12 Things Every Home Performance Contractor Should Have on Their Work Truck

Every home is unique and differs from the last. It would be a perfect world (from a project planning standpoint) if every home were a cookie cutter from the previous install, however this is not always the case. I have been in the construction industry doing remodeling and even building new residential homes for over 25 years. Along the way I have run into some interesting situations in which I was not prepared and wished I was. Although this has been sometimes fun and challenging at times, i.e. innovating and trying some "MacGyver" style tricks or even old fashioned know how, nothing has proved more satisfying and efficient than showing up to the job prepared.

With that said I have put together a simple list of items that every Home Performance Crew should have in their work truck at ALL TIMES. This is just a basic list of items. Things like mastic, foam board, spray foam cans (fire and regular), mesh tape, drop clothes, plastic, water, masks, gloves, tape, batteries, pry bars, nail pullers, chisels, hammers, etc. should be in truck without mention already. The list below was compiled after seeing too many times crews showing up to the job unprepared thus resulting in failed qc's and costing more than needed time and money.

12 Basic Items for Home Performance Installs:

1.    2x4's (at least two or three 8' in length)

2.    Skill-saw (battery or cord with a decently sharp blade)

3.    Sawzall or Reciprocating Saw (battery preferred for those tight attic situations)

4.    Screws and Nails (various sizes and lengths, wood, sheet metal 1/4" hex heads self tapping, drywall, and for fastening 2x material I prefer using 3" wood deck screws with square heads that prevents stripping, purchase a screw organizational case or use bins on shelf of work van)

5.    Ladders (collapsible ladder that extends to 16', step ladders at least one 3' and one 6' depending on size of crew)

6.    Duct Board (at minimal always have at least one 4x10 sheet that can be cut into two 4x5 sheets and tucked nicely to the side of the van)

7.    Plywood (could easily have on hand at least one 4x8 sheet in van at all times)

8.    Sheet Metal (every crew that is doing any kind of duct sealing or repair should always have at minimum a full 4x8 sheet)

9.    Drills & Bits (18v battery preferred and charger for attaching screws etc. and even drilling holes, Misc. Bit Box with phillips, hex, flat, square, torx, etc. misc. bit sizes for drilling holes)

10.  Snips, Cutters, Benders (all necessary hand tools for working with sheet metal)

11.  Caution Tape (safety item here, can be used to mark electrical junction boxes that will be buried under insulation stapled high on truss and stapled low at junction box)

12.  Insulation Markers (throughout the attic and especially close to hatch there should be plentiful insulation markers showing depth of insulation in inches , not only ensures proper levels while installing it also shows the QC Auditor when he comes to inspect work, R-38 is basically 12" for Batts and Cellulose everywhere from drywall to top unless it is Blown Fiberglass in which it should be total thickness of 14.5")

I know that we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes the original auditor fails to mention that we might need a plenum or a certain "Y" fitting or sometimes the installer has a better way of doing things seeing as he is the one in the attic doing the work everyday. Or even better yet, maybe the installer has a opportunity to "up-sale" the customer into getting a better performing product (in which case he should call management asap). I get all that. This is just a simple list that should help the crews show up being better prepared and getting the job done properly on time and on budget.

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Comment by Brandon Walton on August 1, 2014 at 6:54pm

Totally off topic William, but yeah could use a bit more I suppose

Comment by William H Nickerson on August 1, 2014 at 5:30pm

One more thing...you need a little more bend in that cap

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