Replacement siding is a significant investment in your home. When the right siding material is installed properly, it protects your home exterior and adds value and beauty. But getting your desired return on investment means choosing a siding contractor that will do the job properly, caring for your home as if it were their own.
Unfortunately, not all siding companies perform equally, so it pays to do your homework before hiring anyone. Remember, you deserve not only great replacement siding, but the confidence that comes from working with a contractor that respects your home. At John McCarter Construction, we provide attentive service, responsive communication and premium installations, so you can relax and enjoy your new siding.
As you check out siding contractors, compare them on these 10 signs of reliable service.
1. Insurance and Licensing
Before you allow anyone to work on your property, it’s vital that you ask about their insurance and licenses.
The contractor should provide you with proof of liability coverage, property damage coverage, and workers compensation insurance. This protects you in the event of a work-related accident on your property.
The siding contractor should also have all licenses necessary to work in your area. Licensing helps ensure the work is performed to proper standard and receives all the right permits.
2. Reviews and Referrals
Does the siding contractor have great reviews from satisfied clients? Five-star reviews and referrals tell you a lot about the experience you can expect to have with the contractor.
As you look through online ratings, pay attention to what customers say about how well the company communicates, how clean they kept the work site, how quickly they completed the project, and how they dealt with any unexpected challenges.
3. Experience Level
How experienced is the siding contractor at installing replacement siding? How many homes have they worked on? Have they worked on your specific style of home before? Check out their online gallery to see for yourself the type of work they do.
In addition to the company’s overall experience, find out if they have any specific achievements, awards and special qualifications. For example, our team is a Preferred Elite Contractor for James Hardie® siding, which means we meet James Hardie’s precise standards of installation. Certifications like these are another indicator of the siding contractor’s skills.
4. Projected Costs and Payment Plan
Before beginning any work, a reputable contractor will provide you with a written estimate with projected costs of the siding replacement, including materials costs, fees for items like permits, and labor costs. A good rule of thumb is to get at least three estimates from different companies before choosing who to hire.
Do not pay 100% of the costs upfront; anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer. Reputable siding contractors will ask for a down payment. Payment installments should be put in writing, with specifics about materials and labor, so you can track how the payments are being used.
5. Detailed, Written Contract
Your contract should be even more specific, indicating start and end dates for the siding replacement, the materials to be used, what to do if problems arise, how to handle changes in the scope of the work, who will handle getting work permits, who handles site cleanup, and more.
Read the contract completely, ask questions, and get clarity on anything you’re unsure of before signing anything.
6. Warranties on Materials and Labor
Different brands of siding come with different warranties. You’ll want to know how long your specific type of siding normally lasts, and what types of issues are and aren’t covered by warranty.
Find out also if your siding contractor offers guarantees on labor and installation. With many types of siding, such as James Hardie fiber cement siding, an improper installation can void the product warranty, so it’s important to know how siding companies view their workmanship.
7. Location of Siding Contractor
During storm season, there is always a chance that fly-by-night companies will visit your neighborhood, trying to make a quick dollar by offering shoddy repair work. To avoid such scammers, focus on hiring local siding contractors.
Local companies with a long track record of serving your area successfully are usually the best choice. Their employees are likely to live in town and value their local reputation. And they’ll be easier to track down if problems crop up after installation.
8. Siding Brands and Products Used
The type of siding you install is as important as the contractor you hire. Look for siding companies that offer a variety of siding replacement materials, so you have several options to consider.
Many homeowners prefer America’s #1 siding — James Hardie fiber cement siding. It’s strong, long-lasting, attractive, versatile, and offers a great return on investment. Learn more why you should tell your contractor that you want James Hardie siding here.
The best Hardie siding contractors are certified by the James Hardie company and trained in proper installation techniques.
Stone veneer is another high-end siding option that many homeowners prefer. It’s also worth finding out what added products, such as extra insulation, are available to enhance your home’s appearance, performance, and energy efficiency. And a good contractor will explain the different siding parts and products to you, so you understand your options.
9. Your Gut Sense
Ultimately, it’s important to consider how you feel about the siding contractors you’re interviewing. If you feel uncomfortable with a certain contractor, there’s probably a reason why. Respect your gut sense, and keep looking until you find a contractor who delivers top level service and also makes you feel comfortable working with them.
The Right Home Contractor for Your Siding Replacement and More
Finding the perfect siding contractor for your greater Detroit area home doesn’t have to be stressful. At John McCarter Construction, our goal is to create customers for life, and that means giving you the very best in customer service, superior products, and skilled workmanship.