Regardless of if you are replacing the siding on your house or installing it for the first time, installation of the siding is the most important aspect of the job. While it can be a do-it-yourself project, it’s best to stick to the professionals if at all possible. There are plenty of factors that you will need to consider before hiring a siding contractor. Use these tips to help find a good, honest siding contractor.
1. Define your project- It's important to define your project and set some boundaries before starting. Do your research before you begin looking for your contractor. Decide whether siding is the best option and if so which type of siding will work best for your home. Choose your color and the vendor that you like the best. Determine your budget and try your best to stick to it when it comes time for negotiation.
2. Find a Contractor- After you have decided that siding is the best option for you, it’s time to start looking for a contractor. The Internet is a powerful tool in today’s market and websites like www.goodhonestcontractor.com are a good way to find the right contractor for your job. Check out the work that the contractor has done on previous jobs for previous clients. Ask your friends and family for referrals or if they have heard of a particular contractor.
Some things to be sure to ask about the contractor include:
Was the contractor easy to work with?
How did they handle any issues on the job?
Did the contractor come within your budget or the estimate quoted?
Were you informed of any additional costs as they came up?
Would you hire the contractor again? If yes, why? If no, why not?
3. Interview the Contractor- Just like a job interview, a good, honest contractor will come to the appointment ready to find out if they are the perfect fit for your job. It’s best to interview and set up appointments with a few different contractors to get a variety of perspectives.
Some sample interview questions for the contractors should include:
How long have you been in business?
Do you have any jobs I can visit that you are currently working on?
What are your work hours?
How many employees are working for you? And how many can I expect to show up to install my siding?
How many years of experience do you and your employees have?
What are your terms of payment?
4. Do a thorough check- Once you have your potential contractors narrowed down, just like any good employer would, it’s time to check their backgrounds. Ask the contractors for references and follow up with those references to find out all you can about each particular contractor. If you need to show certification in the state in which you live, make sure to ask your contractor for their credentials. Good, honest contractors will be more than willing to provide references and their certifications. Any contractor not willing to share this information should raise a red flag for you and your “interview” with them should obviously stop there. When following up with references be sure to find out everything you can about the contractor. Workmanship, quality of work, communication, budget issues and their satisfaction with the contractor and the end result should all be discussed.
5. Contact the BBB- If you are having a hard time tracking down references, or if you are relatively new to the area, you can always contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to find out if the contractor is legitimate and in good standing. Visit www.bbb.org, to locate your local bureau. Enter the contractor or company’s name into the search engine within the site to see if they have been accredited by the BBB and also to see if they have any complaints against them within the bureau.
6. Receive an estimate- Estimates should always be free and it doesn’t hurt to get more than one estimate from your potential contractors. The information that should be in the estimate includes the work to be done (detailed), what materials will be used, how long the contractor anticipates the project will take and the final price. During the estimate process, it is a good time to find out if the contractor is insured. Making sure that they are insured will only help you in the long run, especially if any unforeseen issues come up resulting in damage or loss. Double check the insurance policy before you sign any contract with them to make sure you know what is covered by their policy. Planning ahead is never an accident.
7. Payment and Contract- Make sure that you and the contractor agree on a firm price before you sign any contracts. You are both held liable to that contract should there be any disputes or problems with the job. Establish a workable payment schedule and be sure that the contract handles all topics/issues that you need addressed prior to the contractor starting. Keep all of this information on hand until after the project is complete, and even for a few years following completion of the job.
We hope these tips will help you to find the best siding contractor for your job so that your home will look the best that it can and you will be 100 percent pleased with the job.