Sidings are the most commonly used exteriors for American homes, with vinyl sidings and fiber-cement sidings accounting for 46% of home cladding in 2019. Professional installed siding efficiently protects your home from the direct effects of the elements, dramatically improves its appearance, enhances its curb appeal, and boosts its property value. According to the National Association of Realtors' 2019 remodeling impact report, homeowners recover more than 60% of the costs expended on replacing their homes' sidings.
Considering that homes with a high curb appeal sell at least 7% more than homes that have unappealing exteriors, hiring a certified siding contractor nearby improves the chances of recouping the cost of installation. Note, a professional siding contractor will ensure that your installation is done in strict adherence to federal regulations and local building codes. However, not everyone that claims to be a siding contractor is qualified for the job. To make sure that you hire the right contractor near you for your siding installation or replacement project, you should ask the following questions:
Are You a Licensed Siding Contractor?
Siding contractors are generally required to obtain a license. The requirements for obtaining these licenses, as well as the type of license that is required, vary by state. Some states like California and Michigan issue siding contractor-specific licenses to siding contractors, while others like Washington and Hawaii require siding contractors to obtain a specialty contractor's license. In some states like New Jersey and Connecticut, siding contractors are required to obtain a home improvement contractor's license. In Minnesota, siding installation and replacement is considered a specialty skill, and siding contractors are exempt from obtaining a license as long as that is the only service that they provide.
Always ensure that the 'siding contractor near-me' you are considering is properly licensed. Note that in some states, local governments are responsible for licensing the contractors that operate within their jurisdictions. Examples of these states include Illinois, Colorado, and Missouri. Therefore, it is advisable to contact your state's licensing department to find out the specific licensing requirements for your area of residence as well as to validate your siding contractor's license. You can also do this through your local consumer protection agency.
Are You a Bonded and Insured Siding Contractor?
More than 20% of the 5,333 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in 2019 were recorded by the construction industry. Specifically, siding contractors are prone to slips, trips, and falls, as well as handheld tool-related injuries that result in permanent disabilities. The installation and replacement of some types of siding also increases the exposure of workers to silica-containing hazardous dust, which can lead to silicosis and other lung and kidney disorders. Making sure that your siding contractor is properly insured and bonded protects you from financial losses if the contractor or any other third-party is injured as a direct result of the siding project. It also ensures that you are duly compensated if your contractor reneges on the initial terms of your agreement. Your siding contractor should have a general liability insurance plan, a worker's compensation insurance plan, and a bond of not less than $1,000. However, you can contact your local consumer protection agency to find out whether there are any specific insurance and bonding requirements for siding contractors near you.
What Kind of Work Are You Specialized In?
Several types of siding can be installed on your home's exterior and you need to make sure that your siding contractor is experienced enough to handle the one you intend to use. The most popular types of siding include:
- Wood siding: wood siding is also available in a wide range of styles and textures. However, wood siding requires more post-installation maintenance than vinyl siding.
- Metal siding: metal siding is a relatively cheap type of siding that comes in various styles. Although metal siding is generally low maintenance, it is prone to denting.
- Engineered wood siding: this type of siding is made from wood fibers and resins that allow it to stand extreme weather conditions, making them a cheaper alternative to wood siding
Some other types of materials that are also used as siding include stucco, synthetic stone, brick, concrete, and even glass. Whatever type of material you decide to use as siding for your home, always get confirmation that your siding contractor can install it properly.
Who Will Do the Work?
Always have a clear idea of the number of workers that will be involved in your project. This number is usually determined by the scale of the job, and it may include your siding contractor's apprentices or subcontractors. Find out how their involvement will affect the cost of your siding installation or replacement and make sure that each of them is also properly licensed, insured, and bonded.
Do You Offer a Warranty?
When you buy a product or pay for a service, you are offered an assurance on the quality of this product or service. This assurance is known as a warranty. When you hire a professional siding contractor near you, you are typically offered a manufacturer's warranty that covers the siding used for your home, and a workmanship warranty that covers the installation of this siding. Warranties generally cover a specified period and the specific terms of these warranties depend on the type of siding used, the siding's manufacturer, and your siding contractor. Therefore, in addition to asking whether you will be offered a warranty, you should also request this warranty in writing with its terms and conditions clearly stated.
Will This Job Require a Permit?
A permit is an official document that a local government agency issues to authorize a home improvement project. Although permits are typically required for projects that involve home siding, the specifics of these requirements vary. For example, in the City of Newark, California, a permit is required to install siding but is not required to repair existing siding as long as the repair is confined to 10 square feet of wall area. In the City of Arvada, Colorado, a permit is needed for the installation of siding but is not required to replace less than one square of siding, while in the City of Denver, Colorado, any type of project that involves an exterior wall covering requires a permit.
