What Does a Residential Installer Do?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 21 February 2020
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A residential installer puts new appliances, devices, systems or types of equipment into residential properties. Typically, a residential installer specializes in installing, maintaining and repairing certain types of equipment such as air conditioners or solar panels. Many installers are private contractors although some major firms employ large numbers of installers to assist consumer and business clients.

Installers are often contracted by construction firms and are tasked with installing equipment and appliances in new homes. Electricians may be hired to install wiring while other contractors install ovens, washing machines and even swimming pools. Some building companies specialize in constructing custom-built homes in which case the buyers can choose which types of appliances and accessories they want to have installed.

Homeowners normally contract a residential installer to upgrade or improve a home. Some government agencies offer cash or tax incentives to residential property owners who install solar panels or tank-less water heaters. Other types of installations such as electric garage doors or hot tubs are viewed as luxury upgrades that can add value to a home. The installer normally charges one fee to cover the cost of both purchasing the equipment and the installation process.


In some instances, a homeowner may have to hire more than one residential installer to properly replace or install a particular piece of equipment. Roofing contractors have the requisite skills to attach solar panels to houses but laws in many nations require certified electricians to oversee the wiring process. Likewise, the installation of a hot tub or swimming pool may involve the homeowner having to hire a plumber, an electrician and a building contractor each of whom has responsibility for a certain phase of the installation process.

A residential installer employed by a construction firm or utility provider may receive a flat salary although some installers also receive commissions for selling luxury upgrades. Private contractors normally work on a contractual basis. This involves providing the property owner with an upfront quote and then submitting an invoice for parts and labor once the project has been completed. Construction firms may hire installers on long-term contracts to install equipment in multiple houses during major construction projects.

Typically, a residential installer must undergo some kind of vocational training whether at university or community college although some installers serve an apprenticeship in which case they just receive on-the-job training. Electricians, builders, plumbers and other individuals who install equipment normally have to obtain national or regional licenses. In some nations, installers can work without being licensed or bonded but contractors with industry specific qualifications are often able to charge higher fees.


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