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Getting new siding for the home is an excellent opportunity to present your character. It’s a great time to consider a completely new siding material and update the aesthetic presentation. And possibly save money in the future with improved energy performance and weather protection. However, siding is only as good as its installation. Improperly installed siding can lead to high costs and damage to your home, which is why picking the right siding contractor is critical for your home siding project.
Choosing the knowledgeable siding contractors is as much an art as a science that goes beyond comparing prices, though the cost is essential. A bad contractor one that is inexperienced with the siding material you choose can void your warranty at the least and leave your home unprotected against external factors at the worst. For these reasons and more, it’s vital to decide whom to choose as your siding contractor as closely as you would any other professional.
Besides checking their online reputation and asking family and friends, there are a few other steps to check if the siding contractor you’re thinking is the right one for you.
What To Look For In A Siding Contractor?
The two most critical things to think about when choosing the best siding contractor are their qualifications and how they run their business. To that end, we have put together the top ten questions to ask to classify the qualified from the unqualified.
It’s essential to ask for and get the full name and address of the siding company. If they give a P.O. Box, take the time to ask for the complete street address. Not only does having a physical address add to the likelihood of them being legitimate, but it also allows for better customer service and response times.
Are They Insured?
Professional siding contractors should have at least complete general liability coverage along with worker’s compensation insurance. Having these two elements will protect you as a homeowner if damage to the home or property occurs during installation. Additionally, if a worker gets injured and the contractor doesn’t cover the worker injury, it could be you and your insurance responsible for the medical charges. Make sure to ask for particular proof of coverage and review the terms, so you remain as familiarized as possible.
Do They Have License?
This is to verify if the contractors are licensed by the state and/or city. Keep in mind that not all states require licensing, but possibilities are that an exam or something similar was required for them to legally provide contractors services. Check city and state guidelines to verify the contractor complies. Also, a business license is not the same as being licensed as a contractor so be sure to have both proofs.
Here is the helpful resource in Washington state where you can verify siding contractors license:
Is There a Workmanship Warranty?
In general, there are two warranties. One is the manufacturer’s warranty, which covers the siding material upon defects in manufacturing. The other is a workmanship warranty. This is given by the contractor and is a measure of assurance against installation issues. A contractor should be willing to back up his/her work with a warranty. In addition to the term of the warranty period, consider the contractor’s intention and capability to meet the terms of the warranty. It doesn’t help you if they are incompetent of fixing the problem or leave the warranty open-ended enough to not be liable to fix anything.
What Type of Siding Are They Experienced With?
Sometimes, you can find a siding contractor that checks off all the right boxes and is ideally qualified; however, they’re still a bad option for you to consider. This is usually thanks to the siding material you pick. For instance, a siding contractor may be experienced with vinyl or plastic siding, but not know the first thing about fiber cement siding. Take the time to explore their specialties to ensure that there’s no question of their skills when it comes time to do the job.
It’s true that a contractor meets or exceeds the standards set by the questions above, but it’s also true that you get what you pay for with this kind of work. With a genuinely qualified siding contractor, you may pay more upfront, but benefit from savings down the road thanks to your installation quality.
Overall, new siding installations take between $15,000-$45,000 for residential customers. The material is chosen, the home’s size, the home’s structure, and your geography all play a role in planning where you fall in that range. Besides those factors, labor is the single biggest sign of how much your siding installation will cost. When choosing the right siding contractor, it is crucial that they are well-qualified, but it’s also equally as important that they’re able to meet your budget without reducing quality.
The good news is that installation estimates normally has the labor already covered making the price clean and tidy for your review. The labor is priced by the square foot and is modified according to the material you prefer. The heavier the siding, the more workers needed to safely and efficiently install the siding.
We have also added some tips for how to manage your costs from start to end here.
- On-Site Visit: Never take an estimate or guarantee bid without the companies first completing an onsite visit. The contractor should examine your home, take measurements, be aware of any structural difficulties, and have the possibility to advise on how well a particular material will deliver. This is your opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for how satisfied the contractor will be to work with.
- Written Estimate: Never trust a spoken estimate. Make sure absolutely everything is written down and given to you. Particularly watch for hidden fees, add-ons, or anything that would be deemed extra, i.e., removing old siding. Careful review now can save you hundreds later.
- Estimate Review: There should be at least three estimates from three separate companies by the time you’re ready for this step. Match up the estimate to the answers you got along with verification of their references and prior work. One contractor may have the best price, but not propose something you need making them an unsuitable choice. Accurately weigh the quotes to get the best value, not just the best price.
Labor costs are high for a good reason. It takes work and time to get the job done and contractors should be compensated for this. However, you can manage the total costs by taking on some duties yourself to save time and effort, thereby decreasing your budget.
Some items you can do:
- Trim or tie back trees close to the home. This generates a workspace and saves the contractor a step in their prep.
- Mow the lawn. Shorter grass gives it more accessible to walk across and also makes finding loose nails and staples easier.
- Clear the work area. Things like patio furniture, plants, and more only serve to get in the way and add to frustration levels. Remove them for the work space and watch the contractors fly through their work.
As a final tip, make sure to clarify the terms of the warranty. The warranties should protect you from unfavorable issues and reduce the financial burden. It’s important to understand what the warranty covers, what nullifies it, and what you’re getting. Usually, the more expensive the warranty the longer it’s valid for. Still, take the time to evaluate and ask questions. A proper warranty given by a qualified contractor will save you thousands in the future.
Conclusion: Choosing The Right Siding Contractor
There’s no doubt about it. Choosing your siding contractor can be a lot of work, but it’s not an impossible job and more than worth the time invested. Assess their work quality, expertise with siding materials, and their overall professionalism, and more than half the job is done. Besides the contractor, you can make it simpler on yourself by sticking to high-quality products thereby ensuring that your next siding installation is a success.
Keep one thing in mind. If you’re not getting a good feeling regarding the contractor, then they’re not the right one for you. Always go with your gut when it comes to bad feelings. If they won’t answer your questions or can’t provide proof of certification or licensing, then walk away and find another contractor. Siding installation is not a project that you’d want to compromise on quality. So don’t be tempted to choose an inexperienced contractor that might wind up costing you much more for poor work.
Please don’t hesitate to contact if you have any questions about picking the right siding contractor for your home.