Any professional siding contractor near you will likely know the permit requirements for siding projects in your locality. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to find out what these requirements may be, especially because failing to obtain a necessary permit can result in monetary fines and other penalties. You can find out your area of residence's siding permit requirements by contacting your local building department.
Will You Provide References?
You can weed out unqualified siding contractors by requesting at least three verifiable references. Never employ any contractor that cannot provide you with this information, especially of details of satisfied clients near you. Many professional siding contractors will also provide you with pictures of projects that they have completed. Finally, you can search online for reviews of your intended siding contractor. Websites like Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp offer this service.
Do You Have a Business License?
According to the Small Business Administration, there are about 30.7 million small businesses currently operating in the United States. Always make sure that any siding contractor near you being considered for hiring is authorized to conduct business in your state of residence. You can do this by requesting a copy of the contractor's business license and confirming its validity through your local Office of the Secretary of State. Note that a business license is not the same as a professional license. Business licenses allow businesses to operate in a particular area and are issued to business entities, while professional licenses certify an individual's competence in a particular skill or trade.
What Are Common Siding Problems?
Some common siding problems are:
- Warping and buckling
- Moisture problems
- Noisy siding
- Pest problems
- Loosened panels
How Much Does Siding Installation Cost?
The cost of siding installation is mostly affected by the type of siding used and the amount of work involved in installing this siding. Homeowners typically pay an average of $3 - $10 per square foot to install new siding on their homes.
Listed below are some common siding installation cost estimates per square foot:
What Are the Factors That Affect the Cost of Siding Installation?
The following factors affect cost of siding installation:
What Qualifications Should Siding Contractors Have?
There are no mandatory educational requirements for becoming a siding contractor and these individuals generally gain experience by working with more experienced siding contractors. However, some contracting firms may require their employees to have a high school diploma or its equivalent at the very least. Siding contractors can also obtain voluntary certification from organizations like the Vinyl Siding Institute. Certified siding contractors generally perform their jobs with a higher level of professionalism than their uncertified colleagues.
Do You Need a Handyman or a Siding Contractor?
When it comes to your home's siding, you should always hire a professional siding contractor near you. Siding installation or replacement is a time-consuming job that must be done per national safety regulations to mitigate the hazards associated with it and handymen are not qualified to perform these types of jobs. Also, in addition to having the knowledge, experience, and tools required to properly handle siding installation and replacement jobs, a professional siding contractor is more likely to be licensed, insured, and bonded. This protects you if there are any unforeseen injuries during the job. Note that you should always verify your siding contractors licensing, insurance, and bonding status.
What Are the Common Post Siding Installation Expenses?
After installing your siding, you may decide to paint it. If you installed prefinished siding then this is not necessary. However, painting can also be done as part of your siding's routine maintenance, especially for wood and metal siding. Painting your siding will cost you between $50 and $100 per hour or $0.50 and $2.50 per square foot.
Another common post-siding installation expense is the maintenance cost for your siding. This usually includes cleaning and repairing any damages to it. Siding contractors typically charge an average of $40 - $80 per hour or $5 - $15 per square foot to repair damaged siding. This fee includes the cost of labor as well as any materials that may be needed for the job.
Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Siding Expenses?
More than 98% of homeowners' insurance claims are from property damage caused by perils like wind, hail, fire, lightning, water, and theft. A standard homeowner's insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing your siding if it is damaged by any peril that is listed in the policy. However, it is always important to read and properly understand the fine print of any homeowner's insurance policy that you intend to purchase before you do so. This is because some homeowner's insurance policies cover the cost of replacing only the actual siding that was damaged. If this happens, you can end up with mismatched sliding, which is not only unsightly but can also bring down the value of your home.
On the other hand, some policies cover the cost of replacing the damaged siding on your house and then reimburse you up to a specified amount for the cost of replacing any undamaged siding so that it matches the new siding. It is always a good idea to purchase a policy that covers the cost of replacing both your damaged and undamaged siding.
Can I Use Digital Payment to Pay My Siding Contractor?
More and more small businesses in the US today, including siding contractors near you, are willing to accept digital payments. These electronic payment means are generally faster, more secure, more convenient, and easier to transact than physical payments, and many siding contractors accept them. However, it is advisable to confirm that your siding contractor is willing to accept payment via digital methods before any actual work commences. If you have to pay for any of your siding contractor's services via cash, then it is also a good idea to collect a receipt for record-keeping purposes.