Siding your home with TruLog™ steel log siding is a great way to provide your house with a log-home look while improving its energy efficiency, and without adding the maintenance burdens of real wood. But with any siding or renovation project, you want to make sure your home is in the hands of an experienced, qualified contractor. Below are 12 tips to help you find a good contractor:
- Get personal recommendations. Asking friends, colleagues, family members and other people you know for a reference can be a great place to start. People you know personally will be able to tell you whether they would use their contractor again, or if they would go with someone else based on their experience.
- Look for contractors who specialize in your project. You may get referrals to contractors who more often do renovations and projects not similar to your own. Seek out a contractor who performs siding projects routinely.
- Pick 3 contractors to meet. Get an estimate from each. Once you have a short list of potential contractors, set up meetings to meet each one. Get to know the contractors’ personalities and whether they are people you’d like to work with and have in your home. During this meeting you should get estimates from each contractor, and make sure that each one is giving you an estimate for the same work and the same materials. It’s a good idea to get these estimates in writing.
- Ask for a list of references. Call your chosen contractor’s clients and subcontractors he or she has worked with. These references are invaluable because they can tell you what it’s like to work with the individual, including whether work was completed on time and as planned.
- Know your plan ahead of time. To get the most realistic estimate possible, it’s important to think about what you want out of your project before talking to a contractor. Later on, changes to a bid can result in increased project cost and time. Your contractor will be better equipped to give you an accurate estimate if you know what you want out of your project, including the materials that will be used.
- Look for complaints. Check with the Better Business Bureau and/or consumer affairs agencies in your state. Look for any serious complaints or a history of complaints against the contractor.
- Look at online reviews. Just about every business and professional is likely to have a couple negative online reviews, but proceed with caution if your chosen contractor has a long history of negative reviews from many clients.
- Verify insurance coverages. Your homeowners insurance policy will provide coverage for certain accidents, as will the contractor’s insurance. Make sure you know what each policy covers, and ask the contractor for a copy of the business’s insurance policy.
- Verify license. Contractors and subcontractors should have a valid license to perform the work they are offering. Regulations regarding licensing vary by state, but you should verify that your contractor has a license in your state. Many states have a website that allows you to search for your contractor’s licensing information.
- Don’t let price be the only factor in your decision. The cheapest bid isn’t always the best. Similarly, the most expensive bid holds no guarantee of excellence.
- Ensure an accurate contract is prepared. The contract should include deadlines and expected ending dates. It should also include a schedule of payments to be made, and very detailed descriptions of what materials will be used. Any changes made to your project down the road should be added as an addendum to the contract. Get it all in writing to protect yourself and your project.
- Make sure the job is complete before making your final payment. Once you’ve made your last payment, it will be difficult to get the contractor to come back to address uncompleted work. Make sure everything is 100 percent completed before you make that payment.
For a TruLog™ steel log siding estimate, please call our experienced Loveland, Colorado team at 970-646-4490.