The siding you put on your home helps protect it from the elements, while enhancing its curb appeal. With everything you have riding on it, you’ll want to make sure that it’s properly installed. Fiber cement siding is one of the best products out there to cover your home, but if it’s not put on properly, it may not be doing the best possible function. Make sure you hire the right person for the job, by following these 10 tips for hiring fiber cement siding contractors.
One of the most effective ways to vet your contractor is to make sure that they’re local and have been providing service in your area for some time. Ask to see a copy of their driver’s license, as well as a copy of their contractor’s license to make sure they are licensed to work in your state.
Next, find out how long they’ve been working in your area, and how long they’ve been working with fiber cement siding. You want to find a contractor that has a verifiable history in your area.
Next, be sure to get a minimum of three local, recent references from your contractor to check up on their past work. Be sure to follow up on these and give a call to find out how the home or building owners like the work, and if they have any complaints or issues.
You should also get references from suppliers. This can help ensure that the contractor does not have any outstanding invoices, and that they’re in good standing. Failure to check this out could mean than an unscrupulous contractor who doesn’t pay his bills could get a lien attached to your home.
Ask About Training/Certifications
Just because someone is a licensed contractor, it doesn’t always meant that this person is right for the job. Find out what kind of specific training, experience, or certification they have with fiber cement siding. For example, some manufacturers will provide things like manufacturer’s warranties or additional protection if the contractor has taken steps to prove their worth and undergone additional training. Your contractor should know exactly what they’re doing with the product you select, so you can ensure that it will be put on correctly.
Ask About Insurance
No matter how careful your contractor is, or how straightforward the job, there’s always room for error or the chance of an accident. Make sure that the contractor you hire carries insurance that will help protect you both in case an incident occurs on your property.
Get at Least Three Quotes
It can be tempting to simply go with the first contractor you speak with, especially if they pass your screening, but you should be getting at least three quotes, and speaking to a minimum of three contractors before you hire anyone. This can help weed out those who come in far too high in price, as well as those who are not as experienced.
Get a Specialist
You may think that by hiring a siding contractor or siding company that you’re getting the right person to put up your new fiber cement siding. But fiber cement is a little different than wood, vinyl, aluminum, or other materials. Get someone that specializes in fiber cement to ensure that they’ll put it up correctly.
Your contractor should be able to explain the entire process of re-siding your home to you. They should also be able to answer any questions that you have easily, including things like start date, how long it will take, what kind of insulation or underlayment they will use, and how they plan on caulking or sealing up edges. This is a good way to gauge how much knowledge a contractor has, especially if you have the chance to compare answers between three different people.
Check the BBB
Reputable contractors will likely have a membership with the local Better Business Bureau, which helps you weed out the poor ones. A check at the BBB site will also help you see how a contractor deals with complaints or issues; you want a contractor that stands behind his work.
Find Out the Warranty
A reputable contractor stands behind what they do. Find out what they’re warranty is, and what it covers. Ask about extended warranties and manufacturer’s warranties as well, so you can trust that the job they do is going to last the fullest amount of time.
Get It in Writing
Before you hire anyone for the job, get everything that you’ve discussed in writing. You should get a contract that explains exactly when the project is starting, how much you’ll put down as a deposit, what types of materials they’re using, and how long the project should take. If you don’t see something in the contract that you think should be in there, ask, and if the contractor isn’t forthcoming with adding it, move on to someone else.
Hiring a contractor to work on your home requires a lot of legwork and diligence. It pays off in the end, however, when you hire a siding contractor who can install your fiber cement siding with ease, providing you with the kind of service and quality you want for your home. Be sure to follow up on anyone you speak to, and know that your installation is as good as the product you’re putting up.