7 Questions to Help You Find the Right Home Contractor in California

people looking at house plans

Finding an experienced and trustworthy contractor to work on your home is hard. Finding a qualified contractor you can trust can be even harder when you're looking to electrify your home or schedule home performance upgrades to lower energy bills.

The best way to find the perfect contractor for your California home is by asking questions—here is your seven-question contractor checklist to follow.

1. Is the Contractor Properly Licensed?

California requires contractors to be licensed to perform work on your home if the total cost, including labor and materials, exceeds $500. While unlicensed contractors might offer lower quotes, licenses often indicate proper training. Hiring a contractor that is appropriately licensed provides peace of mind and helps the homeowner avoid financial risk if something goes wrong with the job.

2. What Services Does the Contractor Offer?

Are you looking for a contractor to handle a single job or for multiple projects? Finding a separate contractor for each job can be a hassle, sending you back to square one every time. Knowing the breadth of services a contractor offers and specializes in can save you time and money down the road.

3. Does the Contractor Offer a Home Evaluation?

Qualified and experienced contractors offer home evaluations to understand better the services you're looking for and give you a more accurate quote for their work. Be wary of contractors who only provide over-the-phone quotes or don't seem interested in learning more about the particulars of your project.

4. How Much Experience Does the Contractor Have?

While the quality of a contractor's work isn't guaranteed to be better just because they've been in business longer, it's good to know how long a contractor has been in business. An established track record can be a good indication of expertise, particularly if they show that your contractor has lots of experience with the specific services in your project.

5. Does the Contractor Have Good References?

Ask a contractor for references you can reach out to, especially homeowners who hired the company for similar services. Reference checks can give you a better sense of what working with the contractor will be like and will provide insight into a previous customers' level of satisfaction with that contractor.

6. Is the Contractor Insured?

California requires home improvement contractors to carry general liability insurance. Working with an uninsured contractor is a gamble that could leave you liable for accidents that happen on your property.

7. Does the Contractor Have a Track Record of High Customer Satisfaction?

There are numerous places to find online reviews for a home contractor online, including Google, Facebook, Angi, Yelp, and more. See what people are saying about the business you're considering hiring for your home, consider both new and old posts, and take note of how the company responds to negative reviews.

The Clean Energy Connection Makes Finding an Electrification Contractor Near You Easy

Even armed with this list of questions, it can be overwhelming to know where to start looking for a list of contractors online. That's where the Clean Energy Connection can help. Our free online directory connects California homeowners with local contractors who specialize in electrification and energy efficiency services, from solar panel installation and heat pumps or mini-split HVAC upgrades to insulation and energy audit services (and more).

Contractors don't pay to enroll in our directory, and we have no financial stake in the contractor your choose. But we vet every business to check for proper licensing and verify that the company has a history of high customer satisfaction. Our platform performs weekly checks to ensure that all contractors displayed have an active CSLB license.

Narrowing down your list of potential clean energy contractors is easy on the Clean Energy Connection, as you can quickly filter by:

  • Contractor name

  • Location

  • Services provided

  • Available rebates and incentives

See for yourself how easy the Clean Energy Connection is to use.