Replacing a home’s siding and finding the right vendor proves easy by following ten simple steps.
1. Homeowners need to decide on the desired siding look.
There are many siding options for homeowners, and deciding on the perfect look might be difficult. Select the siding that is best for the home’s needs. Conduct research from Internet sites and call housing experts to ensure that the siding choice is right for the home.
Not all siding is appropriate for all climates. Considerations for the type of siding include such things as cost, weather, humidity, upkeep, and longevity of the siding. Some people are adamant and refuse to change their minds, but a wise homeowner will listen to the advice of experts. It is best to do this research before choosing a vendor that one can be prepared to explain the desired look to the chosen dealer. Once this decision is made, stand firm on the siding choice. Do not let vendors try to sell more expensive siding or siding that’s not wanted. If this happens, find another siding vendor.
2. Ask for referrals from friends.
Some neighbors might be able to give a referral of someone that worked on their home. This might prove the best choice for finding a reputable replacement siding vendor since one’s neighbors will be able to tell if they were happy, how much they were charged, and how long the job took.
Remember that any complaints from a friend or neighbor about a vendor should be followed up on. If several people have used the same vendor, or if the same complaint surfaces time and time again, it is something to take into consideration. This might not be the siding vendor to hire, and it might be time to try to find another supplier.
3. Call different vendors.
After making a list of the suggested vendors, give each one a call. A lot can be found out about each supplier by asking some basic questions. Ask if the correct type of siding is available; verify the prices for the siding and the labor; and ask to set up an appointment with the vendor. If the person on the phone is unable to answer questions, ask for a supervisor. This individual may not know the answers to all the questions, as he or she may not have the proper experience—the person may simply be answering the phone for the business. If the individual is rude or refuses to transfer the call, it might be time to call another company.
Keep a list of each vendor and take note of important information received from each phone call. This will help to narrow down the list of prospective replacement siding vendors.
4. Comparison shop.
The first phone call to a vendor may be a successful one, but don’t stop there. Call several other vendors and ask the exact same questions. Keeping a list of their answers will help determine the best vendor for a home’s siding needs.
Prices are not always uniform, so different vendors might quote varying prices for supplies and labor. Remember that the cheapest isn’t always the best. Take other things into consideration, such as willingness to help and how promptly the vendor can set up an appointment. If the vendor seems pushy, back away and find another vendor. Customer needs should be the top concern of the vendor.
5. Ask to interview selected vendors.
Set up an appointment to interview each of the chosen vendors. This can be taken care of by calling each company and asking if they make pre-sell appointments. If they seem reluctant to make an appointment, move on—their concern should be to please the customer, after all.
Have a list of questions to ask when meeting each vendor for the interview. Some things to ask include how many people will be working on the project and how long it will take them to complete the work. Again, verify the price of the siding and labor.
6. Ask where they receive their siding.
This might seem like a silly question, but not all supplies are equal. The vendor may be in one location but receive siding from various states, including overseas suppliers. Ask to see the siding in advance. Inspect the siding to verify that it is what was chosen and that it is not of inferior quality. This minimizes the chance for mistakes when the siding is delivered to the home.
Homeowners can also inform the vendor if they are willing to accept siding with slight imperfections or mars. Sometimes, this type of siding is less expensive but of the same quality as those without imperfections. There simply be a mark on the siding or a discoloration that will blend with the rest of the siding. This may be a smart option that saves money in the long run.
7. Check online reviews for selected vendors.
Before signing a contract, check for online reviews. People are more than happy to use online sites as a sounding board for complaints. Remember, however, that people are more prone to complain than praise a business—consider all complaints with an open mind, as someone else’s complaint might be griping and not a legitimate problem.
Remember that some sites pay for reviews, so all posted reviews may not be real. Similar names appearing or similar complaints showing up again and again might be clues that the reviews are bogus and that the review site cannot be trusted. Research the best business review sites and look for reviews of the selected vendor on those sites. Some review sites outshine others and are clearly more honest in their evaluations of businesses.
8. Call the Better Business Bureau.
People often forget to call the BBB. Find the one closest to the vendor. While other BBB’s may have information on the vendor of choice, the nearest one would have the most listings. Ask what the grade is for that business. Also ask how many complaints the company has had and how many have been solved—the vendor may have had 10 complaints and solved all of them.
Also, ask what some of the complaints were. Some people are picky and complain about everything. If considering several vendors, ask about each one and keep a record of information.
9. Verify that the vendor is bonded.
Most businesses that work in other people’s homes are bonded. Bonding ensures that they are covered by insurance if something should happen. It protects the homeowner and the business. Ask what is covered in the bonding. Also, check the homeowner policy to verify if any unforeseen injury of someone working on the home would be covered.
Knowing the risks sets one’s mind at ease, especially knowing that there will be no lawsuit issues when the siding is applied to the home. Make sure that all people that are working on the home are bonded. Even those working as journeymen should be bonded for both the homeowner’s protection and the company’s sake.
10. Read the contract carefully before signing.
People often read a line or two of a contract then sign it without reading the rest. This is a mistake, especially when buying a major purchase such as siding. If the homeowner is applying the siding, no contract will be needed on supplies. However, most companies that work on homes supply a contract. Read each page carefully, asking for any clarification if needed. If any sections or areas seem iffy, do not sign the contract. Most contracts are fairly cut and dry, but confusing areas should be explained in full before signing the contract.
Following these simple steps ensures that a home receives the proper siding and that the homeowner is protected. Knowing that the best person is working on the home and that the supplies are perfect sets a homeowner’s mind to rest.
Consider the future savings of replacing siding. These include savings on heating costs and possible future repairs. Adding upgrades to a home, such as new siding, also increases the home’s market value. Finding the right replacement siding vendor may take a bit of work, but it is worth the savings in the long run.