Installing new siding on your home is a significant investment that requires careful consideration. You need to ensure that the contractor you choose is skilled, reliable, and experienced. This comprehensive guide will provide a list of the top questions to ask a siding company before hiring them. Asking these key questions will help you fully understand their expertise, work ethics, qualifications, and approach to your project. This allows you to make an informed decision and hire the best professional siding installer for your home’s needs.
Understanding the Contractor’s Experience and Credibility
The first critical set of questions to ask a siding company should focus on the contractor’s overall experience and credibility in the siding installation business. Take time to thoroughly understand their work history, specialties, and credentials. Do not hesitate to ask for documentation as proof of proper licensing, insurance, and registrations.
1. How Many Years of Siding Installation Experience Do You Have?
An experienced siding company will have an extensive track record of successfully completing projects of all sizes and complexities. Many years of experience indicate the contractor’s capability to handle a wide variety of siding jobs and overcome any challenges that arise. Newer contractors may have limited skill sets and problem-solving experience.
Ideally, look for a siding contractor that has been in business for 5-10 years or longer. This demonstrates stability, an established reputation, and extensive expertise. Be wary of brand-new contractors or those with fewer than 3 years in business.
2. Can You Provide Your Business License and Insurance Details?
Any professional contractor should be fully licensed in your state and city to perform siding installation and construction work legally. Check that their licenses are valid, current, and applicable to your location.
Verify that they carry general liability insurance as well as workers’ compensation coverage. This protects you from any liability in the event of on-site accidents, property damage, or injuries during the siding project. Never hire uninsured contractors.
3. Do You Have References From Previous Siding Clients I Can Contact?
Reputable siding contractors should be able and willing to provide you with references from past clients. Speaking with previous customers about their experiences is extremely valuable.
Ask these references about the quality of the contractor’s materials, workmanship, professionalism, timeliness, and overall customer service. Were there any issues during the project? How responsive was the contractor? How satisfied were they with the finished product? Would they hire the contractor again for future projects?
Solid references indicate a track record of pleasing clients and delivering high-quality siding installations. Be wary of contractors unwilling to share references.
4. Are You Familiar with Local Building Codes and Permitting Requirements?
An experienced local siding contractor should have extensive knowledge of area building codes, regulations, and permitting requirements that pertain to siding projects. This expertise ensures your project is executed in full compliance with all relevant laws and safety standards.
Ask them to explain your local codes and how they apply to your upcoming siding job. Contractors lacking familiarity with local requirements may cut corners instead of following proper protocols.
5. Can You Provide Your Physical Business Address?
A reputable siding contractor will have an established local physical office or headquarters address, not just a P.O. Box. This indicates stability, accountability, and an ongoing local presence. Contractors without a fixed local address may be transient, unreliable, or difficult to contact if issues arise.
6. Will You Share Photos and Examples of Your Past Siding Projects?
All professional siding contractors should be able and willing to showcase photos, videos, or other examples of their previous work. Evaluating these past projects will provide visibility into their skill level, end results, and overall quality of their siding installations.
Ask to see examples of projects similar in size, scale, and design to your own home. If possible, ask for references connected to the photos that you can contact for testimonials regarding the displayed work.
Analyzing the Siding Materials and Installation Process
7. What Specific Types of Siding Do You Have Experience Installing?
There are various options when it comes to siding materials, including vinyl, wood, fiber cement, composite, aluminum, and steel. Different siding contractors may specialize in certain types and have limited experience with others.
Ask them specifically which siding materials they are most familiar with and comfortable working with. Understand if they have expertise relevant to the material you prefer for your home. An installer well-versed in vinyl siding may not be ideal if you want wood siding, for example.
8. Why Would You Recommend a Particular Siding Material for My Home?
A trustworthy siding pro should be able to explain the inherent benefits, drawbacks, costs, and characteristics of different siding materials. For instance, vinyl siding is low maintenance but can appear artificial up close, while real cedar offers natural beauty but requires frequent staining and sealing.
Listen to how the contractor tailors their recommendations to match your home design, climate conditions, budget, and aesthetic preferences when suggesting particular siding types.
