Siding is Only as Good as the Company and Contractor You Choose
As Forbes suggests in its article about finding the right siding company, a siding project is only as good as the contractor and company responsible for the product and the installation. If the installation is sub-par, water can seep in behind the panels and shingles and wreak havoc, including fostering mold, mildew and structural damage.
If the siding product is marginal, the building or home on which it was installed can be a target for pests, including termites and carpenter ants, and show unappealing signs of premature siding degradation. Also, poor quality siding usually needs to be replaced sooner than the homeowner planned, which can be an economic hurdle.
To avoid some of that unpleasantness, it’s smart to know some basics on how to choose a credible siding company before you dial your phone or fill out an online form to get an estimate.
The Importance of Selecting a Reputable and Reliable Siding Company
Choosing a reputable and reliable siding company ensures that you can trust their expertise and professionalism, giving you peace of mind throughout the project. You want to know that your chosen siding company will deliver quality workmanship because siding is an investment that should last a long time. You want durability in the product and the craftsmanship, which contribute to the longevity and value of your home.
You also want to see timely completion, not tardy-to-the-site workers who inconvenience their team, as well as you, and unnecessary delays. On-time completion and professional workmanship are both key to customer satisfaction, which, ideally, is the goal of both the homeowner and the siding company.
By selecting a reputable siding company, you increase the likelihood of achieving satisfaction with your investment, as the siding company prioritizes meeting your expectations and addressing any concerns.
Understanding the Significance of Quality Siding
Protection, energy efficiency, increased resale value and visual appeal are all benefits of high-quality siding. Siding is used to cover a structure’s exterior and can be made from a myriad of materials, including wood, vinyl and composite materials, such as blends of cement and recycled polystyrene. Most homeowners are familiar with vinyl siding, as it’s the most common siding material on homes today.
Composite wood siding has its advantages (generally much less expensive than real wood) and drawbacks (cracking). Manufactured stone veneer, such as Evolve Stone, has a rich and distinct artistic appeal that homeowners may choose over products that cover all the other homes in their neighborhood.
Manufactured stone siding allows homeowners to enjoy the look of real stones on a home’s exterior without spending a fortune on real stones (and their weight!). Manufacturers, such as Evolve Stone, don’t use natural stones to make this siding, despite how real the finished product looks.
For instance, Evolve Stone uses similar materials and processes that are used in the aerospace and marine industries. The components used in making stone veneer siding make it much lighter than many other types of siding. Less weight means more affordable shipping, labor, and installation costs, which address one of the most significant drawbacks of natural stone siding.
The manufacturing process of this siding also allows for more styles and colors, such as the five styles and stone colors available from Evolve Stone. While natural stone siding is limited to naturally occurring hues and shades, manufacturers can make these in various colors.
But, again, a siding project is only as good as the contractor and company responsible for the product and the installation, so back to selecting a siding company…
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Siding Company
1. Researching Siding Companies
It might be tempting to call the number of whatever siding company pops up first in your online search, or whatever company is on TV right after the weather, but do your research. Or use secondary sources such as Consumer Reports, which evaluates products independently and doesn’t rely on advertising, so you know its findings are unbiased.
“We recommend having a professional install your siding. To increase the chances of finding a capable contractor who will do the job right—and be available to fix any problems that might arise—look for siding installers who have been working in your area for at least five years,” Consumer Reports writes in its siding evaluation. “And check their references.”
Check company websites and portfolios. Of course, companies will post photos of their best work, but if those images aren’t top-notch or none of them include the type of home you need siding for, re-think contacting that company. Read the customer reviews and testimonials. If everyone is saying they are thrilled, but the reviews all sound like they came from the same, uh, person, you also might want to move on. Read for the things you might value, such as punctuality, scope of work, deadlines, professionalism—those key things that will satisfy you as a customer.
2. Assessing Reputation and Reliability
The importance of a company’s reputation can’t be understated. Along with evaluating customer reviews, testimonials and assessing other secondary sources, verify company credentials and certifications. Check the Better Business Bureau website for BBB-rated contractors in your area. Or, go from general to specific with U.S. News Report findings.
Consumer Reports reminds everyone to be a smart siding shopper.
