If it’s time to replace or repair your siding, then one of the first steps is identifying a short list of contractors to handle the job. But if you’ve sped through the process and are close to hiring a siding contractor, you probably haven’t taken enough time to consider what you’re getting into. Not all siding contractors are who they say they are and you need to be a little more meticulous in the vetting process.
6 Warning Signs to Watch Out For
The issue with hiring a siding contractor is that you’ve probably never done it before, and may not ever have to do it again in the future. So, it’s not something that you know about from experience or can really look at intuitively.
With that being said, you can avoid hiring the wrong siding contractor by watching out for the following red flags:
1. No Portfolio or Reviews
Would you hire a photographer to take your wedding pictures without checking out images from some of the previous weddings they’ve shot? Would you spend money at a five-star restaurant without reading a few reviews? If the answer to these two questions is no, then you also shouldn’t hire a siding contractor without some research.
A good siding contractor will be able to provide you with some pictures and images from previous jobs, as well as reviews and testimonials from past clients. If they can’t provide this information, or attempt to write it off as unnecessary, you’re probably dealing with a siding contractor whose past work doesn’t speak very highly of them.
2. No Proof of Insurance
The laws regarding contractor licenses, registration, and insurance vary from municipality to municipality, but every honest and trustworthy siding contractor will have documentation of these credentials readily available to anyone who asks. If you encounter a siding contractor who won’t show you physical proof of insurance, you should be wary of doing business with them.
“Failing to hire an insured, licensed and street-legal contractor could potentially cost you everything you own. If the worst happens, you could be sued into bankruptcy, and most state laws only allow you to keep a very limited amount of wealth or property once you declare bankruptcy,” property management expert Jason Van Steenwyk explains. “Most homeowners insurance policies specifically exclude damages arising from the work of unlicensed contractors, so they will not protect you.”
3. New to the Area
Have you ever seen Meredith Wilson’s musical, The Music Man? It’s about a con man named Harold Hill who goes from town to town selling children musical instruments and uniforms. He promises to train the young boys into members of a new band, only to skip town after getting his money. While he finally meets his match in River City, Iowa, the takeaway is that con men never sit still for long.
If you find yourself interacting with a siding contractor who has just moved to town, you should be critical. The contractor could be as honest as they come, but be wary of the fact that he could be new for a reason. Always do your research and, as a rule of thumb, work with contractors who have a preexisting reputation in Richmond, VA.
4. Ask for Too Much Up Front
If a siding contractor asks for strange payment arrangements, your ears should perk up. This is especially true if they ask for too much money up front, or cash-only payments. A professional contractor worth his salt shouldn’t need money up front to finance the project. They should have enough previous business to sustain them until the job is complete. If they don’t, this tells you something about how they choose to run their business.
The issue with asking for a cash-only payment is pretty self-explanatory. This indicates that they have something to hide and don’t want a paper trail. In other words, this isn’t a contractor you want to get involved with.
5. Aggressive Sales Pitch
Most siding contractors will come out to your property, examine the house, run some numbers, and then sit down with you to discuss the job and provide a pitch and estimate. A contractor who is confident in his work will slowly walk you through the numbers and try to pitch you on his past experience and good reputation. He may use some sales tactics, but the overall tone will be relaxed and comfortable.
If you get a siding contractor who is aggressive and over-the-top, something is up. They are obviously trying to close a sale as quickly as possible because they aren’t confident in their work. Don’t fall for their tactics and promptly ask them to leave. There’s no place for pressure-tactics in this industry.
6. Bad Vibe
One innate human quality is the natural ability to quickly judge people and get a feel for who they are. While these impressions can be wrong – and they say not to judge a book by its cover – they tend to be right more often than not.
If you find yourself interacting with a siding contractor who has a “bad vibe,” trust your intuition and part ways. Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire – don’t risk getting stuck in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. There are plenty of other contractors in the industry, and you can find one that offers quality service and makes you feel comfortable.
Contact Dependable Home Services – Your Trusted Siding Contractor in Richmond
At Dependable Home Services, we take pride in our ability to provide exceptional home improvement solutions and services to homeowners in the Greater Richmond, Virginia area. One of our specialties is siding repair and installation. We’ve helped hundreds of families achieve their dreams of owning a house they can be proud of, and we’d love to help you do the same. If you’re interested in learning more about our siding services, please contact us today for a free consultation.