9. What Specific Brands of Siding Do You Use and Recommend?
While on the topic of materials, ask the contractor which brands of siding they most often install and would recommend for your project. Research any brands you are unfamiliar with to learn about the quality, warranty coverage, and durability offered.
Premium siding brands generally provide better-looking, longer-lasting products compared to generic or builder-grade materials. Opting for a reputable brand ensures you get maximum return from the investment into your new siding.
10. Please Explain Your Entire Siding Installation Process in Detail
An experienced, organized contractor should be able to walk you through their standard siding installation process in a step-by-step manner.
Ask them to explain their methods for properly preparing the work site, installing moisture barriers and flashing, attaching the siding, integrating trim details, cleaning up the work area afterward, and any other relevant steps specific to your project.
Pay close attention to the order and thoroughness of their process. Well-established contractors will have honed efficient systems for smooth installations.
Probing Product Quality, Warranties, and Fine Print
Do not neglect to ask in-depth questions about the vital topics of siding product warranties, expected lifespan, and available styles:
11. Can You Explain Your Siding Product Warranties and Workmanship Warranties in Detail?
It is essential to fully understand the coverage and limitations of any product warranties and craftsmanship warranties offered by the contractor. Ask for clarification on anything vague or complex before signing.
Key factors to look for include length of coverage (10+ years is ideal), whether the warranties are transferable to future owners, which defects are covered or excluded, and the claims filing process.
Reputable siding contractors will offer strong manufacturer product warranties backed by their own workmanship warranties. Weak or non-existent warranties are red flags of poor quality or support.
12. What Is the Expected Lifespan of the Siding You Recommend for My Home?
The longevity of any siding depends on factors such as materials used, installation quality, climate, and maintenance. Still, quality siding should last around 15-50 years or more before needing replacement.
Ask your contractor how long their installed siding typically lasts in your area’s conditions when properly cared for. Seek the most durable, longest-lasting products available within your budget range.
13. What Color, Texture, and Stylistic Options are Available With This Type of Siding?
Today’s siding comes available in a vast range of colors, styles, patterns, and textures. Even neutral-colored siding can be enhanced with trim accents and decorative touches.
Ask to see siding style catalogs and samples to understand the design flexibility available to match your home architecture and personal aesthetic preferences.
Good contractors will show you a wide selection of possibilities to choose from. Quality and durability should not be sacrificed solely for attractive styling, however. Find the optimal balance of both.
14. Does This Siding Typically Fade, Discolor, or Lose Integrity Over Time With Sun Exposure?
High-end siding materials, especially vinyl, are specially formulated to resist fading, discoloration and breakdown from years of sun exposure. Ask if the siding being recommended includes UV-protective coatings or properties to minimize aesthetic degradation over decades spent in the elements.
Insist on siding that comes backed by strong color-fade and integrity warranties for maximum longevity and lasting beauty.
15. What Type of Maintenance and Care is Required for This Siding?
Understand the maintenance needs of whichever siding you select. Some materials like vinyl require very little upkeep beyond occasional washing. Wood or natural siding necessitates more hands-on sealing and repairs.
Ask about the manufacturer’s care recommendations and what the contractor advises for keeping your new siding looking like new. Factor these maintenance activities into your decision. Minimal maintenance siding offers greater convenience and cost savings over time.
16. Is Professional Installation Absolutely Necessary for This Type of Siding?
While not recommended, DIY siding installation is feasible for certain materials like vinyl in simple applications. More complex projects demand professional expertise.
Ask the contractor if professional siding installation is an absolute must for your particular project, or if DIY installation is possible for portions like soffits or dormers. Understand the risks and potential problems with tackling any sections yourself. Most often, DIY siding jobs end up requiring expensive corrections by professionals to resolve amateur mistakes.
Payment Schedules, Timelines, and Paperwork
The concluding set of questions should cover the vital paperwork, payment, and timeline logistics of your siding project:
17. Please Explain Your Payment Terms, Schedule, and Financing Options
Never begin a major home project without fully understanding the payment obligations. Most reputable siding contractors require an upfront deposit of around 10-25% of the total project cost to secure materials. Progress payments are then made at project milestones, with the balance due upon satisfactory completion.
