Thursday, September 28, 2017

Builders: Why Proper Insulation Installation Matters

When you are building a customer’s new home, you pay attention to details. You want to work with subcontractors who do the same. Attention to detail matters in any building trade – it’s especially important when it comes to insulation. Poorly installed installation has a long-term impact on energy expenses and comfort, and is difficult to correct once the construction process is complete.

What does the insulation look like in your new homes? Is it smooth and evenly fills each cavity, or is it compressed and inconsistent? If the insulation has gaps and is compressed in areas, the impact is huge. Improperly installed insulation can increase energy costs, impact code compliance and have a negative impact on comfort.

To learn more about why proper insulation installation matters, click here and view this brief video from NAIMA. If your insulator isn’t following proper installation techniques, call us to discuss your next project. Like we always say, what you don’t see makes all the difference.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Things To Ask Your Insulation Contractor That You Aren’t Right Now

Many homeowners hire insulation contractors to upgrade their attic insulation, perform air sealing, insulate basement boxsills, and more. When hiring a contractor, most homeowners follow a few basic steps. These typically include getting a few quotes, asking if the contractors are insured, and checking a few references or online reviews. These are all important steps and all should be followed. If this is where you stop, there is important information you’re not asking for.

How an insulation contractor operates their business can affect your home. Poor quality installation can have a negative impact on the performance of an insulation system, your home’s comfort, and your potential energy savings. Quality insulation contractors take their business one step further. To know if you are hiring the right insulation contractor, here are three questions you should ask before signing that contract:

1. How are your installers trained?
It’s important to know that your insulation contractor trains their installers on proper installation techniques. Installation is a key component to the success of an insulation system. A quality contractor fully trains installers to ensure they are educated on steps for proper installation to help ensure your insulation system performs at its highest level. A quality contractor will also hold regular training sessions to keep crews up-to-date on innovations in building science and to ensure any new installers receive proper training.

A quality contractor will provide additional training for crews as well, including safety training and lead-safe work practices. Following proper safety practices help keep installers safe and help ensure an accident won’t happen on your project. If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance your paint contains lead. Following lead-safe work practices during your project will help contain any dust that contains lead, keeping you and your family safe.

2. How are your installers paid? Hourly or piece rate?
When an installer is paid at piece rate, the installer can earn a larger paycheck by installing more footage. The faster they work, they more they make – which can compromise the quality of the install. Not paying attention to details during installation could result in deficiencies in the insulation and could cause damage.

A quality contractor is one that pays their installers a respectable hourly rate. This encourages the installer to take their time and get the job done right. Your insulator should support a culture of quality installation rather than speed, and the pay structure is part of that.

3. Does your company have a quality control process?
Even if a contractor has a robust training program, problems can arise. Installers may not have the experience to address customer concerns on a jobsite, or installers may encounter a situation for which they need management input. When considering an insulation contractor, find out what kind of quality control process they have in place.

A quality control process should have two components. It should provide installer teams with direct access to a supervisor or manager who can answer questions on the spot. It should also involve regular quality assurance checks to review installer work, confirm all installation procedures were properly followed, and to promptly rectifying any issues.

Hiring an insulation contractor goes far beyond insulation! Having these systems in place helps ensure you, your family, and your home are in good hands.

Take a few moments to ask a potential contractor these questions. Their answers can provide peace of mind by ensuring you are hiring a contractor that you can trust. A quality contractor should be willing to answer these questions and provide satisfactory answers. If a potential contractor is unwilling to answer these questions or doesn’t provide satisfactory answers, considering calling another contractor.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Avoid Home Repair Scams - Tips from NARI

Has your home been damaged by summer storms? This time of year, many homeowners become victims of home repair scams. Con artists often show up at a homeowner's door after a disaster, offering an array of services and demanding a hefty down payment up front. They might offer a "great deal," based on using materials left over from a neighbor’s job - but a "great deal" isn't always what it seems.  Frequently these fly-by-night operators drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates, or set up temporary offices from which they can move quickly once authorities start looking for them.

