5 Tips for Comparing Siding Estimates
You’ve decided to invest in new siding for your home. After finding a few local companies, you secured at least three estimates, which you now have sitting in front of you. But how do you know which one to choose?
We’ve put together these five tips to help you pick the right home contractor to install your new siding:
1. Compare Siding Contractors
You need to do your homework before choosing a siding contractor. Questions to consider include:
- What do their customers have to say about them? You can read testimonials, which many siding contractors will post on their websites, or rely on third-party reviews through sources like HomeStars. Don’t forget to investigate their Better Business Bureau profile. It will include customer feedback, current or past complaints, and an overall rating.
- Are they properly licensed and insured? Siding contractors need to be covered by two different types of insurance – General Liability and Workers’ Compensation – to protect both you and the contractor if they’re injured or your home is damaged while they’re working.
- Which suppliers do they work with? Using industry-leading products will ensure the best results. Pay attention to their professional reputation, making sure they always pay bills from their suppliers. If invoices aren’t paid, suppliers can come after you to recoup their losses.
- How long have they been in business? More years in operation means a greater depth of experience – and that means better results for you. Really research each company to be sure their claims are valid. If a siding contractor has pinned up a sign professing 25 years of experience, does that mean 25 years of running a successful business or 25 years of starting, shutting down, and re-starting their business?
- Where are they actually located? Reputable siding contractors will have a physical location (whether a showroom or an office) out of which they work. If your contractor gives you a cell phone number of PO box as contact information, make sure you follow up to find out their real
2. Ask About the Materials Each Home Contractor Will Use
It’s important for your estimate to go into detail. If it doesn’t, ask your siding contractor to provide clarification. The right materials will add years onto your siding’s life, while the wrong ones will take them all away – meaning higher repair bills down the road.
Remember, if a siding contractor tells you exactly how much of something they’ll need without taking any measurements, that’s a bad sign. They need to justify their costs, which they won’t be able to do without accurately measuring the areas they’ll be working on.
3. Focus on the Details
Some seemingly innocuous details can quickly separate the novices from the experts, which is why you need to pay attention to them:
- Will your siding contractor use undersill trim to prevent siding from rippling and waving? Not all siding contractors use it, as it adds additional cost and labour requirements onto the project. It helps prevent siding from rippling and waving. It won’t make a big difference initially, but eventually you’ll see more buckling.
- How will they mitre the J-Channels (the accessory used to keep water flowing properly away) around your windows? Most home contractors prefer a 45-degree mitre cut, though some will also do square edges. Your home contractor should be able to confidently answer this question when you ask.
- Do they hand-mitre their own corners or use pre-made ones? Hand-mitred corners require more skill to make, but they look better and last longer than their pre-made counterparts.
- How do they nail siding? The answer to this question should be “not too tightly.” Your siding contractor needs to leave some room – about 80mm – to let your siding breath as the temperature fluctuates.
4. Study Workmanship and Material Warranties
It’s important to have the right warranties in your corner to protect your investment if something goes wrong. When considering estimates, make sure you study both:
- The workmanship warranty, which will be offered by the siding contractor to cover their work. Choosing a reputable company is important, as the warranty is only good for as long as the siding contractor is in business.
- The material warranties, offered by the suppliers to cover their own products. These typically vary anywhere from five to fifty years.
Remember to take into account whether or not warranties are transferrable between homeowners. This can be a great selling feature down the road!
5. Don’t Make a Price-Based Decision
Has your siding contractor promised to give you an unbeatable discount if you pay for the work up front in cash? Don’t do that. Reputable siding contractors rely on their estimates – and so should you!
Remember not to get hung up on price tags, especially when it comes to investing in your home. Saving a few dollars today can end up costing much more down the road if the job isn’t done right. Ultimately, you need to base your decision on each contractor’s reputation and the quality of workmanship they provide to ensure your siding looks and performs its best for years to come.
Get the highest quality siding installed by trusted experts to give your home personality, enhance its curb appeal, and keep the elements out. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home consultation!
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