“When you interview contractors—CR recommends that you speak to at least three—request all-inclusive price estimates. To make comparisons, you’ll want to know the total price for materials, labor for teardown and installation, and disposal,” according to CR. “Even if the installation price is firm, you can ask a siding company to offer an upgrade or other enticements, such as free gutters and leaders. Also, ask installers to explain the company’s workmanship warranty.”
3. Seeking Referrals and Recommendations
Remember to ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Neighbors can be particularly reliable because you can see the work done on their homes. Family and friends may be willing to provide insight into how easy a siding company was to work with—and if it was professional and responsive to questions and needs.
If you’re particularly concerned about a smattering of poor online reviews, consider contacting previous customers to detail their experiences.
4. Evaluating Experience and Expertise
Just as you would if you were hiring a person to work at your company or business, evaluate the siding company or contractor’s experience and expertise. How many years has the company’s been in operation? Is it a legacy business, which could cover decades of knowledge and experience? Don’t necessarily rule out a company or contractor because they don’t have generational experience and a legacy storefront.
Some of the best companies are startups and the most-accommodating contractors are those new to the industry. It’s about your comfort level and asking the questions that matter.
Review their expertise in different siding materials and styles and check to see what siding projects they specialize in, if any.
5. Ensuring Proper Licensing and Insurance
Work only with a licensed siding company and verify insurance coverage for liability and worker’s compensation.
According to construction management software experts Procore, safety is one of the most important reasons contractors have to carry licenses.
“The state regulatory boards want to ensure that a contractor knows the proper header thicknesses, how to wire an electrical panel, how to ensure a gas-fired water heater is running properly, and how to handle many other potentially dangerous situations,” according to Procore. “The state gains a baseline on the contractor’s industry know-how by testing the contractor’s trade knowledge. Contractors that don’t carry licenses may very well know what they’re doing, but there isn’t any proof of that at the state level.”
Understand the legal requirements in your area. You can find some information via databases, such as those offered via Procore or, in states such as California, you can use a database to check licenses online in real time.
6. Comparing Quotes and Pricing
Just as recommended by Consumer Reports, request detailed quotes from multiple siding companies. (We like the rule of three!)
Understand the factors that influence pricing by knowing how siding is priced at each level, including manufacturing and wholesale. Want more scope and context? Consider general sources of information, such as Forbes or online cost calculators. And always balance cost with quality and services offered.
7. Considering Warranty and After-Sales Support
Inquire about warranty options for materials and workmanship and understand the scope and duration of warranties. This is when the materials you choose for siding can really matter. For example, Evolve Stone stone veneer has a 50-year limited warranty.
Homeowner resource Modernize also has information on what warranties cover, but the best way to understand your warranty is to go through it with the company or contractor you choose BEFORE they start work. Also, ask questions and assess the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction. Most are upfront about how they view customer satisfaction and their commitment—or not—to it.
8. Checking for Contracts and Legal Considerations
Have a written contract and understand the terms and conditions of the contract. You may even want a lawyer to read through it before you sign. If you need to seek legal advice regarding a poor product or poor installation, find an attorney who specializes in real estate disputes.
You can start with some basic background on sites, such as FindLaw, but use a professional if you have an issue, you can’t easily address with the company or contractor. But start with the siding company. Most want to maintain good customer satisfaction and want you to be happy with your siding project.
Choosing the Right Siding Company Matters
Regardless of the type of siding you’re considering, choosing the siding company or contractor to install it is as important as the decision you make about material. In addition to research on siding’s appearance, durability, and cost, research the company or contractor.
When you select a reputable and reliable siding company you can trust their expertise and professionalism, which will give you peace of mind throughout the project. This cannot be emphasized enough. You want a material and a company that will deliver quality on what’s most likely your biggest investment—your home.
Siding installation timelines vary based on factors such as the size of the project and the complexity of the chosen siding material, but it typically takes anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
While it’s possible to install siding yourself, hiring professionals ensures proper installation, avoids potential mistakes, and guarantees optimal results for your home.
Common types of siding materials include vinyl, wood, fiber cement, metal, and brick. Each material has its own advantages and considerations, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with your preferences and needs.
If you encounter problems with your siding after installation, promptly contact the siding company to address the issue. Reputable companies often offer warranties and after-sales support to assist with any necessary repairs or adjustments.