When making a major investment in your home, like siding replacement, it’s prudent to first research thoroughly the contractors you are considering hiring. Unfortunately, everyone in business isn’t as they appear—so do your homework on the contractor and their track record before proceeding to invest in new siding.
At MN Contractor Pros, we understand how challenging it can be to find a contractor you can truly trust. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in the Twin Cities Metro area transform their homes with superior products and expert installations. Check out the reviews, and take a look at our gallery to visualize the home exterior transformations we’ve been privileged to be part of.
When you’re in the market for new siding, it’s vital to not only choose durable siding materials, but also make sure you have an expert contractor installing your siding. The best siding product installed by an unqualified, unreliable contractor can leave you with a compromised home exterior and future problems.
Here are some red flags to watch out for when searching for a siding contractor:
1. They require large down payments
Although it’s a sizable investment to purchase new siding, reputable contractors don’t ask for large down payments. If the contractor you plan to hire requires a large down payment, that’s a red flag, and there’s likely trouble ahead. You risk the possibility of the contractor disappearing without doing the work they agreed to. They may be underqualified and concerned you won’t be willing to pay for their work.
Pro Tip: A trustworthy siding contractor will divide payments equally. Often one-third will be due before the work begins, one-third in the midst of the job, and one-third when the job is complete.
2. They aren’t busy
If you hire a siding contractor who is immediately available to install your new siding, they likely don’t have much other work, and there may be negative reasons for that. Think carefully about how busy your favorite restaurant is, and how you don’t mind waiting for a table because the food is so amazing. Likewise, when you find a good contractor, they should be busy because others desire their services too.
Pro Tip: When you go to hire a siding contractor, there will likely be a delay between their initial consult and the time when they are ready to do the work.
3. They lack good communication skills
If the siding replacement company you plan to hire doesn’t return your phone calls or emails, or is chronically late to your planned meetings, that’s a signal they may not be good stewards of their time, and therefore your siding replacement project could be delayed beyond their estimated timeframe for completion.
Pro Tip: Face it, there’s a lot of communication that goes into hiring a good contractor. From scheduling to asking your detailed questions, it’s important to have a good communication flow with the company you hire.
4. They mark up the siding materials excessively
When contractors over mark-up their materials, ask yourself if that’s fair to the consumer. It’s expected that there is some mark-up for materials to cover the cost of the contractor’s material acquisition, hauling it to your home, experience, and knowledge—but excessive mark-up is not appropriate.
Pro Tip: Contact at least three siding contractors and get a sense of their material charges.
5. They withhold information about subcontracting
If the siding contractor you plan to hire won’t talk openly about their subcontractors, that’s a red flag for you as a homeowner. The person who does your estimate doesn’t usually do the installing on your home, but they should be forthright about answering any questions you have about the people who will actually do the work on your home.
Pro Tip: Inquire of your contractor who their subcontractors are because they will likely do the bulk of the work on your home. Ask about their licenses, training, and experience level.
6. They give you a bad vibe overall
If you talk with a potential contractor over the phone, or have them come to your home for an estimate and get a bad gut sense about them, trust that! Don’t risk getting stuck in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. There’s probably a reason you don’t perceive they are the right contractor.
Pro Tip: Trust your intuition when it comes to making the best choice for your siding replacement contractor. Yes, do the research necessary to validate you’re making a good choice, but also take a step back and ask yourself if you’re truly comfortable with the company you plan to hire.
7. They don’t have any client reviews
If you’re considering hiring a siding contractor who doesn’t have any reviews—don’t! When a company is good at what they do, customers speak up about it.
Pro Tip: Take a good look at previous jobs your potential siding contractor recently finished. They should have some online photos, and even be willing to give you a few addresses for you to take a look at in person. It’s not always what’s expected, but rather what’s inspected—so see the results of this company’s work for yourself before hiring them.
8. They don’t have insurance coverage
If you interview a siding contractor and they won’t show you any proof of insurance coverage, they are a huge risk to hire.
Pro Tip: A trustworthy siding contractor should have proof of insurance, and be willing to show it to you at your request.
9. They aren’t a locally based company
A fly-by-night siding contractor who “just arrived in town” is a risk to hire.
< Pro Tip: Always hire a siding company who is well established in your area and has a good reputation. Ask where their office is located, and stop by to verify they are who they say they are, and have a trustworthy track record in your area.
Looking for an exterior remodeling contractor you can trust?
MN Contractor Pros is a siding contractor that services the Twin Cities Metro area. Contact us for a free consultation.