Here are some from NARI Madison to avoid home repair scams:
  • Get the name and address of the company that person allegedly represents.
  • Get all details of the offer in writing and carefully review it. Be sure you understand everything in the contract and that any verbal promises made are included in the contract.
  • Determine how long the company has been in business and call organizations with which the contractor is affiliated, such as NARI of Madison or other trade associations, to determine the firm's legitimacy.
  • Ask for references and contact each one.
  • Remember that any legitimate company that wants your business will be more than willing to allow you the time to do your homework. Don't fall prey to high-pressure tactics such as "this is the only chance you have" or "by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone."

Homeowners should be especially skeptical if the company:
  • Comes to your door unsolicited.
  • Uses high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Requests full payment before completing the work.
  • Gives a post office box without a street address or phone number.
  • Promises to begin and complete the work more quickly and cheaply than any other company.
  • Says they just finished work on your neighbor's house and have just enough materials to do repair work on yours. They might say they can give you a better bargain if you let them do the work today since they have the supplies now.
NARI is a great source for homeowners seeking to hire a professional remodeling contractor. NARI members are full-time, dedicated remodelers who follow a strict code of ethics, observing high standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility. For more information, visit our the NARI Madison website to find a qualified professional who is a member of NARI or to learn more about the remodeling process.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rockweiler Insulation Employee Named Installer of the Year

The team at Rockweiler Insulation is thrilled to announce Aaron Calvert received the ExCEEd on the Job Installer of the Year Award at the Owens Corning™ Certified Energy Expert® (CEE) National Meeting held in May in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The ExCEEd on the Job award recognizes insulation installers who go above and beyond to ensure excellence with each project. As a recipient of a quarterly ExCEED award, Aaron was eligible for this first-ever national award.

“We are so proud to have Aaron on our team!” says Renee Wilson, President of Rockweiler Insulation. “He take such pride in his work and is a great example for his peers, and for installers across the country.”

This recognition is one example of Rockweiler Insulation’s exceptional leadership. With support from the Owens Corning™ Certified Energy Expert® program, Rockweiler Insulation continually trains its employees on the latest building science strategies and innovations. By recognizing employees for their hard work, Rockweiler remains committed to retaining the area’s top industry talent to best serve their customers.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Continuing education is important to us! Rockweiler hosts HPIP regional training.

Rockweiler Insulation recently had the opportunity to host a free regional training in conjunction with HPIP (High Performance Insulation Professionals) for insulators and other construction professionals. Attendees learned the best techniques to achieve grade-one installation standards as well as job safety, building codes, building science, and more. It was a great opportunity for our entire organization to spend two days together brushing up on our insulation knowledge.

This two-day training was a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on training. All the major insulation manufacturers provided valuable instruction on a variety of topics including How Insulation Works, Understanding Air Leakage & Sealing, The Evolution of Building Codes and Building Science, and more.  Local guest speakers included Jeff Grundahl of Brio Design Homes and Vive Home Transformations, and John Crook, building inspector from City of Fitchburg.  They provided excellent perspectives on the relationship between insulation contractors and their builders and building inspectors.

After a day in the classroom the learning continued on day two at a jobsite.  The day began with the most important topic – jobsite safety, and included a walk-through to point out any potential hazards installers may encounter. That was followed by a demonstration of blowing machine operation and maintenance from CertainTeed Machine Works.  Then the attendees divided into groups and went through stations for hands-on demonstrations of Owens Corning ProPink Complete, Knauf Insulation EcoSeal+, CertainTeed MemBrain & Fiberglass batts, and Johns Manville Spider Plus applications. Following the training each attendee took an exam and those who passed received a high-performance certification.

Thank you to HPIP and all the manufacturer and community partners for contributing to this training in support of building excellence and energy efficiency!

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