Chicago Homeowners’ Guide: This Is How To Choose a Siding Contractor
So you’re looking at investing in new siding for your home.
Whatever type of siding you’re considering, it’s bound to be a great call. New siding can drive up the value of your home, improve curb appeal, create better energy efficiency, and be a cost-effective, stress-free way to transform your investment.
If it’s done right.
This article explores how to find a contractor that will do the job right. Understanding how to pick the right siding installer Chicago-wide is about making sure you’ve dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts. This will bring you as close as you can realistically get to a strong siding installation that looks a million bucks—without feeling like it cost that.
In this guide on how to pick the right siding installer Chicago, there are really only two steps you need to nail.
Step 1. Do Your Research
A little time invested in preparation now could save you a lot of time later on.
So what are we researching? Have a look at some of the siding installation companies around Chicago. Ask friends or neighbors who they used. Look on Google. The goal is to establish which local siding installers have a good reputation—or have delivered a strong experience—to your community. Establishing a history of good service and quality workmanship is the outcome we’re looking for at this point.
Gather the essential information—their performance, their reputation, their work experience (maybe a list of references) that helps you to evaluate a short-list of potential companies.
Step 2. Dig Deeper
If there’s one piece of advice to take away from this article, let it be that choosing the right siding installer shouldn’t be about price.
Sure, price is important. But keep in mind that a cheap—but poor quality—siding contractor is costing you money in the long-term. There are several reasons for this:
- A contractor who doesn’t install the siding properly can void your manufacturer’s warranty.
- A contractor who prices too cheap could be compromising on materials.
- A contractor who takes shortcuts could potentially risk your home being vulnerable to water damage.
- A contractor who is considerably cheaper than their competitors may be skimping on insurance.
Take the time to speak with every company on your list and get the information you need. Don’t instantly rule a Chicago siding installer out just because they are more expensive than the others—evaluate each company based on the value they can deliver for your home.
A contract for siding should be fairly straightforward. Some contractors may have more elaborate contracts, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Because most renovation disputes stem from misunderstandings between contractors and homeowners, it is vital that you know what exactly is being put in writing.
You can gather a lot of this information from reviews—or from asking them directly what a standard contract looks like for them.
When discussing code compliance with a potential siding installer, it’s important to note that they don’t necessarily have to provide any information up-front, unless you’re a client. But what they can tell you is: are permit costs included in the installation price? Who will be responsible for obtaining the required permit—the installer, or you?
Every siding installer in Chicago has a preferred siding product or manufacturer. Any reputable Chicago siding installation company will be able to tell you what manufacturers they prefer, and how that specific brand benefits you as the homeowner.
Scheduling and Scheduling Conflicts
Chicago is a busy city—and when it comes to learning how to pick the right siding installer Chicago, it’s important to remember that these contractors are busy, too.
You may not be able to pre-determine the exact start and finish dates for your project—in property renovation, nobody ever can—but there are some areas where you have control.
A no-later-than clause can help set a reasonable deadline that both parties can live with. It makes it clear that if the project isn’t completed by that date, certain contract terms will come into play.
Pro Tip: If you really want to provide an incentive, early completion rewards can be written into contracts ahead of time.
Do you require that your property be cleaned up daily? Or are you happy to have the cleanup completed every few days? Of course, any debris should be cleared on the day to prevent making a mess of the neighborhood. Similarly, what time will contractors start in the morning—and what time will they be off-site in the afternoon or evening? How workers behave towards you and your family could also be a major consideration.
Payment terms are a component to any project that absolutely needs to be clear from the outset. Payment terms and payment schedules should be written into the contract and agreed upon before any work starts.
A reasonable payment schedule could be up to 50% of the agreed price before work begins—with the balance paid at set points and then the final payment on final inspection. A contractor should never expect you to pay the entire amount in full before work begins. Nor should you expect your contractor to complete the entire project before you make any payments.
Get Accurate Quotes
The key to making sure a quote price is accurate is to:
- Have the siding installer visit you on-site. Never accept an estimate if the contractor has not inspected your home or taken measurements.
- Get it in writing. Everything should be written down, so you can examine the cost breakdown before signing the dotted line.
Choosing the right siding installer Chicago may seem daunting, but it will save you a lot of heartache and stress further down the track. To keep it simple, be mindful of three key factors in any project you undertake for your home:
If you and your contractor are clear on these three areas, you are more likely to be happy throughout the project—and with the final product.