Your exterior cladding plays an important role in your home’s overall curb appeal and moisture protection. Since it’s constantly exposed to weather elements, the ideal cladding should be extremely durable and energy-efficient. If not installed properly, it allows water and drafts to enter your home, causing rot and mold growth.
For this reason, it’s crucial to hire the right contractor for a siding installation project. While finding the right person for the job is not that difficult, it can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Read on as Paddy’s, one of the leading home improvement companies in the state, shares nine things the ideal contractor should have.
1. Proof of Licensing
A licensed contractor is qualified to do the installation and has passed the examinations about specific types of projects. As such, the company has a great scope of understanding when it comes to working on your home. Depending on where you live, every state and city has its own regulations requiring licensing for contractors. Nevertheless, even if licensing is not required to perform the construction, the right contractor should be able to provide proof of licensing. If you live in a state where licensing is required, take note that failing to acquire the proper permits for a job can lead to legal issues.
2. Proof of Insurance
No matter the type of home improvement project you take on, insurance is an integral factor to look for in a contractor. Whether you are replacing your roofing or windows, make it a priority to hire a contractor with insurance. If an accident occurs with the contractor or the crew on your property, their insurance will cover the medical bills. If you hire a contractor without insurance, however, all that would fall on you since the accident occurred in your home. With proper insurance, the contractor releases you from all liability.
3. Labor and Material Warranties
Warranties help you protect your investment in the event an issue arises. However, not every warranty is created equal. With product warranties, your contractor can cover your repairs or replacement if the product is defective or not functioning properly. To keep the warranties intact, you should hire professionals to install your exterior cladding. In addition, your contractors may also provide a warranty on their labor and installation. This means they will be able to fix workmanship issues, such as peeling caulking or loose boards, within the allotted period.
4. Visualizer Tools
Many contractors offer visualizer tools to help homeowners decide on color schemes and styles, taking into account the color of your exteriors, windows, and other trim options. Although this is not a major consideration to vet a potential contractor, the color scheme is an important choice you are going to live with after the project is finished. These days, many siding materials have many color options available. Even so, you need to make sure your contractor has the color you want. If you don’t like the initial color options, you may contact the manufacturer and request customized cladding or ask the contractor about painting it. Perhaps, another contractor offers the color you want.
5. Contractor Location
The location of your contractor plays a key role in your project’s timeframe and cost. If you’re looking for a reputable contractor, it’s always a good idea to hire someone local instead of someone from out of town. Not only will you be supporting local businesses, but you also know where to reach your contractor should potential problems come up. In most cases, local contractors are generally more concerned with the quality of their work than large chains. It also gives you the peace of mind that you’re not dealing with a scammer.
6. References and Reviews
Take the time to ask your potential contractor for references. Many professional contractors may provide you a list without even asking, but if they don’t, be sure to ask for one. Referrals provide you the option to investigate the contractor with other homeowners and previous clients. For best results, you may want to contact three of these people to get comprehensive feedback. You may also want to check your contractor’s website and read online reviews. Reviews are a great place to determine how the contractor managed time and potential conflicts during the project.
7. Estimate of the Project Total
Before officially allowing a contractor to begin the project, you should have a detailed understanding of what you will be paying for and why. For this reason, the ideal contractor should provide an estimate of the project total. This should consist of all labor, fees and material costs. Estimated costs don’t necessarily mean it’s the final overall amount of your project, but it gives you a better idea of what you can expect to pay. As a general rule, you should get no less than three estimates before deciding on a contractor. Also, make sure not to be tempted by a lowball price. Too low of a price can mean low-quality materials or poor workmanship.
8. Payment Plan
An established contractor should be able to provide you with a detailed payment plan that allows payment installations. As a homeowner, keep in mind that you should never pay 100% of your project cost upfront. This is true for all kinds of projects, from replacing windows to constructing chimneys. Some contractors typically ask for 50% of the money upfront and then the remainder when the job is complete, while others may ask for payments along the way to pay for project milestones until completion. Be cautious of contractors who insist on all or majority of the money upfront as this may be a scam tactic.
9. Maintenance Plan
A maintenance plan is necessary for any type of home improvement project. When replacing your exterior cladding, your contractors will need to remove all current obstructions from your home, including light fixtures, holiday decors and shutters. After the installation, they are responsible for putting back what they removed. If there are leftover items or nails when the project is completed, the ideal contractor will go over your lawn with a rolling magnet to remove all of them. They should also refrain from putting large disposal bins on your driveway or lawn as their weight can lead to damage.
For top-quality home improvement services, look no further than Paddy’s. Rest assured that our team meets the criteria of the ideal construction company. We also provide a wide array of services, including rebuilding chimneys and more! Give us a call at (302) 388-3625, or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.