7 Tips for Choosing a Residential Siding Contractor for Your Home

Choosing a residential siding contractor can be tricky. You’ve no doubt heard the many horror stories in the news about contractors who take the initial payments and then fail to do the work. Or they get the job done, but it’s a total disaster.

You don’t want to waste your time and money on a contractor who will do either of those things – so how can you tell which ones will get things done right? Here are seven tips on how to pick the best residential siding contractor.

1) Ask for Recommendations

It’s always a good idea to ask people for recommendations. Let’s rephrase that – make sure to ask people that you trust for recommendations. If you trust them, then they won’t steer you in the wrong direction. Your friends loved ones, and even neighbors that you’re close to will have some good suggestions, especially if they’ve had similar work done in the past.

This is a better way of finding a reliable residential siding contractor than a just doing a quick Google search and picking the top one in the search results.

2) Check Online Reviews

Speaking of online searches, you should go through some online reviews in order to find a contractor. Some of the best places to look are Angie’s List, Google My Business, and even Facebook. You want to find places where the contractor isn’t able to remove unsavory reviews. While you’re looking, make sure to check out a few specific things.

Look at the language that the reviewer used. If it seems honest, then you’re in good shape. However, if the review seems too good to be true, or contains the words “I was given free services in exchange for a review” then you’ll need to steer clear. Those are signs that the contractor might be paying or doing jobs in exchange for those reviews – and those are honest at all.

3) Check Their References

Once you find a contractor (or two or three), it’s time to dig a little deeper into their history. This involves checking their references. Ask for them, and you should be given a short list of the names and phone numbers of people who can vouch for your contractor.

Make sure to follow up with these references and ask them plenty of questions about the work. You’ll be able to gauge what kind of a job he or she will do from them.

4) Make Sure the Contractor is Licensed

You also need a residential siding contractor who is fully licensed in your area. These contractors are ones who have jumped through all of the hoops in order to operate legally. Depending on your area, there are requirements that must be met for this, such as being in business for a certain period of time, having experience on the job, being fully insured (that one is next), and having a full background check completed.

There’s usually a fee, as well, which means that the contractor is successful enough – and knows what this license means – to pay for it.

5) The Contractor Must Be Insured

The contractor that you hire must be insured or bonded. This means that they have insurance to cover everything that happens in the workspace. If one of the employees accidentally breaks a window while installing your siding, then the contactor’s insurance kicks in and pays for that repair.

Otherwise, you might have to pay for that damage out of pocket or file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance. The best contractors understand the risks involved in these jobs, so they get the necessary insurance. It gives you, the homeowner, plenty of peace of mind.

6) Choose a Contractor with Siding Expertise

If you’re looking for a contractor who can handle a residential siding job, then obviously you don’t want to hire one who has only handled things like bricklaying and plumbing. You need a contractor who has removed and installed siding on plenty of other houses. Otherwise, you might accidentally hire someone who has no idea what they are doing. Since siding isn’t cheap, you need an expert in this particular field.

7) Ask Plenty of Questions

Once you’re down to just a few contractors to pick from, take the time to ask them plenty of questions. The best contractors will be personable enough to answer those questions. Some suggestions include things like “what was the toughest job that you’ve done” and “do you see any potential issues with my siding job?” They should be honest.

You don’t want a contractor who says “no, everything is fine” when you already know that the exterior walls of your home will need a few repairs before the work can commence. If the contractor refuses to answer your questions, then this is a red flag. Don’t hire that person.