Recent Review: Could, and should have been better. Subcontractors: HVAC--Placer Heating and Air Insulation--Gold Star Windows--mostly in-house. Lessons learned: 1. Put everything in writing--no verbals or phone call contractual or post-contractual agreements. Use email for documentation after the contract is signed. 2. Hold back final monies until all work is done. 3. Do not rush the work or allow the contractor to rush the work. 4. If it's in the contract, insist on it and withhold payment until it's done. 5. All parts are the contractor's responsibility. 6. Inspect all work before the next phase, distribute a punch list, and don't approve and/or pay until you are satisfied. 7. Ignore suggestions that faulty equipment is due to the customer's lack of understanding. Contact the manufacturer if something doesn't seem right. 8. Insist on good quality finish work. 9. Insist that all materials be as specified in the contract or standard (check the standards when in doubt). 10. Be wary of companies that subcontract HVAC. 11. Make sure all work is permitted; read permits carefully; flag errors. 12. Check model and serial numbers in contract with manufacturer's website to ensure the grade/series you are paying for is physically the same. July 7-9 Contract was signed on June 25, 2015. Work started July 7 and continued for three days total. Old HVAC equipment was removed, ducts removed, some insulation removed, new HVAC equipment installed, new thermostat installed. Insulation removal said to be complete. Problems: ?Subcontractors both stated that insulation was completely removed when it was not (twice). ?HVAC sub and contractor implied homeowner was incapable of operating new wifi thermostat. Three wifi thermostats malfunctioned, leading homeowner to contact manufacturer's rep to resolve the problem. They advised another thermostat that did not read the wall temperature rather than the air temperature. ?Apprentice attempted to obtain side work replacing air registers. ?HVAC sub tried to get homeowner to buy control parts for whole house fan installation. ?HVAC sub dragged feet and stalled on doing contractual work on water heater. Homeowner had verbal agreement with contractor's sales rep to install in two steps; contractor denied agreement. Homeowner removed it from contract by mutual agreement. ?New intake return cutout cut beyond boundary into ceiling. July 15 Windows installed 8am to 3pm More insulation removed. Problems: ?Wrong windows ordered; only two could be installed. July 22 Punch list and connect whole house fan to controls Problems: ?Whole house fan motor burned out on install; wired incorrectly. ?Ceiling fixture not reinstalled properly. July 27 Remaining windows and patio door installed. More insulation removed. Problems: Window trim not caulked on outside. Some trim cuts not even with other pieces. Windows not cleaned after install. One piece of original trim recycled instead of replaced. Homeowner paid contractor paid about 2/3 of the contractual amount. The rest held until all work completed. through end of July, August, September Punch list work completed on windows, HVAC. Thermostat replaced. Whole fan wired correctly to dedicated circuit. Whole house fan hanging location shifting to optimum location. Duct work straightened. Damper installed on one duct to balance air. Insulation was blown 8/27/15. Problems: ?Heat pump cycling on for 30 seconds accompanied by buzzing noise that gets louder. ?Whole house fan not permitted. ?HVAC sub scheduled to work but did not show up; on another day, sub called several times but never showed Test out, code inspection Test out performed 9/15/15, Code inspection 9/22/15 and re-inspected for whole house fan permit failure on 9/30/15. Problems: ?Test out failed on air leakage. Did not meet SMUD HPP specifications. Rebate not available. Contractor offers to refund the difference. ?HVAC and window work passed inspection, but whole house fan was never permitted. Contractor pulled the permit, provided hard copy, inspector reinspected on 9/30/15. SMUD rebate preparation Contractor prepares JRT (job reporting template) for SMUD HPP and sends to homeowner for review. (9/18) Contractor prepares SMUD rebate application for homeowner (9/24) Problems: Some calculations incorrect on the JRT. Contractor resolved. Some rebates changed in the four months the contract work spanned. Contractor made up differences. Final Payment Homeowner made final payment on 9/30/15. SMUD rebate receipt Homeowner receives rebate check from SMUD on 11/5/15. Problems: Total $150 short of JRT. Inquiries with SMUD revealed that contractor revised JRT after last version was sent to homeowner. The latest JRT did not include the whole house fan in the project. Homeowner not informed. SMUD made arrangements to rebate the whole house fan. Takeaways: Sales rep made a good professional, technical, and personal impression without hard sell or scare tactics. One issue with verbal agreement. Scheduler at the contractor very responsive, efficient, and flexible. HVAC sub skilled, but sometimes unreliable and choice of apprentices unwise--made a bad impression of the company. Window snafu annoying. Too much homeowner time spent on this contract: over ten days of visits, two no-shows, two code inspections, one test out. Too many emails to count. Final rebate prep never shared with homeowner. Test out failed air leakage test.