Hiring a vinyl siding contractor: 7 vital pieces of information

Hiring a vinyl siding contractor does not have to be daunting. To hire a reputable contractor who does excellent work, and to protect yourself from liability and misunderstandings, ask each prospect for key information. If any fail to provide all of it, don't hire them.

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7 types of data to gather

Potential vinyl siding contractors must provide all of these:

  1. Contractor's License: Ask for a current contractor's license number. No license, no job!
  2. General liability insurance: Visually verify general liability insurance. Without this insurance, you may pay for any mistakes or problems.
  3. Workers' Compensation Coverage: Ask who will perform the work--the contractor's employees or a subcontractor's workers. Either needs Workers' Compensation coverage through their employer. Verify the certificate. If a laborer isn't covered and gets injured while working on your home, you could be held liable.
  4. Installation Certifications: Ask for a vinyl siding installation certification. Most vinyl siding manufacturers certify installers in the proper techniques, or the contractor may have certification from the Vinyl Siding Institute.
  5. Work Experience: Ask to visit vinyl siding projects, especially those involving trim. Trim work is more labor intensive, detail oriented and critical to overall aesthetics and performance. Trim pieces should butt flatly and without gaps.
  6. References: Ask for several references. Contact them and ask probing questions. Was the job done on time? Were there cost overruns? Were they were pleased with the work? Did the contractor communicate well and in a timely way?
  7. Quote: Have prospective contractors inspect your home and provide a written quote after you've discussed the particulars. Particulars include type of siding material, removal of old material, any issues with rot, etc.

Armed with this information, get three bids. Choose the vinyl siding contractor who'll provide great service at a fair price.

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