Ask if they offer any financing plans to make payments more affordable. Get all payment expectations in writing within the formal contract before signing and providing any money.
18. What Specific Warranties Come Included if I Hire You for This Project?
In addition to the product and workmanship warranties previously discussed, some siding companies offer other protections like lifetime performance warranties.
Ask the contractor to summarize and provide copies of every warranty they will provide if awarded your business. Read these warranties carefully to verify you are getting robust coverage.
19. How Long Will It Take to Complete My Siding Installation Project?
An experienced local contractor should be able to provide a reasonably accurate estimate of how long your siding installation will take based on factors like square footage and project scope.
Get a detailed timeline breakdown including estimated start date, milestones, and completion date. Weather or unforeseen delays can alter timelines so ask about the contingency buffer they typically factor in. Rushed, unrealistic schedules may indicate an unqualified contractor.
20. Who Will Directly Supervise and Manage the Project While Onsite Each Day?
Discover who will be the main point of contact overseeing the daily siding work and communicating with you throughout the installation. A project manager or lead installer should be designated to coordinate activities, answer questions, and handle any issues that arise.
Ask for their contact information. Knowing who to reach out to provides helpful peace of mind and accountability during the project. Lack of oversight is a red flag.
21. What Safety Practices and Precautions Do You Have in Place For Projects?
Any siding contractor you hire should make safety a top priority. Ask about protocols like wearing harnesses and using secured ladders, perimeter warnings, dust screens, daily equipment inspections, and personnel training requirements.
Responsible contractors will proactively describe their worker protections and site practices that go above and beyond basic regulations. Safety shortcuts risk liabilities and poor work quality.
22. How Will You Handle Debris Removal and Worksite Cleanup on a Daily Basis?
A professional siding company takes care to maintain a tidy project site and minimize impacts to your daily home life. They should have an organized system for containing waste debris and removing it regularly.
Verify details like designated debris bins, daily cleanup routines, appropriate disposal methods for hazardous wastes, and dust containment measures. Any evasiveness around cleanup plans is concerning. A cluttered workspace shows poor organization.
23. Are You Willing to Provide Your Contract Terms in Writing for My Review Before Signing?
Reputable siding contractors will provide you with a written contract outlining the full scope of work, specifications, payment terms, project timeline, warranties, and other terms and conditions pertinent to the project.
Never sign a vague verbal agreement or make payments without a proper contract. Require a written contract to protect yourself legally and avoid misunderstandings. Thoroughly read this agreement before signing and voice any concerns. Rushed or intimidating sales tactics are red flags.
Checking References and Reviews is Critical
To ensure you get the best results from your siding project, it’s essential to request and check references and testimonials from the contractor’s recent customers. Speak directly with past clients about their experience working with the contractor and how pleased they were with the final results.
Check online reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau to gain unbiased insight into other homeowners’ satisfaction with the contractor’s professionalism, work quality, materials, pricing, and customer service. Take time to research these references thoroughly before making any hiring decision.
Be sure to carefully read every section of the contract before signing anything. Pay special attention to the fine print details related to payment terms, material and workmanship warranties, limitations of liability, dispute resolution procedures, and other legal specifics. Do not let a contractor rush you through signing. Ask clarifying questions on anything unclear in the agreement until you fully comprehend all aspects and obligations involved.
Conclusion on: Questions to ask a siding company
Selecting the right siding contractor for your home improvement project requires asking the right questions to assess their qualifications, expertise, workmanship, business ethics, and customer satisfaction track record. Be sure to thoroughly research each contractor you consider to gain insights well beyond sales pitches and brochures.
Choosing an experienced, reputable siding professional who listens to your needs and provides satisfactory answers to these key questions to ask a siding company will give your project the greatest chance of success. Partnering with a contractor that instills confidence will lead to a smooth installation process and give you a beautiful, durable new siding that enhances your home for years to come.