10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Siding Contractor

Homeowner and contractor shaking hands

Hiring a top-notch siding contractor ensures you get the best long-term performance out of the siding you have installed. It gives you peace of mind that your home is well protected from the elements and your investment is safeguarded from damaging moisture intrusion or pests. 

New siding installation is a sizable investment, and it’s worth taking the time to research several options and contact them for an estimate. 

Here are some questions worth asking to help you decide on the best contractor for your siding replacement project. 

1. What type of siding materials do you install? 

Make sure your siding contractor installs James Hardie fiber cement and has gone through the Hardie company’s training to install it. 

2. How long have you been installing siding?

Any company worth hiring will come with years of experience. We have more than 35 years of experience installing siding at Preferred Home Improvements, giving you peace of mind about our expertise. 

3. Are you licensed and insured?

Your siding 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 contractor you hire should also have all licenses necessary to work in your city. Licensing helps to ensure that the work is done to proper standards and that all the correct permits are obtained. 

4. Do you have satisfied recent clients?

Check online reviews and referrals to see what kind of feedback you can find from recent customers of the contractor you’re considering. Notice what people say about communicating with the company, how clean they kept the worksite, how much attention to detail they demonstrated while installing siding materials, and how they handled unexpected challenges. 

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5. Can you provide me with a written estimate?

Your siding contractor should give you a written estimate that includes your project’s start and end dates (weather permitting). 

6. Could you tell me about the warranties on siding materials and labor?

Make sure you clearly understand what type of warranties come with your siding and what is and isn’t covered by them. Also ask if your siding contractor has any guarantees on labor and installation. James Hardie fiber cement siding must be properly installed or the warranty can be voided. 

7. Where is your office located?

Storm chasers come to town after severe storms and try to make money easily with shoddy repair work. You can avoid scammers by hiring a local siding contractor with a physical address in the area. 

When a company has a positive reputation in your community and you consistently hear good reviews about them, they’re usually the best choice. They likely have staff living in town who pride themselves on their excellent reputation. And if problems arise over time, they’ll be easy to contact. 

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8. What does your payment schedule require? 

Never agree to pay all the costs upfront. If a contractor asks for the full payment before doing the work, they are likely a “storm chaser” (scammers). 

The expected payment should be noted in writing and stated on the estimate you receive from the contractor. Material costs, permit fees, and labor costs should all be pointed out in the estimate as well. Typically a contractor will ask for some money upfront, another payment in the middle of the job, and a final payment upon completion. 

9. Do you use subcontractors, or is your team all in-house? 

Before hiring a siding contractor, find out if they are outsourcing the work to improve efficiency and cut costs by using sub-contractors. If they do, they may not have adequate input into the quality of the finished job. 

Ideally, you want to hire a contractor who uses their own full-time employees to do your siding installation. 

10. What is your procedure for removing waste?

A reputable siding contractor will bring a bin to collect the debris from your current siding removal and replacement siding installation. This is an essential ingredient for a safe job site. They should also remove the bin when the job is complete. 

The right contractor should clean up after themselves impeccably. They should go across your yard with a large magnet to ensure no nails were accidentally left there. 

Final Thoughts on Choosing a Trustworthy Siding Contractor

Interview at least three contractors

Siding installation is a significant investment, and it matters who you hire to do the work. Take time to interview and get estimates from at least three contractors to get the best fit for your needs. 

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Consider your gut sense

Listen to your gut when researching siding contractors and scheduling them to come to your home for an estimate. It’s important to consider how you feel about the contractors you’re interviewing. If you find yourself drawing back from one, pay attention to that. There’s likely a reason why you’re pulling away. Keep looking until you find a contractor you’re comfortable communicating with and with a track record of successfully installing the siding material of your choice. 

Realize the lowest bid doesn’t always represent the best final product

You may be tempted to take the lowest bid for your siding project, but realize that’s not the only thing to consider if you want the best siding performance for years to come. Look at the whole picture, not just the price, before you hire a contractor. 

An Installation Team You Can Trust

James Hardie Elite Preferred Logo

At Preferred Home Improvement, we are a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor. When our team of detailed specialists trained by the Hardie company installs your siding, your 30-year non-prorated, transferable warranty will be honored if you ever need it.

Learn how James Hardie siding can transform your home’s exterior.

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