When putting siding on your home, it’s not something that should be taken lightly. It can be expensive, time consuming, and messy – particularly if you don’t have a good contractor. If you’re going to invest so much time and money, it’s important that you get it right the first time.
So much of a good siding job depends on hiring the right contractor. In the construction world, there are far too many people who claim to have extensive experience, but can’t hold up their end of the deal. It’s important to vet each contractor you consider in order to distinguish between the good contractors and the bad. Here are a few questions worth asking.
1. What is your experience with installing siding?
Ideally, the company you hire will have a decent amount of experience. That’s a good sign that they’ve been around the block a few times and can handle the challenges of an average siding job. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the company has the experience and knowledge necessary to do the job.
In addition to a company’s resume, it’s important that the crew has adequate experience. You may want to ask how long the foreman of the siding crew has been working in construction to ensure that the people in charge know what they’re doing.
2. Do you install James Hardie Siding?
Every contractor with your best interest in mind will recommend James Hardie Siding. It’s common knowledge that this type of siding is the best on the market, since it’s won many awards and is built to last. It’s made of fiber cement, which makes it strong, but flexible, and it comes in a number of designs and styles.
However, not all siding contractors are allowed to install James Hardie Siding. The creators of this siding have quality in mind, so they require that all contractors who wish to install their product go through a certification process. Be sure that your contractor is certified to install James Hardie Siding before asking them to do so.
3. Do you use sub-contractors?
After taking on your siding project, some contractors will outsource the work to improve efficiencies and cut costs. These are called sub-contractors, and it’s not always a good thing for homeowners. The company you hire might sell your project or portions of it to another company, meaning they have no say over the quality of the job performed.
It’s best to have a company who uses their own full-time employees complete the work. That way, you know who you’re dealing with and you don’t have a group of strangers on your property while the work is being completed.
4. What expectations are associated with payment?
This is a broad question that will open the door to several important questions about payment. You’ll want to know if they plan to send you a bill for the job or if you are required to pay everything up front. This is very important to know because a siding job can cost thousands of dollars, and not everyone has that kind of cash up front.
In addition, you’ll need to know if there’s a certain amount of money expected as a down payment so you can be sure to come with payment ready. Some contractors will also ask that you make payments during specific stages of the project.
As a general rule, it’s not wise to pay for a project entirely up front. Scams are all too common in the construction world, and you never know if the company will take your money and run if you pay everything at once.
5. Do you offer any guarantees or warranties?
The best siding contractors will offer some kind of warranty or guarantee on the work completed. Construction jobs are often unpredictable as far as the quality is concerned. Mistakes can happen with any contractor, so you need one that will fess up when mistakes are made and repair the damage for free, as long as certain conditions are met.
For those who get James Hardie Siding from a certified contractor, there’s always a warranty. Luckily, you probably won’t need the warranty, since the siding is low maintenance, resistant to fading, weather resistant, fire resistant, insect resistant, and very durable.
6. Are you licensed to do siding in my state?
Some states require specific licensing to install siding. You’ll want to ask your contractor if they do siding within your state to make sure they’re familiar with the corresponding building codes, and you won’t run into legal problems. Any legal issues that may arise when a siding contractor fails to meet a building code can end up shutting down a project potentially for months at a time, leaving you high and dry.
7. Can you provide references?
The absolute best way to know you’re dealing with a good contractor is to ask for references from those who have used them before. Ideally, you would ask for at least five names and their contact information to learn how the siding contractor has performed in the past. You don’t need to call each of these numbers, but choose one or two at random for a good idea of the contractor’s reputation.
In addition, look for references outside of the names the contractor gave you. For example, you might search on social media for their page to see if there are any negative comments. Websites like Yelp and YellowPages also provide review pages to help you get an accurate picture of the kind of service you’ll receive from a certain contractor.
8. What’s your procedure for removing waste?
This one is important for your safety and comfort during a siding job. A good contractor will bring a bin to park on the side of the road (not your driveway or lawn) and use it to collect the debris from the siding job. They’ll cart it away afterwards, not leaving even a finishing nail on your sidewalk. This is the kind of treatment you want, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.
Get Excellent Service Through American Home Contractors
If you’re looking for a contractor that can answer each of these questions with flying colors, look no further than American Home Contractors. Our team is fully certified in James Hardie Siding, and we only offer the best customer service and quality to each of our customers. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us today!