Ensure your lowest price on log vinyl siding

Residential siding contractors make the majority of their profit on jobs through labor costs. They also increase their margins on a siding job through discounts received on materials purchases. Contractors who frequent the same supplier may receive discounts of 10, 20 or even 30 percent on materials purchases, says Jeffrey Anderson, a former Virginia-based manager and general contractor for commercial and residential construction. "Contractors get discounts based on the volume purchased over a year," Anderson says. "Homeowners are not going to get that price; they are going to pay full retail," amounting to a markup as high as 30 percent in some cases.

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Log vinyl siding prices: How to get the most for your dollar

Contractors aren't being unethical if they receive discounts on materials such as log vinyl siding and then include full retail cost in their bids. This is a benefit they receive for their loyalty to a particular salesman or supplier. However, customers can ensure the lowest price on materials with three simple steps:

  1. Query siding distributors to see if they have any siding that is overstocked.
  2. Also ask if they have any siding in less-popular colors. Most likely they are still very attractive colors. And make sure there is sufficient siding.
  3. Convey this information to siding contractors when you are soliciting a bid. Get bids quickly before the inventory sells out.

These steps allow you to get a good deal on siding while still allowing the contractor a reasonable profit margin on the purchase, according to Anderson. "Always allow the contractor to buy siding," he says. "It is going to get marked up some, but it still will be cheaper than if you are walking in off the street as a customer and trying to buy the same siding. Just do a little bit of research ahead of time so you are a more knowledgeable when dealing with contractors."

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