4 factors that determine siding cost estimates

If you have gotten bids for a siding job from several contractors and the difference in numbers has left you scratching your head, here's a rundown on four of the reasons why contractor quotes for siding costs can vary greatly for the same job.

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4 factors that figure in contractor bids

  1. Experience and reputation: In construction, knowledge translates into money, and contractors often charge a premium for their hard-won experience. Although bids from well-respected contractors may be slightly higher, their expertise can save you money through proper installation and lack of warranty or maintenance issues.
  2. Profit margin: With the collapse of the new housing market, pricing has become one of the most important issues for contractors. Many have been forced to bid jobs lower in order to win work.
  3. Insurance and bonding. Licensed contractors must carry insurance to protect them from liability, if there is an issue with the materials used on a job or an injury to a worker. These financial requirements can add to a contractor's performance cost versus that of an unlicensed contractor who does not have these financial burdens.
  4. Materials. Be sure to understand the quality of materials being ordered for your job. Higher quality translates into greater longevity. The Contractor Behavior Survey finds that 22 percent of the more than 500 contractors polled are purchasing less expensive brands, while another 11 percent are purchasing the same brands but are using lower-grade products.

Choosing the lowest bid might seem like the way to go when you are on a budget, but before you make a decision based solely on cost, think carefully. Choosing the best contractor and quality you can afford often pays in the long run.

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