Your home’s exterior siding is an aesthetic element that greatly contributes to curb appeal, but it’s also an invaluable protection against the elements and a contributor to the energy efficiency of your home. As such, you want to ensure that old and damaged siding is promptly replaced by a professional siding contractor.
In hiring a contractor for your siding cladding, you’ll want to be sure to do your due diligence. There are many reputable professionals with the knowledge, tools, and experience to get your siding job completed. However, there are just as many impostors lacking the appropriate credentials and intending to scam you or leave you with inferior work.
Here are some must-know tips to hire the best siding contractor to install the siding on your home.
1. Familiarize Yourself With Your Siding Options
There are various options for siding, including wood, metal, fiber cement, and vinyl. Each option has a different look, function, and benefit that you can research to determine the best fit for your unique home and budget.
The installation method and tools vary from material to material. While some contractors may routinely work with all types of siding, many may specialize in one or the other or even exclusively work with a specific type. You can also look at specific brands to determine if they have a litmus test to certify or educate contractor’s on the installation of their product.
So, you’ll want to have in mind which siding type you’d like to use on your home so that you can target your contractor search to the specific material, such as a vinyl siding contractor if your preference is vinyl siding or a wood siding contractor if your preference is wood siding.
2. Start Your Search For The Best Contractor
Referrals from personal and professional sources is a great starting point in your search for the best contractor for your siding job. Do you like the siding on a particular home you’ve seen? Ask the homeowner for a referral and if they were satisfied with the contractor’s timeliness, professionalism, quality of work, budget adherence, and other facets of the job.
Do a local search for contractors in your specific geographical area. Remember, you can further fine tune your search with the type of material you’d like to use – North Carolina vinyl siding contractor, for example.
3. Vet Your Contractor Prospects
Once you’ve created a list of potential contractors for your siding job, you’ll want to check their references and online reviews. How past clients feel about the quality of work and customer care they received from a contractor is a good indicator of what you can expect on your own job.
Look at the contractor’s social media pages and business website. What do comments and reviews say? Check the reviews and ratings on listing services, such as Angie’s List. What does the Better Business Bureau website say about the contractor?
Do remember, however, that online reviewers can both be paid to make adoring reviews or have a history of never being satisfied. In other words, you should look at the cumulative of reviews verses putting too much stock in any one particular review.
It’s important to also call the contractor for their own customer references. Any reputable contractor will be able to provide you with at least three references that you can contact to ask the following questions:
- Was the job completed in a timely manner and follow any agreed upon schedule?
- Was the job completed correctly and to any agreed upon specifications?
- Was the job completed within budget?
- Was the contractor easy to reach and communicate with when needed?
- How is the completed job holding up and, if problems arose, how has the contractor addressed those issues?
- What would you rate the contractor’s customer service?
4. Look At The Contractor’s Portfolio
Most contractors will have a page on their website dedicated to testimonials and photos of past work they’ve done. If not, contact the contractor to send you their portfolio. This gives you an idea of the quality of craftsmanship you can expect, and it also can be helpful to look at before and after pictures in relation to choosing your own material preferences.
5. Get Multiple Bids
Reputable siding contractors usually offer a free bid or estimate. They’ll come to your home and assess the scope of the job and the materials, tools, and man-hours necessary to complete it. Getting multiple bids may seem like it slows down the process of getting your siding up, but it can actually give you a lot of useful preinstallation information, including the following points:
- Never trust a bid from a contractor willing to give you a number without assessing the project first.
- Bids should be fairly close; any significantly higher or lower number usually signals that a contractor isn’t familiar with siding projects or is attempting to scam you.
- Estimates are the perfect time to get to know your contractor’s knowledge base, personality, and professionalism to see if it’s a match for your project.
- Contractors should be willing and able to answer all your siding questions in a knowledgeable way that you can understand and come away from satisfied. If not, then it’s best to move on to contractor who better meets your needs.
6. Ask Questions
While you can get a lot of this information from a contractor’s website, you’ll want to ensure that you know the answers to some crucial questions before making your final selection on a vinyl siding contractor:
- How long have you been installing siding?
- Do you specialize in a specific type of siding installation?
- Do you have any specialty training or certifications in installing a specific type of siding material?
- Do you have a local brick and mortar location that can be visited should I have a question, concern, or problem in the future?
- What type of workmanship warranties and product warranties do you offer?
- Are you licensed, insured, and bonded to cover any accidents and workman’s compensation issues that may arise on the project?
- What customer service policy do you have in place to help me should I have an issue during the project; would I call you or someone who works for you?
- Do you offer a free in-person estimate?
- Does your final bid include an itemized price breakdown of materials and services and a timeline for completion?
- Who acquires all the required permits for the job? (Legally, permits fall on the homeowner’s shoulders, but many contractors take care of this aspect for you.)
- Who is responsible for debris and waste created by the project?
- What post-project cleanup services, such as a rolling magnet for lose metal, are included in the contract?
7. Ask For An Estimate In Writing
Never hire a contractor without a written contract of work. This should include a point-by-point price breakdown of labor, materials, optional materials, and total cost. It should include all terms and exceptions of work and payment. Most importantly, it should include a minimum guarantee of professional workmanship and product material warranties.
Contact Crossover Roofing Today
In closing, your home is likely the single most costly investment you’ll make in your lifetime. As such, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure the professionals you hire to care for and repair it maintain rigorous standards of workmanship and are knowledgeable in their practices. At Crossover Roofing, we uphold the importance of a job done right the first time and respect your entire home throughout the siding project.
When it comes to replacing your siding, don’t skip out on the above due diligence and leave your home exposed to costly inferior work that can impact its aesthetics and function. Crossover Roofing is here to answer all your contractor vetting questions for your siding project. Contact us today to get your free estimate and get the job done with the quality, professional workmanship you expect and deserve.
Mary Jane Hedrick is the owner of Crossover Roofing, LLC and believes that her customers are entitled to receive exceptional service and superior craftsmanship from the leading roofing, siding, and windows company in the Triad.