Francis Bacon once said, “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” Knowing what questions to ask siding contractors will help you choose the firm that is best suited for you and your home. If you fail to ask these questions, you could end up making the wrong choice, and getting less than ideal results.
Your final decision involves much more than just choosing the lowest estimate. Sad to say, some siding contractors perform shoddy work and quickly go out of business. If you choose a contractor that incorrectly installs the siding or takes shortcuts, the warranty provided by the manufacturer may become null.
Important Questions to Ask Siding Contractors
1. Do the Siding Contractors have Liability and Worker’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. That is why it is very important for them to have liability insurance as a business. Companies like Feingold Insurance can provide this for them, and these types of contractors may want to be directed towards this area.
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.
2. Can Extra Home Insulation be Added When Siding is Replaced?
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.
3. What Payment Schedule is Expected?
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.
4. Are There Any Guarantees and 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.
5. What Brand and Type of Siding will be 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.
6. How Long Has the Company Been 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.
7. Is the Contractor Licensed to do Siding Work in Your State?
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.
8. Do they have several referrals or 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.
9. Are they a local business?
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.
10. What is their policy for solving customer grievances and 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.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Crane is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has always been an entrepreneur and founded Crane Roofing over 30 years ago. Two of her sons now run the company, while Elizabeth writes for the website and gives business advice.