Vinyl siding in Denver, Colorado: think cozy energy-efficient

Brick was a practical and charming building choice in Denver's early days. Brick and or other masonry accented thousands of homes built there before energy efficiency became a top priority. Masonry readily transfers heat and cold between a home's exterior and interior.

With Denver's seven months of night-time lows near or below freezing, its year-round precipitation, and annual average of five feet of snow, your home utility payments can go right up the chimney in a poorly insulated home.

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Today's high-tech, insulated vinyl siding is an excellent defense against Denver's climate zone 5 rating. Its R-value--which is a measure of resistance to thermal transfer--outperformed fiber cement siding in a controlled, real-world test, according to the report "Insulated Siding Provides Continuous Insulation," a report published in May/June 2011 for Home Energy Magazine. It also requires less maintenance than many other siding products, meaning more time to hit the slopes.

How to find and evaluate Denver vinyl siding contractors

It pays to take time when choosing a contractor. You want the work to comply with the manufacturer's specifications and warranty requirements. Try these five resources, next time you need to find a Denver-based contractor for your home improvement project:

  1. Vinyl siding suppliers: Alside--an exterior home products company that focuses on vinyl building materials manufacturing--has a supply center at 5978 Broadway in Denver. Alside may be able to provide contractor referrals.
  2. Home improvement stores, such as the Habitat for Humanity Home Improvement Outlets in Denver and Wheat Ridge or Bud's Warehouse on E. 46th Ave. may be good sources for products and referrals.
  3. The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA): Division of Registration allows you to obtain a list of licensed siding contractors near your zip code. For a $50 fee, you can obtain information about complaints and complaint resolutions with contractors.
  4. Vinyl Siding Institute: This organization tests siding products and also trains, tests and certifies individual installers. Use VSI's online state-by-state list of certified installers.
  5. Personal recommendations: Ask each contractor who is bidding for names of customers who will let you inspect in-progress or recently finished work. Ask those homeowners for both positive and negative feedback.

Contractors should provide in-person evidence of liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage. Notice whether the contractor is prompt and communicates well during the bidding process. Write in a work completion date on the contract. All these things affect your working relationship with the the contractor and crew.

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