Smart moves for a warmer home

Hire a professional

Neighbors, friends, your city planning office and local utility companies are all potential sources of recommendations for insulation contractors. Don’t hire a general contractor, who may not have enough specialized knowledge.

Check the company’s license, insurance and certifications, and contact references.

Then get detailed, written estimates from at least three companies.

Estimates should state what material will be used, its R-value and its cost, and the hourly fee for labor and an estimated labor total.

Insulation contractors must show you fact sheets for the insulation they sell and give you a signed and dated contract or receipt for the materials.

For batt or board insulation, the receipt should show the insulation’s coverage area, thickness and R-value, states the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association’s website. For loose-fill insulation, it should show coverage area, installed thickness, minimum settled thickness, R-value and number of bags used.

Also, contact your local building department to make sure the scope of work will meet local codes for required minimum R-values.