Finding a vinyl siding contractor: do you really need three quotes?

Standard advice calls for three estimates before selecting any contractor. Three estimates provide a top, middle, and low range for point-by-point comparisons. But don't leave out the "forgotten fourth estimate." Do not just pick up the phone or type an online request for a vinyl siding contractor. First, do your own research.

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Before Calling A Vinyl Siding Contractor

First, be proactive. Resist mere convenience. Don't simply call up asking for a vinyl siding installation estimate from your local building-supplies retailer. Instead, begin by locating quality products, like siding .04" or more thick. Narrow down your siding choices. Visit the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) website and browse the certified products. Why certified products?

  • The manufacturers have been inspected by third party accrediting agencies.
  • The products resist turning yellow, cracking, or warping regardless of weather conditions.
  • Certified siding provides longevity, which means not wasting money with replacements.

Once you have found some certified brands with colors you like, you are ready to contact local dealers.

Second, call dealers. Ask for a price estimate per square foot of the products you are considering from siding retailers. Call more than one retailer to compare their costs, as costs for the same item vary widely. This step will prepare you for the last.

Third, perform your own estimate. Your own estimate will orient you in evaluating the estimates provided by contractors. While their materials prices may be wholesale, the contractors should be prepared to explain the difference in specific terms to you.

Now you are ready to find three licensed, bonded, insured contractors.

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