One of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to fixing the exterior of your home is to hire a reputable siding company. While it might be tempting to take this project on by yourself, using a siding contractor can assure that your building products are installed correctly, avoiding any problems in the future from incorrect installation. Many people are tempted to simply pick the first contractor that their internet search brings up; however this could turn out to be a grave mistake. There are several things to look for in your siding contractor, whether the work you need done is interior or exterior work.
There are several important steps to follow in order to ensure that the contractor you are hiring is not only reputable but also performs work that people are pleased with:
Referrals – The best place to start your search in finding a reputable siding contractor is through referrals. The best contractors usually come through word of mouth. The best places to look for referrals include:
Homeowner Referrals – If another homeowner recommends a business or contractor, they are saying volumes about that business. If they are willing to recommend someone that did work on their own home, that typically means that they were very satisfied with the work and were willing to pass the name along. If the referral comes from a friend or relative you will be familiar with the quality that they expect which will help you decide how reputable the referral is. Talking to other homeowners will also give you an idea if the price you were quoted is reasonable compared to what they paid.
Home Shows – Home shows are a great place to check out many different siding contractors at once. Siding contractors will usually use this opportunity to show off their portfolio, giving you the chance to compare many different contractors’ work at once. It’s also a good chance to talk in depth with contractors, listen to the steps they took to complete certain projects and really get a feel for their character and amount of pride in their work.
Manufacturer Websites – Some manufacturer’s websites include a listing of professionals that install their product. If a manufacturer is willing to put their name on the line by listing a contractor, then their work is most likely dependable and worthy of the recommendation. Siding contractors that are recommended by a manufacturer might also have specialized training in that specific product or a larger product offering.
Once you have referrals that you can trust, the next three steps are simple:
Research Reputations – The beauty of the internet is that everyone loves to review services that they’ve received. Sites like YellowPages.com, Angie’s List and Yelp are great places to start looking for reviews on contractors you are thinking about using. If you are unable to locate any reviews online, it’s always acceptable to ask for references right from the contractor. You could also research them through the Better Business Bureau. Right on the BBB website you can see if this siding contractor has any formal complaints filed against them, if the contractor and business is accredited and what their rating is.
Check License and Insurance – Make sure the contractor you are interested in hiring is fully licensed. You should also be aware of your state’s licensing requirements, as each state has different requirements. Also check that the contractor holds liability insurance. There’s always the risk that a contractor could damage something on your property. Without the proper insurance, you might end up having to pay for the repairs, rather than the contractor being responsible. Liability insurance is also important in case the contractor or his help gets hurt while working on your home, without the proper insurance you could be held liable for the medical bills.
Permits – Before beginning any work, it’s imperative that your contractor obtains the proper permits that are required in your city. It is also important before any work begins to obtain any estimates in writing. These are helpful in cases when there is a discrepancy in the quoted price. The final step is to make sure that you have a guaranteed, final contract.