Looking to update or replace your siding? Replacing your home’s siding is one of the best home improvement projects you can undertake. Not only does it protect the exterior of your home, but it also adds value and aesthetic appeal. However, new siding is a significant investment, so finding a quality siding contractor is crucial. It is a process that takes time, and should not be rushed. In fact, finding the right siding contractor is no different from finding, say, the right doctor, or car mechanic. You need to do your due diligence, ask the right questions and find the perfect fit for you. In this article, we have put together 7 important questions to ask a siding contractor before signing on the dotted line. Do not worry about asking too many questions – any reliable and trustworthy siding contractor will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
1. Is the business licensed and insured?
Not all states require siding contractors to be licensed, so do not skip this question. While a siding contractor might have a business license, this is not the same as a siding contractor license. A business license will not tell you if they are a competent contractor in replacing siding. As such, it is vital to ensure the contractor is licensed, as their credentials are an indicator of their degree of knowledge, professionalism, and dedication to the home improvement industry.
At the same time, check if the siding contractor carries comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. You can ask potential contractors to verify their insurance by asking to see their certificate of insurance. While carrying insurance might make the overhead costs of hiring a siding contractor slightly higher, it is worth paying that little bit extra in case something goes wrong. Be very wary of uninsured contractors and do not fall prey to the fact they are cheaper to hire.
2. What is your experience level?
While asking someone’s age might be considered a social faux pas, asking how long a siding contractor has been in business is essential. While the length in business does not always equate to being a good siding contractor, it is generally safe to assume the longer they have been in business, the better. While a new business might look like it has a promising future, unfortunately, the failure rate of new small businesses is quite high. That is not to say avoid all new businesses – but if you do go down this road, asking for references of previous work is vital.
3. What is your warranty offering?
Warranties will differ from contractor to contractor. What is most important to consider is the intent and ability of the contractor to honor their warranty policy. You can find out whether a contractor is true to his word by using customer referrals. A contractor should always warrant their workmanship, while the manufacturer should also offer warranties for the siding, meaning you will have two warranties covering your new siding. Trustworthy contractors will generally still offer to fix any problems, even after their workmanship warranty has run out, because a reliable contractor will want to stand behind his work. Meanwhile, it is also important to remember improper installation can void the product warranty, which is another reason it is crucial to hire a quality siding contractor.
4. Do you have references and referrals?
Asking for customer referrals is one of the most important steps in finding a quality siding contractor. It is one of the best ways to get a feel for the quality of their work, and how good they were to deal with throughout the process. Asking for a list of about 10 past customers is a good starting point, and while you do not have to call everyone on the list, you will have a good number to pick and choose at random. Photos of past work are also a good indicator of how good the contractor is, so be sure to ask for visual references as well.
5. What is the project cost of the project?
Before beginning any work, a good siding contractor will provide you with a written estimate that includes the projected costs of the siding replacement, including materials costs, permits, and labor costs. While sometimes the cost ends up being more than originally quoted due to unforeseen issues, a reputable contractor should be able to give a rough estimate. Also, if the contractor asks for 100% of the project cost upfront, this is a major red flag. Do not pay in full until the project is finished. Trustworthy siding contractors will likely only ask for a deposit, and then the rest of the project cost in installments.
6. What siding products do you use?
A good siding contractor will be able to help you choose the right siding based on your needs. From the look and feel to upkeep and maintenance, every siding material has its pros and cons, and a quality siding contractor will be able to give you a good rundown of each. They should also work with quality manufacturers to procure their siding materials, so it is worth asking where they buy their siding.
7. Who will be working on my siding project?
Having one team work on your siding project from start to finish is the only response you want to this question. You do not want a different team turning up every day. Having too many people working on your project is a recipe for miscommunication. That is why the siding contractor you choose should be able to confidently tell you there will be one team working on your siding project at all times.
We hope this article has helped make the process of finding a siding contractor much simpler. If you have any additional questions or would like a free quote for your replacement siding project, get in touch with WoW today.