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Your home deserves the very best, so when you’re ready to commit to new siding, take time to vet contractors before hiring one. A siding replacement is a significant investment, and the right contractor makes all the difference in giving you your money’s worth.
Asking the right questions helps ensure you’re working with a team that is experienced, committed to craftsmanship, and trustworthy. Here’s what to find out, so you can rest assured you’ve chosen a siding team that knows what they’re doing.
Determine the Company’s Expertise
To ensure you’re talking with a contractor that is skilled in handling siding, find out:
1. Where are you located, and how long have you been in business?
To avoid scammers as well as inexperienced crews, be sure the siding contractors you consider are local to your area and have a track record of success.
2. Can you share some examples of recent jobs?
Companies that do top-notch work have no problem providing referrals and sharing their portfolio. Check out the company’s website for reviews and recent jobs, or ask for references.
3. Are you licensed and insured?
A good siding contractor will meet all state and local requirements for installing siding, including proof of licensing and certifications that indicate they meet the latest building codes.
The contractor should also have and provide proof of current, adequate liability and workers compensation insurance. Both licensing and insurance protect you should things go amiss during the project.
4. How big is your crew? Do you use subcontractors?
The size of the crew can affect how long the job takes, and how carefully the siding is handled. (Siding installation isn’t a one-man job!)
And it’s best to work with a company that doesn’t subcontract work. Since subcontractors don’t have to answer to you, they may not always provide top-notch service.
Learn about the Materials
The siding you install is a personalized choice—depending on factors like cost, style, durability and more. Find out:
5. What types of siding do you install?
Some companies install several types of siding, but that’s not always ideal because each type has its own installation needs. No company can be experts in everything. Find out how experienced they are at working with the specific siding you want on your home.
6. What are the pros and cons of your siding products?
A company that cares about a homeowner’s satisfaction will educate you on your options, and make sure you have the information you need to make a solid purchasing decision.
Feel free to ask how long the siding lasts, how good it is at insulating your home, how well it stands up to local weather, what colors and looks it can achieve, and anything else you’re curious about.
7. Do you have certifications for the siding you install?
Most manufacturers offer opportunities for contractors to be properly trained—but not all contractors pass the test. Look for a company that has earned the manufacturer’s seal of approval.
8. What warranties does the siding come with? Do you include a workmanship warranty?
Different siding materials come with different warranties, and you’ll want to know the details before you invest. Since siding is a significant investment, look for one with a lengthy lifespan and warranty (like James Hardie fiber cement!).
In addition, find out if the contractor offers a guarantee of their craftsmanship and labor. How do they handle it if something goes amiss during or after installation?
Confirm Costs and Services
To ensure you know exactly what to expect from your siding contractor, you should ask:
9. Do you provide a detailed quote or estimate?
To make the best decision for your home, you’ll need as much information as you can get. So, find out when you can expect an estimate and ensure you’ll get it in writing.
Ideally, that written estimate will include full details about materials being used, labor costs, and options for you to choose from. The more detailed, the better.
10. How is payment handled?
Your estimate and the contract should include a payment schedule. A down payment is standard, but don’t pay everything upfront. (That’s a sign the company is a potential scammer.) Also, find out if they offer financing options, or even discounts for military members, etc.
11. What’s the timeline for the installation?
Find out when the company plans to start your job, how long they estimate it will take, and when they’ll be finished. Ask for this in writing, if it isn’t already spelled out in the written quote and contract.
12. Who is responsible for handling jobsite preparation, cleanup, etc.?
To prepare for your siding installation, nearby lawn furniture will need to be moved, landscaping will need to be trimmed, and outdoor fixtures will need to be temporarily removed. Old siding and the related debris will need to be trashed. Find out if you or the contractor will do this.
13. Will you get the proper building permits?
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure a contractor’s work has the proper permits, but many contractors will help you with this. Confirm they’re doing it, and ask for copies of the approved permit.
See for Yourself the Transforming Power of Hardie Siding for Your Home
As a homeowner, you know how harsh Michigan’s wet and windy weather can be on your house. Keep it protected and looking beautiful too, with lasting, high-performing Hardie siding installed by our expert team.
John McCarter Construction is proud to be a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor—the highest level of certification the Hardie company offers. Being an Elite Preferred Contractor reflects our track record of high-end results, satisfied customers, and proven high standards that assure homeowners they can count on the very best in installation and performance for their Hardie siding.
Check out how we’ve beautified homes in your area with our gallery of before-and-after home exterior transformations—and picture how we can do the same for you.