contractors when making your decision to hire include:

  • What is your insulation specialty?
  • How experienced are you in the insulation I’m considering?
  • Do you use subcontractors?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Do you offer a lifetime warranty?
  • Do you use integrity based pricing?

Related Article: Hiring an Insulation Contractor Problems: 6 Tips to Avoid Disaster

We Wish You the Best as You Continue Down Your Insulation Journey

Here are some additional buying guides you may find helpful, specific to residential applications for:

Foam Insulation Learning Center