10 Steps to Choosing a Professional Siding Contractor

Even in the best of times it can be stressful trying to choose the right contractor for your wants and needs. And in the last few years with lower funds, higher needs, and more unprofessional people coming into the market place under cutting and under performing, that choice has become even harder for homeowners. There are some basic things you can and should do before you hire someone to install siding on your home.

Interview the contractor. Don’t just call and ask for a FREE Estimate. Without meeting with a contractor you have no idea what you are getting. And if you don’t have time to do your due diligence you will get what you asked for. You should choose a contractor who employs capable installers. In most cases low price will get you low quality.

Take the time to evaluate their entire package: the owners, the installers, how long the companies been in business, their reputation.

But how do you make the right evaluation?  Here’s 10 steps to get you started:

1. What’s the full name and address of the company?

Never do business with a company that has a PO Box address. Most reliable contractors have an office that you can visit, and have been in business for more than five years. Don’t do business with someone whose office is the dash board of their truck.

2. Does the company carry insurance?

Ask for a copy of the insurance certificate: both Workman’s Compensation and General Liability. Your homeowner’s policyWON’T cover a contractor working on your home or his employees if something happens.

3. Is the company licensed?

To be a legally operating contractor doing work valued over $1,000 inMassachusettsyou must be a licensed Construction Supervisor, have a Home Improvement Contractor License for the company, and hold a valid RRP License if working on homes built prior to 1978. In addition to Workman’s Compensation and General Liability Insurance.

4. Is the company credentialed?

This is an important question when choosing a siding installer. Any established Vinyl Siding Company has people certified by the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI), and Manufacturer Certified (like Certainteed’s 5-Star Certifications)

5. How long has the company been in business?

Most small businesses fail in the first 5 years. Needless to say longer is better. Business that have been established for multiple generations, and many decades can only stay in business by doing a good job at a fair price.

6. Will the company provide referrals of previous jobs?

Check our photos on their website, look at past projects. You should be able to get a list of referrals and a list of past projects that you can drive by and see different colors and style options.

7. What is the workmanship warranty?

You should make sure that as part of your contract a written warranty will be provided, what that warranty will cover and for how long. Most manufacturers will warranty their product (if installed to their specifications) but will not warranty the labor. So make sure your installer will provide a written labor warranty at the end of the project.

8. What are the company’s reviews on Angie’s List?

A service like Angie’s list can give you some independent reviews and feedback on your potential contractor. Contractors can not pay to be on the service or for the reviews. The reviews come from real people like you and not anonymous users.

9. Does the contractor explain the scope of work and payment schedule?

Your proposal should outline in detail what is and is not included in your project, from the building permit, set up and clean up, what products will and won’t be used, what will happen with your landscaping, clean up and warranty.

The payment schedule should be well defined in the contract and the contractor should be able to clearly let you know when payments will be due.

10. Who will be obtaining the building permit?

The contractor should ALWAYS obtain the building permit under their license. Any contractor who asks you to get the permit is not a professional and should be avoided.

Following these 10 steps should give you a good start to choosing a safe and professional contractor. Vinyl Siding Installation is a process you may not be familiar with until it is time to have some work done n your home. Hopefully the tips above will help steer you towards a professional company that you will feel comfortable asking questions to and helping educate you because there is a lot to learn about which products will best fit your individual needs.