Comparing Quotes

What every homeowner should know when comparing quotes for a standby generator

Make sure you are comparing apples to apples – What’s included in the generator install?

Codestar

If you’re sitting at your computer right now and comparing quotes, like we imagine most of us would do, we made a list of 7 Questions for your contractor

 

 

7 Questions for your contractor

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[accordion_item caption=”1.) Is the generator included? Is the delivery included?” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

Some contractors will have the customer order and receive the generator delivery from Home Depot or Lowes. Standby generators often weigh as much as 500 pounds and should be unloaded and moved with the correct equipment. Albright takes care of delivery and placement of the generator our trucks are equipped with a special crane designed for these applications and our installers use a cart specifically designed to move generators ensuring safety to our employees and protection to your property.

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[accordion_item caption=”2.) Is the contractor a SALES dealer or SALES & SERVICE dealer?” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

Generac Sales dealer     generac_authorized_sales_service_dealer

We’ve all seen the generator ads at home depot, Lowes and just about every hardware store in New jersey. The reason for this is because most generator manufacturers will let just about anyone sell their products, however they are very careful with whom they’ll let service their products. The same is true with contractors. Just about any contractor can be authorized to come to your home and sell you a generator, But if the unit needs maintenance or service work that is where the trouble begins. However to be able to perform warranty repairs and maintenance Generac requires that the technician be trained and certified to do so. This training is expensive and usually weeds out the contractors who are just looking to make a quick profit from their customers. Albright’s installers are factory trained in Wisconsin at Generacs headquarters. While this training is expensive it shows our commitment to providing excellent service to our customers from start to finish. Your warranty may be in jeopardy if the installer is not authorized to do the repairs necessary. Make sure the company that you are thinking of going with for the installation is listed with the manufacturer as not only a sales dealer but also a service dealer. Most manufacturers require a 2-3 day training at their facility to achieve that level of dealership. A generator is a big investment and should only be made after you have done your homework.

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[accordion_item caption=”3.) What type of foundation is the contractor installing?” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

Generators need a solid foundation to rest on and should be placed on a foundation that will not move or shift over time. There are 4 basic foundations gravel, pre-fab concrete, poured concrete and block. While the cheapest is the gravel it is not the best because over time the gravel may wash away leaving the generator unstable. Albright includes pre-fab concrete foundations on all of our installations standard and uses retaining wall block foundations when the generator will be placed in an area that may accumulate rain water or subject to flooding.

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[accordion_item caption=”4.) Are permits included in the price? Who will be responsible for filing for permits?” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

All generator installs require permits for the protection of the home owner as well as the contractor. Any company that will do the job without permits is a company that you do not want working for you. When permits are filed for a job the local town inspectors will come to make sure that all the latest codes were adhered to for the safety of the home owner and family. Applying for permits for a generator install should be done by a professional who knows the local codes and can answer any question the inspector may have regarding the installation. Albright files for all permits and all fees are included in the price from day one. We also will at the request of the town have one of our installers meet with the inspector on inspection day to answer any questions.

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[accordion_item caption=”5.) Did the contractor give you a hand written or a professionally typed proposal?” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

A lot of contractors will use a fill-in-the-blank proposal which does not get into the specifics that a home owner should see spelled out. The companies’ proposal is a reflection of their professionalism as well as a place to define exactly what is expected from contractor as well as home owner. A hand written proposal might imply laziness or inattention to detail, something a homeowner should take into consideration when choosing a contractor for a standby generator installation. Albrights proposals are typed specifically for each job and explain the job from start to finish in detail.

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[accordion_item caption=”6.) Are you shopping for the lowest bidder?” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

As the old saying goes “you get what you pay for” or “You don’t get what you don’t pay for”. A generator installation is made up of parts and the cost is absorbed by all of them. Getting a generator is not just about the piece of equipment you purchase…along with it you are buying an installer, a licensed electrician, a customer service experience, an inspection and permit process and a great service maintenance guy. Too often than not a homeowner will ask too many questions about the product rather than the company providing the service. Some contractors will go on and on about the generator but provide very little info about their company. Albright has dedicated office staff as well as factory trained professionals who will see your job through from start to finish.

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[accordion_item caption=”7.) Does the company you are choosing have years of solid experience?” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

In the industry, there are guys known as storm chasers. These are people who follow the trend to install generators right after a storm hits, but they have minimal experience doing it. This is risky business! A generator has many working parts and has to be set up properly to ensure protection to all your sensitive electronics in your home. Generators also run on either natural gas or propane which requires adequate pressure to ensure safe and proper operation. Albrights techs have been installing generators for over 10 years and we have seen just about everything. We were installing generators before they became a buzzword and will continue to install them long after everyone has forgotten the last storm.

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[accordion_item caption=” Some other questions you might want to ask…” title_color=’#ff6600′ background_color=” arrow_style=’white_arrow’]

Are they accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
Are they aware of local ordinances regarding generator installations in your town?
Do they have any client referrals?
Are they mentioning the model number for your generator? Is it the latest model or are they getting rid of old inventory?
Is the battery included? (usually costs $90-$100)
What kind of warranty are they offering/ Is it parts and labor or parts only?

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