How to Choose the Right Siding Contractor
Finding a vinyl siding contractor is the easy part-you might locate a list of qualified siding installers online, through the phone book, or by asking around at your local home improvement stores. But choosing the right siding contractor from the list is worth taking a little bit more time to do right. After all, you’ll want to ensure that you are working with the best contractor possible for your vinyl siding job.
Here are the steps to choosing the right vinyl siding contractor:
Interview The Contractors.
You can easily pre-screen your list of potential siding installers by asking a few important questions. First, make absolutely sure they’re all licensed, bonded, and insured to work in your locality. Next, ask about their level of experience. Do they do vinyl siding installation exclusively, or is this just one of their many areas of practice? What about their crew…are they full-time siding installers or just hired day laborers? These are the kinds of discriminating factors that separate the professional siding contractors from the amateurs.
Ask About Materials.
Not all vinyl siding is created equal. There are different grades of quality, different warranty periods, and other important determining factors to consider. Make sure the siding contractor you choose to work with can provide (or is willing and authorized to work with) the specific line of vinyl siding materials you’d like to use.
Naturally, the bid you receive is going to play a major role in the decision of who to hire. Besides just looking at the bottom line price of the proposal, though, make sure to do a thorough walk-around with the contractors to get a feel for the scope of work and look for potential problem areas. Ask lots of questions as they’re planning and writing the bid-this is a perfect time to get a really good feel for how the contractor does business.
You’ll want to personally call or visit with a reasonable selection of the vinyl siding contractors’ references before choosing the final bid. Instead of just asking for a copy of their “pre-selected” reference list, ask for a list of the last ten projects they’ve worked on and contact those people. Reference lists provided automatically by contractors almost always consist of the best hand-picked customers who are known to give glowing testimonials. Ask for a real cross-sample of customers to be safe.
Inspect Past Jobs.
Like any quality construction project, it’s the details and trim work that matter the most. With vinyl siding installation, it’s also these areas that tend to become problem areas if done incorrectly or in a sloppy manner. Remember, it’s generally easy to make the mass coverage look okay, but the finish work is where it counts. Inspect several of your potential siding contractor’s past jobs closely and look at all of the small details.
Check Out An In-Progress Job.
Observing a current job site is always a great way to get a better feel of what kind of work a siding contractor actually does. A quality professional contractor takes a great deal of pride in their work and will always maintain a clean, orderly job site-as well as insisting their crew of vinyl siding installers look and behave professionally too. Don’t skip this step!
Ask About The Warranty.
It’s always a good idea to have a very clear understanding of how the warranty works. The materials and workmanship might both be covered by separate warranties. And sometimes, the vinyl siding company’s warranty might even become null and void if the product was installed incorrectly. Before beginning, get it in writing.
Choosing the right vinyl siding contractor doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge. It’s a matter of looking at how they work and gauging their level of professionalism more so than the bottom line price factor alone. For peace of mind with your new vinyl siding investment, both now and in the future, be sure to select a truly professional siding contractor that really knows their business inside and out.