Siding Installation Estimate Tips
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Tips on Siding Contractor Estimates
Whenever you have a significant home improvement project like having siding installed you need to protect yourself by getting more than one estimate. Most contractors are hard working, honest people but there are some bad apples in every group. Also, not every contractor will have experience with every material out there.
When getting estimates:
Be sure any contractor you talk to knows you are getting more than one estimate.
Alerting the contractor that you will be talking to additional companies is a polite way of letting them know that you are a smart shopper willing to do the research to make a good decision. Quality contractors will not be troubled by this and may even prefer that you do since they know they offer a good service at a good price and that will become clear the more you research.
Get all estimates in writing.
Be certain that any estimate you receive is given to you in writing with a date the estimate was given. It may be a good idea to also get a "good until" date so you know how long that estimate will be good for.
Make sure that the brand, type, and quality of the material to be used is spelled out in the estimate.
This is absolutely critical! A common way to make an offer a low price is simply using a material that may be of lesser quality. Make sure that all your estimates are using similar grade and quality of materials and the amount of material that will be needed.
Check references on all contractors that you get an estimate from.
Unless you know at least a couple of people that are pleased with the work done by a specific contractor you simply must take the time to call references. Quality contractors will have a list of references readily available or can produce one fairly quickly for you. Where possible be sure the references you call had the same material used on their project.
Always be wary of an estimate that seems to good to be true! If it seems too good - you are likely to end up paying more than you expect.
It may be an old cliche but you really have to be cautious when a bid comes in well below your other estimates. Find the reason for this - is it a different material, are they only quoting for the "minimum" amount of work and planning on asking you to pay for work that should be included in a standard install part way through the project, etc...
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