Home Siding Estimate - Rules to Follow When Seeking Prices
Follow these rules when choosing a contractor to be certain that your home siding estimate isn’t overly low for a reason
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Time can be a pesky nuisance. You’ve bought your house, shelled out thousands in mortgage payments, repaired its every crack as if you were a baby, and maybe even set out a few garden gnomes to guard your immaculately manicured lawn. But the years have gone by, and now your home siding is a pale, cracked shell of its former glory.
So you’ve gone out and found a home siding estimate or two. How do you know the contractor offering that home siding estimate will care about your home as much as you have? Here are some rules to follow to ensure you’re hiring the right person for the job.
SIDE WITH THE BEST
Rule #1 - Reject uninsured contractors
If a contractor is uninsured, all liability for injuries and property damage are the homeowner’s responsibility. That’s a hefty burden you don’t want to carry.
Ask to see the contractor’s paperwork for worker’s compensation and liability insurance. A contractor’s word that they’re insured isn’t enough.
An uninsured contractor will probably quote a lower home siding estimate than competitors. Then if something goes wrong, that estimate transforms into thousands upon thousands of your dollars spent on injured workers or property damages.
Rule #2 - Reject contractors who don’t offer service warranties
Home siding can crack, warp, and suffer other damages if installed incorrectly. Many issues caused by poor installation will creep up within the first year, so make sure your contractor offers a minimum of a one-year service warranty. Many contractors offer longer warranties, but that doesn’t necessary mean a better warranty. Some contractors commit to warranties better than others, and the only way to know how well they keep their promises is by following the next rule.
Note that contractors’ service warranties differ from parts and materials warranties, which are offered by the siding manufacturer and typically last longer.
Rule #3 - Reject contractors who do not have or are unwilling to give references
References form the basis of customer satisfaction marketing for siding contractors. Quality contractors want to refer new clients to past customers because they know their work will speak for itself.
Consumer watchdog services recommend you call at least a few of a contractor’s clients and ask whether the work was done with timeliness and professionalism, that changes to the initial estimate were kept to a minimum, and that the contractor seemed trustworthy.
Rule #4 - Reject contractors who cannot clearly outline pricing, payment schedules, and cost changes
A contractor’s initial home siding estimate doesn’t mean a final price. This will often change. Contractors may take a closer inspection of the home after you accept an estimate and give you a proposal, which should outline total cost, payment schedule, and the deposit amounts needed before beginning work.
Deposits will usually be a fraction of the final cost. Established contractors plan for clients to pay over time.
Rule #5 - Reject contractors without a permanent place of business
Every roofer got his or her start somewhere, but any business you’re paying several thousand dollars should have a permanent office that wasn’t newly erected. Consumer advocacy groups recommend hiring contractors with at least three years of experience who are based locally.
Local often means lower costs due less distance to transport materials, as well as more flexibility for contractors to work within breaks in bad weather. And locally based contractors usually put a stronger emphasis on customer satisfaction because it carries a more meaningful marketing impact.
Rule #6 - Reject contractors with numerous complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau
Even the best siding contractors may get complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, but quality contractors should clear these up as soon as possible. Be wary of contractors with numerous, long-standing complaints. To check on a contractor’s background, visit the Better Business Bureau.
Rule #7 - Reject contractors who try to hide trim, accessories, and other needs
Trim, accessories, and other needs for installation should be included with the home siding estimate. If a contractor says it’s not included, be wary that other “hidden” charges could be concealed and added to your bill later.