The smartest thing you can do when it comes to selecting a siding contractor is to get several bids. Not only will this help you determine the right pricing for your project but you can detect any inconsistencies or find a contractor that isn’t being completely transparent.
First of all, understand that a bid is not an estimate. An estimate is a simple rough guess based on past experience and expertise as to how much something may cost. It can be more or less, usually within 15%. Quotes or bids are detailed documents that outline the entire aspect of the project. These become contracts when signed. The reason you want a bid over a simple estimate is that you need to see what the contractor will be doing and make sure the job isn’t missing any information or may have been padded. This is a great way to weed out some of the more questionable companies.
Keep in mind, your quote will vary based on the materials you choose to use, how big your house is and if it’s of a complex design. These factors greatly influence the amount of labor needed and the time it will take to complete the project – all of which affect the pricing.
If you notice a really high bid, don’t panic – do some research and see if it’s justifiable like those listed below:
— The bigger your home, the more materials you will need.
— The more complex your home (curves, twists, etc.), the more time it will take.
— If you use a high-end contractor, they have larger overhead and more equipment to take into consideration.
— Your siding contractor may offer a workmanship warranty which covers installation errors. Adding warranties can increase your bill.
— If your old siding needs to be completely removed, this increases the cost of your project.
Make sure that your quote contains permits or potential fines you can occur. These are sometimes hidden and should always be discussed up front with your contractor. You need to know what they will do if there is an issue with local, state or federal policy. If a company is hiding costs and not being transparent with you, this is an issue.
On the flip side, if a bid is extremely low, this can be great cause for concern. It could mean one of the following:
— Scammers prey on homeowners after recent storms when demand for such improvement products is in demand. They offer you a “too good to be true” deal and make a lot of promises. You risk them running off with any up front money they convince you to give them or they do not do the work properly or use the correct materials, leaving you with a costly fix job.
— Contractors without insurance or the right insurance will often low-ball jobs hoping to squeeze in under the radar. This leaves you responsible for any costs associated with damage or labor injuries. Always check the license and insurance information of the contractor PRIOR to hiring them.
— Bidding extremely low may indicate a contractor who is in desperate need of a job. This can bite you because they may not be as skilled as the typical siding contractor or they may have gotten into trouble or botched a job and lost business.
When it comes to high bids, do your research. Find out what purpose drives your costs up and make sure it’s plain as day in specific detail. Be very careful of extremely low bids. Saving a few bucks up front may cost you big in the end.
Check out How To Know If You Need New Siding!