A couple outside their home with new siding.

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Hiring a Siding Contractor


In or Near Your Area

Most siding contractors are listed in the phone book or online. Ask friends, co-workers or neighbors if they have had any siding contractors do work on their house. Get recommendations from them. Visit a siding material supply store or home renovation center and ask for siding contractor referrals.

Interview Potential Contractors

Choose 3 contractors and make an appointment with each one to visit your home and explain your needs.

Check each siding contractor's license to ensure it is valid.

Request a detailed, written quote from each contractor.

Inquire about warranties and work guarantees. Get all warranty and guarantee information in writing.

Examine each contractor's portfolio. Make sure the contractor is familiar with and has worked on projects using the type of siding you desire. Some contractors may specialize in certain types of siding, such as seamless vinyl or fiber cement siding.

Consider each contractor's professional appearance, attitude and willingness to answer questions. The level of professionalism could reflect how seriously the contractor takes his job.

Ask For References From Contractor

Contact each reference and, if possible, visit the homes to view the work done by the siding contractor.

Discuss Job Details

Review specific job responsibilities and expectations, such as old material removal, potential problems and time frame for completion.

Ask the siding contractor whether he obtains any required permits or if you must get the permits.

Meets Your Budget & Needs

Obtain a written and signed contract outlining material costs, labor charges, start date and estimated completion date. Include other matters of interest or concern.

Look up reviews on Yelp or similar sites to make sure previous clients are happy with the work they delivered.

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Questions To Ask


Liability/Workman's Compensation Insurance

When it comes to liability insurance siding contractors may carry vastly different amounts of coverage, and some may not have any coverage at all in this area. If the individual or company does not have any liability coverage or this is inadequate you could end up having to pay to perform repairs or replace any damaged items and then sue the contractor.

If a worker is injured on your property, and the contractor does not have worker’s compensation insurance, you can be held responsible for any medical costs that are incurred. Ask to see proof of insurance to make sure you are not liable.

Will Insulation Be Added

Adding additional home insulation can help you lower your heating and cooling bills and keep your energy use in check. Professional siding contractors should discuss the different options that you have as far as insulation types and the costs involved. If you are going to have your siding repaired or replaced and you want extra insulation this is the best time to do it.

Payment Schedule

When you are comparing and evaluating siding contractors make sure that you are aware of the expected payment schedule before you make any final decision. Some companies require a specific amount down, and then specific payments for each stage of the project. Other firms may only require payment upon completion of the work. It is inadvisable to pay the total project amount in full up front before any work has been started.

Guarantees/Warranties Offered

Most siding contractors will offer some type of guarantee as far as the work is concerned, and most materials offer some type of warranty as long as certain conditions are met. Find out what these are before you choose a contractor to do the work.

Brand/Type of Siding Installed

Siding contractors should always provide a written estimate. This should include a list of the brands and types of materials that will be used. It should include all siding products, home insulation, and anything else that will be needed for the project aside from any unexpected surprises.

How Long in Business

Some siding contractors have decades of experience, others just started in the industry a few months ago. This can make a big difference in the results that you get. Make sure you choose a contractor who has plenty of experience in this area.

State License

In many states, siding contractors are required to be licensed in order to do this type of work. Ask for the license number of the contractor and verify that they are qualified to handle this work.

Do They Have References

Knowing that a siding contractor has successfully completed other homes is mandatory. Ask for a list of at least five names and phones number of prior customers. You don’t need to call them all, but randomly choosing two or three to call will give you a good idea of the contractor’s reputation.

Are They Local

Using a local business for any home improvements will help protect your investment. Often times siding contractors descend on an area to try and garner business. This is especially true when storm or hail damage has occurred. These storm chasers will be gone as soon as the work in the area is completed, leaving you high and dry if you need any repairs or further work completed.

How Do They Solve Grievances/Complaints

This is a question that siding contractors are seldom asked. Nevertheless, it is an important one. Businesses, both large and small, that have been in business for a considerable length of time, may have received complaints along the way. Reputable siding contractors will handle these complaints immediately and resolve any issues.

Follow up on this by checking with the Better Business Bureau and local licensing departments to find out about any complaints that have been filed and if they were adequately resolved. The Better Business Bureau annually evaluates companies to determine their ratings.

Knowing the right questions to ask and getting the correct answers will have you on your way to making the best decision. Don’t hesitate to get the information you need. Reputable siding contractors will welcome your inquiries.

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10 Things to Know About Home Siding


Wood Siding (Usually Cedar)

Use 3/4” material, prefinished on all sides with all cuts treated; this will significantly increase the life of wood siding.

Make sure that there is adequate pigment in the stain so that the siding can hold up against the inevitable breakdown from UV rays.

Specify custom flashings that match the finish of the siding material; capping walls and elements cleanly significantly improves the finished look of the siding system. A good example of this is the situation at window heads where an unintentional and chunky detail can visually spoil the siding system.

The wood should always be held a minimum of 1/8” away from flashings to reduce staining and wicking.

Set-up the window/door patterns and the details for trim-less exterior profiles well in advance of installing the siding. When it comes time to install the siding, it should be a simple matter of following instructions that have been previously thought-out.

Organize the siding system into clean planes of siding and glass. This sharpens up the project and typically creates a simple set of rules for the siding system to follow.

Panelized Siding

Always pick modules that are slightly less than the sheet material size.  Sheets can be slightly trapezoidal, edges can get dinged, etc. Allow for a margin that can be trimmed off the panels, since you can’t add onto the panels (without doubling amount of panels).

True cement board panels like Sill-LEED are more expensive up-front, but they are no-maintenance in future (the siding system needs to be a rainscreen system for true cement board panels).

Smooth Hardie-Board panels are a good option for inexpensive rainscreen systems or applied systems as long as all the edges are primed/ painted and all the penetrations are treated carefully. The material has a paper pulp composition which has always concerned us a bit (hence the full coverage with the weather proofing).

Review your material, paint & stain samples outside in true lighting conditions. There’s a big difference between natural daylight and incandescent/fluorescent interior lighting when it comes to siding samples.

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