Weatherization Pays

A Typical Home Weatherization and Energy Optimization Job


When you subscribe to receive Weatherize America's Business Guidance package, you pay only $47.95 for the first year, where you get all the information you need to establish yourself as a weatherization business. If you want to stay in the loop and receive updates and new ideas on business expansion, you'll pay only $23.95 for each subsequent year you wish to remain a member. To best see how our program works, we're going to look at a typical inspection and repair.

Getting Ready For Your First Home Weatherization and Energy Optimization Inspection

Upon joining Weatherize America, you will be given access to our membership area where the following resources are available:

Weatherize America's Member Control Panel
  • a weatherization and energy optimization inspection training manual (a downloadable PDF file that we update often)
  • pre-designed weatherization and energy optimization inspection checklists (downloadable PDF)
  • pre-designed weatherization price sheets and MS Excel spreadsheets that are fully editable (downloadable XLS, PDF and INDD formats)
  • a weatherization installation and repair manual (downloadable PDF)
  • editable versions of our checklists and price lists (requires Adobe InDesign or a PDF editor)
  • a monthly coupon number to receive a 5% discount on all product purchases from our Best Energy Saving Products web site
  • a link to quickly create and print out your own business cards
  • links, guidelines and a web site template generator to help you quickly get your web site setup

With these resources in hand, the weatherization and energy optimization inspection training manual provides you with all the insight and information necessary to set up your business and walk into your customers home with full confidence. You'll be able to perform a great weatherization inspection and will appear totally professional to the customer.

Your only additional expense would be for a few common items necessary to perform inspections, such as a good flashlight, an inspection mirror, some common hand tools and a tote bag. We provide a complete list of everything that would be helpful to have on hand. It's very likely you already have most of these items.

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Finding Home Weatherization and Energy Optimization Work

Your potential clients are those who live within a five to ten mile radius of your location. This means that you can utilize any and all local means to advertise your service, such as newspapers, restaurant place mats, local radio, local television and local magazines.

Since weatherization and energy optimization inspections and repairs do not require certification or expensive blower door kits or expensive infrared cameras, you have the capacity to keep your prices low enough for almost anyone to afford. So now, tenant and homeowner alike can contact you to help them weatherize a home they are paying to heat and cool.

To simplify your message and to make sure you do not have to explain everything you do in detail, we provide you with information on how to set up a web site to provide the details of your weatherization and energy optimization service. See our Sample Web Site.

As you can see from the sample site, our web site template generator can help you set up your web site as a great customer reference. Your web site should include the types of pages as provided in our sample web site, such as:

  • a service page that explains your weatherization topics and also provides your phone number and web site address. This page should be designed to be printed at 70% to 80% scale and used directly as a flier.
  • a contact page that provides the means for a visitor to request a job via e-mail or to simply ask questions.
  • a products page of energy saving devices that you sell either regionally or even ship nationally.
  • article pages that help to establish your web site with search engines. Even though you are not looking to attract customers from more than fifty miles away, you must still get recognized by search engines so that even local people can find you. By us adding the content of interesting articles to your web site, you dramatically increase your visibility within the search engines.
  • a home page which provides an overview of what the web site offers.
  • Note: We do not provide any web site design support or web master assistance with your membership since that would be strictly between yourself and your webmaster or web hosting company. However, we do provide a web site template generator that provides you with a fully customized, 10 page web site, along with resources for web hosting and more.

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Performing Home Weatherization and Energy Optimization Inspections

With your weatherization checklist in hand, you will simply walk from room to room, selecting items that need attention and noting any special care that should be taken. Also, depending upon the budget level your customer expressed, you can simultaneously perform an energy audit as you walk through the home and note those items on that section of the checklist as well.

After having walked through the entire home and having tested those items the inspection manual taught you to test, you can now sit for a few moments and easily determine the costs to perform the necessary weatherization repairs and/or energy improvements.

Using either a laptop along with our MS Excel pricing spreadsheet or a hardcopy price sheet, you simply count the number of items indicated on the checklist and use this information to indicate quantities on the price sheet. Your results include material and labor costs along with profit margins you can adjust. The profit or a portion of the profit is what generally goes towards paying for the inspection.

You present the client with the price or prices if you also performed an energy audit and you provide a total price for the job. Using a basic triplicate order book available at any office supplier, you enter the individual prices for the weatherization repair and the energy optimization (if chosen by the client) and provide an overall total. You request a minimum of one-third down and then indicate the customers actual down payment on the sales slip. Indicate the balance due and provide an estimated installation date or a contact date when the customer will be scheduled. Finally, have the customer sign the form and the inspection is complete.

Later, back at the office, the inspector completes his part of the process by taking a few moments reviewing his notes and filling out the parts list section of the checklist so that the installer will know just what is needed when it's time to do the job.

If you want to keep your hands clean, then your focus in each home would be on just performing the inspection and the selling of energy saving devices such as smart power strips, whole house fan covers, dryer vent seals, water saving shower heads and an array of other items easily installed by the occupants themselves, whether they rent or own the home.

Then, while in the home, if you do identify weatherization repairs that can further help them save energy, tell the occupants you will send a professional to take a closer look at those items. Later, call the contractor(s) you have made connections with and inform them of the job and either charge them for the lead or earn a commission if the contractor gets the job.

