10 Questions to Ask Your Green Contractor


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How will he educate the homeowner?
All good green contractors should be able to educate homeowners on the different processes of green home construction.
All good green contractors should be able to educate homeowners on the different processes of green home construction.
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An experienced green contractor should be able to explain to the homeowner not only the recommendations, but also the science behind those recommendations. In fact, most believe that educating the homeowner is an expected part of a green contractor's job. How will he approach the education aspect of the project?

Some green contractors offer entire manuals that detail every step of the green design and construction process. They deliver these documents to the homeowner either during the bidding process or on the first day of the job. Others have such documents available on their Web sites.

Any educational materials offered by the contractor should explain the science in layman's terms. The homeowner should be able to understand the materials without having to consult a dictionary, and terms particular to the construction business, especially green construction, should be clearly defined.

Each of the contractors -- plumber, interior designer, HVAC installer and roofing professional -- should come prepared to educate the homeowner and explain what recommendations are offered and why.

In the end, homeowners should have a whole-home green house, and they'll be able to explain to friends and neighbors all that was involved and why they're proud of their new, green (or greener) home.

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Sources

  • Building Environmental Science and Technology. "Green Building: Builders, Consumers and Realtor' Primer." December 2009. (Dec. 16, 2010)http://energybuilder.com/greenbld.htm
  • Green Advantage. "Welcome to Green Advantage." 2010. (Dec. 26, 2010)http://www.greenadvantage.org/
  • Green Building Certification Institute. "LEED Professional Credentials." 2010. (Dec. 26, 2010)http://www.gbci.org/main-nav/professional-credentials/credentials.aspx
  • Lima, Dina and Michael Strong. "Thinning the Herd: How to pick the best eco-builder." GreenBuildingAdvisor.com. 2009. (Dec. 17, 2010)http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/system/files/sites/default/files/Thinning_the_Herd.pdf
  • National Association of Home Builders. "Certified Green Professional (CGP)." 2010. (Dec. 18, 2010)http://www.nahb.org/page.aspx/category/sectionID=1174
  • National Association of Home Builders. "What's Your Perspective?" Jan. 1, 2010. (Dec. 24, 2010)http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=133422&fromGSA=1
  • National Association of the Remodeling Industry. "Certification Programs." 2009. (Dec. 26, 2010)http://www.nari.org/certify/
  • Patel, Nina. "Going Green: A review of national training and rating programs." Ecohome. Feb. 6, 2009. (Dec. 24, 2010)http://www.ecohomemagazine.com/green-remodeling/going-green-a-review-of-national-training-and-rating-programs.aspx
  • Perkins, Broderick. "How To Find 'Green' Contractors." Realty Times. March 16, 2007. (Dec. 18, 2010)http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20070316_greencontract.htm
  • Pioneer Valley Local First. "Beyond Green Construction." 2008. (Dec. 27, 2010)http://www.pvlocalfirst.org/businesses/beyond-green-construction
  • Spiegel, Ross G. "The Spec Writer's Role in LEED." PME. July 1, 2010. (Dec. 17, 2010)http://www.pmengineer.com/Articles/Green/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000863012
  • Thomas, Steve. "How to Find a Green Contractor." PlanetGreen. April 22, 2009. (Dec. 24, 2010)http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/find-green-contractor.html
  • U.S. Green Building Council. "Green Home Guide." 2010. (Dec. 16, 2010)http://greenhomeguide.com/programs

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