Choosing a Contractor

Choosing a contractor will determine the success of your project.  This is true in all retrofit projects, but it is especially true for energy retrofits, which can involve newer technologies or specific installation techniques. 

You want to make sure your chosen contractor(s) understand your project, understand the technologies, and understand the ‘house as a system’ approach to completing a successful energy retrofit.   

Ask any prospective contractor questions such as: 

  • May I contact your references? 
  • Have you completed an energy retrofit before? 
  • Have you installed [XXXX] equipment before? 
  • Can you make a recommendation on the order of the work to be done, and how to communicate between contractors to ensure everything is done correctly? 
  • Are you familiar with the ‘whole house’ or ‘house as a system approach?’ 
  • Can you provide proof of your license to install equipment issued by the province or territory where the installation is being completed? 
  • Will this project comply with local building codes, bylaws, and other legislation? 
  • Will it require building or utility permits? 
  • Do the products you recommend meet all applicable legislation and can you provide any available Material Safety Data Sheets? 
  • What experience do you and your team have with these products and procedures and what challenges have you experienced? 
  • What steps will you take to protect my home and family during and after the renovation? 

Choosing a contractor 101

It is your responsibility to compare contractors. Be sure to ask for quotes in writing and insist on a written contract before work begins. You should contact at least three contractors prior to making a decision. 

If you are not getting the answers you need, or you are unsure, book a session with one of the Better Homes Ottawa Energy Coaches.  These trained advisors can answer your questions, de-mystify the process and help to ensure you get the quality of work you need for success. Send an email to to get started!

Contractors Specialized in Net Zero Retrofits

Better Homes Ottawa, in collaboration with the City of Ottawa, has convened some contractor training sessions that focus on Net Zero home retrofits, as well as heat pumps specifically. Below, you will find a list of groups that have gone through this specialized training.

We would also encourage you to take a look at the Canadian Home Builders Association’s list of Net Zero accredited home builders and renovators here.