Spray foam is quickly becoming the preferred insulation in new homes. Eco-friendly spray foam insulation installers can charge a premium for services. Spray foam can be used to add insulation to existing finished areas and irregularly shaped areas and is a good choice for high efficiency homes and as a means to save energy. Spray foam can be difficult for people to install on their own, making it more likely that they will rely on professional help.
Determine if you are in good enough physical shape to handle hauling heavy equipment and working in confined spaces.
Investigate whether there is a need for spray in foam insulation in your city. Take a look at the yellow pages under "insulation" and see how much competition there is. You may look for a niche in the industry, such as cementitious or cement foam insulation or eco-friendly soy based foam insulation. This might bring you more work in some environmentally conscious cities.
Find out what the business requirements are for your city by contacting city hall or your county clerk and inquiring about filing a DBA or "doing business as" certificate. You might consider forming an LLC, or limited liability corporation to protect your personal assets in case of a lawsuit. Many cities require all contractors to have a license. Find out what the requirements and fees for obtaining a license are.
Determine if you have the capital or ability to get financing to start your own spray foam insulation company. You can contact the Small Business Administration and SCORE--a group of retired business owners who volunteer to help start ups--and explore your financing options. If you can come up with somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 for equipment and other expenses, you can start your own spray foam insulation business.
Decide if you want to "go it alone" as an independent contractor or join a national company as a franchisee. Franchise fees will add extra expense to your start up costs but may help your chances of success by helping with training and promotion. If you will have employees you will need to provide them with the necessary training and PPE or personal protective equipment and workers compensation coverage. You will need a general liability insurance policy and often a bond. Contact your insurance company about both.
Obtain equipment and necessary training for using it. You will need a suitable vehicle for your spray foam insulation business. Some operators use equipment that can be carried in a panel van and others use a truck and trailer setup. If you are purchasing spray foam insulation equipment directly and not part of a franchise, you should attend any training programs offered by the manufacturer about how to operate and maintain equipment. If proper procedures are not followed you can easily destroy equipment.
Advertise your business in the local yellow pages and by contacting and networking with local builders and remodelers. Try to participate in local expositions on green building or energy efficiency and set up a display showing the benefits or spray foam insulation. Some contractors use a pair of mock up walls with heat lamps and electronic thermometers to show the superior benefits of spray foam insulation versus fiberglass.