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Performing Home Weatherization and Energy Optimization Installations and Repairs

We use the terms "installations and repairs" since some of the work you'll do is a permanent installation that may not have to be performed again and other things are repairs to items that are in their present condition due to neglect or specific damage.

Often, the weatherization inspector is also the weatherization installer and this simplifies communication issues, however this is not vital. An inspector who will not be installing needs only to do a good job providing good notes the installer can use to prepare for the job.

With a copy of the completed checklist, notes and parts list in hand, the installer gathers the items indicated that he will need to perform the job and then sets out to meet the customer on time or even a few minutes early. Six to eight hours are often necessary to perform most jobs, so it's best to start early in the morning if possible.

Using the information provided in the weatherization installation and repair manual, the installer performs the work as described on the checklist and notes. He seals windows and doors, bleeds heating systems, seals ducts, wraps water heaters and boilers, caulks cracks, insulates openings and so much more.

When completed, the installer receives the final payment for a finished job and returns to base, which is generally his home.

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Additional Revenue Behind The Scenes

While performing the weatherization inspection, you may have concluded that the customer could use a Drier Vent Seal or an Energy Saving Smart Strip. These are items we can provide to you at a 5% discount. You simply log into your membership account at Weatherize America, copy the discount code of the month and order what you need from our Best Energy Saving Products web site. As you finish the order, you provide the coupon code and voila, you just saved an extra 5%. You now have the option of making money by charging the customer retail price or you use the savings to lower your pricing and entice the customer to give you the job. Either way, you are a winner here.

In addition, include your web site on your business cards and suggest to your customers that if they have need of any energy saving products in the future, to please check out your web site to see what is offered.

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Looking at the Big Picture

With enough research, time, money, trial and effort, you could possibly choose to perform weatherization, winterization or summerization work without becoming a member of Weatherize America, but why go through all that trouble? Why throw away hundreds or thousands of dollars to build this on your own when we have established a way you could do it for much less? Not only have we figured out many of the procedures, but we have created many of the tools you need to perform a professional job, such as the checklists and price sheets.

Another great advantage is that you will become part of a collective. What this means is that as more and more members experience unusual or undocumented situations, we upgrade our manuals to include this information. You will be perpetually updated to new circumstances for as long as you choose to stay a member, which, by the way, is an extremely low price considering all that is offered.

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Common Membership Questions and Answers

Q.  Can anyone do this? I have no construction or maintenance background.

A.  Anyone can do this, but not everyone can do all of this. If you lack a construction or maintenance background, but you can sell, then your focus in this business would be to promote and sell the products associated with saving energy in the home and let the occupant install them. In addition, we recommend that you create a partnership with multiple construction trades, such as electricians, insulators, window installers, etc so that when you do find this kind of work needed in the home, you could refer them to the job and get paid either for providing the job lead or get a commission on the entire job. Bottom line, if you could sell anything and if you could take a few days to read over the manuals and references provided, you will do fine.

Q.  How fast will this really make any money?

A.  You could be generating an income within a few weeks. Let's say it takes 7 days to get your web site and information all set up and running, then add 2 - 4 days to allow yourself to dig through the information and get comfortable with how things could work. On the 9th to 11th day, you begin your campaign to attract customers using the marketing advice we provide, and by the 14th to 21st day, you could start obtaining real leads from people who need this work done.

Q.  How much work is really available to make this a full time job?

A.  The availability of work does depend upon where you live. The closer you are to a town or city the better, since this is where you generally find older homes in need of weatherization and energy optimization work. However, you could find this work even within newer home developments by focusing more on the energy optimization end of the business. In addition, the larger the radius in miles you are willing to travel will also increase your potential customer base. Once you read the manuals, you will also see that some of this work will need to be repeated each year for certain customers, ensuring some future work will already exist.

Q.  But how do I actually find this work? How do I generate leads?

A.  First let's look at Free Advertisement methods:
- Use your web site to get yourself started.
- Call friends and family to see if you could help any of them and to see if they could refer you to anyone.
- Take advantage of social media, aka facebook and twitter. You don't want to bombard your friends with business stuff, but it's perfectly fine to place a post to say you are starting this new venture. Ask if anyone would like to have this work done for them, and ask also if they would post your message to their friends as well.
If you do have a few dollars to spare:
- place a small classified ad in your local paper. Some papers have a 'Handyman' or 'Service' section already in place for businesses like this.
- Find restaurants who use those place mats with ads and get the name of the company that makes them. You can generally spend under $100 to get your ad placed there. The great thing about place mat ads is that they not only provide the occasional lead, but they give you a lot of exposure.

Q.  How is this different from other 'Programs' to make money online?

A.  Well, to start, this business would be real, and not some web site sitting online, hoping and waiting for somebody to click on a link. This business takes advantage of the internet to promote itself and provide you with a professional appearance, but the money and the work exists in the people and the cities and towns around you. In addition, this business does require work and effort to build and maintain and is not based upon luck or hope. This means you have a real chance to make this work and the only thing that could prevent you from not making money with this program is you, but that's a good thing because this means your capacity to succeed is real.

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