How to Choose an Installer

The more information you can provide to potential installers, the better your project is likely to go. This section helps you define your project and gives you tips on selecting and working with an installer. Print and keep for future reference.

Getting Started

Answers to the following questions will help you determine how much you want to spend on your project, select siding and explore financing.

Why do you want to side your home? Do you want to freshen the appearance? Eliminate maintenance? Prepare your home for resale?

1. How do you want your home to look?

Your research can include driving by similar homes in your community, visiting model homes, and collecting photos and sketches from remodeling and decorating publications. Consider color, texture and specialty materials as ways to disguise or enhance architectural details.

2. What’s your budget?

Typically, the longer you stay in your home, the greater the return on your home improvement investment.

3. How will you finance your project?

Investigate financing. Installers frequently have convenient financing programs available that are competitive with bank financing. Be sure to ask potential installers about this option.

Finding Potential Installers

Once the planning phase is complete, you’re ready to begin your search for an installer. Here are some tips on where to look.

  • Don’t rely on ads in the yellow pages. Visit homes in your area to see contractors’ work. This gives you a good indication of each installer’s skill.
  • Ask for references from friends, neighbors or the owners of homes you admire. They can tell you if the project was done to their satisfaction, completed on time and within budget.

The more information you can provide an installer, the smoother your project will go. This handy checklist will help to collect some of that information for you and provide you with a useful guide when you talk with installers.

Interviewing your candidates.

Here are some questions you need to ask:

  • Is the installer open to discussion about my requirements?
  • Does he offer design help and suggestions?
  • Is he knowledgeable about the siding products including features, benefits, accessories and warranty?
  • Does he carry the necessary licenses and insurance coverage for my state?
  • Can I talk with him easily?
  • Will the installer provide a list of references? You’ll want to follow up with calls or visits to those homeowners.

At the interview, provide each candidate with identical specifications. Be sure to indicate when you need to see a quote and when you will make your decision. This lets the installer know that you are serious about the project.

Closing the Deal

When you’ve selected your installer, you’re ready to complete the final pre-project step, signing the contract. Be sure you include:

  • Description of work.
  • Specific materials to be used including product names and order numbers.
  • Price including all materials and labor.
  • Payment schedule or financing information.
  • Time schedule.
  • Clean up, debris removal, condition of the worksite.
  • Installer’s warranty policy or guarantee of work.
  • Responsibility for permits if applicable.

Review the contract, paying close attention to the details, before agreeing to it. Prepare a detailed punch list based on the contract specifications and review it with your installer at the end of the project. Be sure your installer provides you with the written warranty for all installed materials.

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