Few things are more important to your home than siding. Not only does it protect your investment and keep your family safe from the elements, but it also directly impacts the value of your home. That’s why you must not only choose the right siding material, but also the best siding contractor.
The Why Behind James Hardie
Before discussing some of the things you’ll want to think about when choosing a contractor, let’s quickly rehash some of the primary benefits of going with James Hardie fiber cement siding.
- Extremely durable. Let’s start by noting that James Hardie siding is very durable. It’s made from a high-quality fiber cement product that’s insect, fade, and hail-resistant. That means you don’t have to repair it every single time Mother Nature lets out a scream.
- Name brand. The James Hardie name traces all the way back to 1888, which should tell you a bit about the reliability and trustworthiness of the company. After all, would you feel more comfortable dealing with a brand that dates all the way back to the 19th century, or a brand that just popped up last year?
- Strong ROI. James Hardie siding delivers a return on investment that very few other home projects can boast. In national reports, it annually yields a higher return than things like roof replacements, kitchen remodels, and vinyl siding.
When you combine durability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness, you get a solution that makes sense. That’s why James Hardie is one of the most highly sought after siding products on the market.
6 Tips for Choosing the Right Contractor
But your siding is only as good as the person who installs it. Choose a poor contractor and you’ll get shoddy installation work. However, choose a reliable contractor and you’ll enjoy the full benefits of James Hardie siding.
With that being said, here are a few of the things you’ll want to look for in your next contractor:
1. Ask the Right Questions
You don’t know unless you ask – this mantra holds true when it comes to evaluating siding contractors. While a contractor will tell you about their services and history, they aren’t always going to volunteer lots of superfluous details and information. It’s up to you to extract this information.
Much of the information you need will depend on your specific project, but the following questions represent a good starting point:
- Do you offer any guarantees or warranties? Some contractors offer warranties, while others don’t. Not only do you want to find out if these options exist, but you also want to study the details and conditions.
- How long have you been in business? Every contractor has to start somewhere, but you probably don’t want to be someone’s first job. (Or the second or third, for that matter.) Look for a contractor with years of experience. This shows that their work will hold up over the course of many years.
- How long will it take you to complete the job? Some siding contractors have work lined up months in advance and won’t be able to attend to your project for a while. Others can squeeze you in very quickly. Get the contractor to pin down an estimated finish date.
When you ask the right questions, you get much more information. This can be valuable making your decision comes down to a handful of possible contractors.
2. Seek Out Reliable Referrals
An honest referral is worth its weight in gold. Ask your friends, co-workers, and neighbors if they’ve personally had any siding work done in the past. If so, follow up by asking them about their experience with the contractor. A positive or negative review from an individual you trust may point you in the right direction.
3. Check Licensure and Insurance
Anyone can do siding work, but only a select few are licensed and insured to do this work. Never assume that a contractor is qualified. Make sure you ask them for their licensure and insurance numbers before you get started. They should have this information readily available.
Along these same lines, look for contractors who have specializations and certifications. The more certifications a contractor has, the more serious they are about building and maintaining a solid brand reputation. This means you’re less likely to have issues with their work.
4. Get Multiple Estimates
It’s always a good idea to get multiple estimates. Regardless of how good you feel about a particular contractor, two or three different quotes will give you an idea of the true market rate. You’ll also get a handful of different opinions on how the job should be completed, which can help you identify a strategy that works.
5. Ask About Complaints
Even the best contractor is going to have a complaint every now and then. It’s important that you understand exactly how these grievances are handled. It’ll tell you a lot about the confidence in their work.
After asking the contractor, do your due diligence to ensure they’re telling the truth. “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,” says contractor Elizabeth Crane. “The Better Business Bureau annually evaluates companies to determine their ratings.”
6. Visit a Job Site
Finally, it’s smart to actually visit a job site of the contractor(s) you’re considering. Not only will this show you a little bit about what their finished product looks like, but it’ll also give you a better idea of how the contractor treats workers, clients, and properties.
Contact John McCarter Construction Today
At John McCarter Construction, we are a member of the James Hardie elite preferred contractor alliance. This means we carefully follow the strict James Hardie installation process to ensure your home conforms to all of the recommendations and specifications.
If you’re looking for a James Hardie siding contractor in the greater Ann Arbor area, then you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today and we’d be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation, no pressure quote!