How to find great vinyl siding contractors

Unless your son or best friend is a vinyl siding contractor, you'll need to find a qualified licensed contractor to do the work. But not everyone is who they say they are. Here are some key steps to take to research local contractors. Your first step is to resist anyone who rings the doorbell saying his crew is working in the area or has extra siding materials that he'll install at a discount! Too good to be true, right? Right!

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Scouting for a vinyl siding contractor

The six points below outline the basics of researching a contractor.

  1. Personal recommendations. What vinyl siding contractors have family, friends and neighbors worked with? Would they hire them again?
  2. Public records. Make sure the contractor's business name and address are valid--not just a Website or P.O. Box. Check your Registrar of Contractors and the Better Business Bureau. Unscrupulous contractors may operate under many names and can be hard to track down.
  3. References. Don't be satisfied with the testimonials on a contractor's Web site. Ask a potential siding contractor for local references and call them. Then drive by a couple of the houses to get a first-hand look.
  4. Patience. Don't rush into the deal. No price is "good for today." Thirty days is fairly customary.
  5. Proof of insurance. Make sure your contractor has adequate liability and workers' compensation insurance before the job begins. Call the insurance company to make sure the coverage is still in force.
  6. Permits and approvals. A new vinyl siding job may require building permits and approval from your homeowners' association. Ask to see the permits before work begins or you could face expensive fines or removal of the siding.

Any major home improvement project is an investment in your home's value. By doing your homework in screening your siding contractor, you'll be sure to find a contractor who preserves that value.

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