Other than an all-out catastrophe in your region like a fire or major storm, there are various reasons it’s important to check your siding on a regular basis to avoid the need a homegrown emergency requiring siding work. While it’s normal to upgrade siding after an emergency, homeowners should prioritize being prepared for an emergency in the first place or simply increasing the value of their houses with proper and functional siding.

Either way, on your time or when speed is of the essence, follow these tips to best negotiate your final project price with your preferred siding contractor.

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Siding and Your House

Your contractor is well versed in how your specific project is going to impact your house. They’ve visited your house and assessed its potential, its needs, and its challenges. On this front, it’s in their interest to ensure the highest possible siding installation. The initial, ongoing, and continued success of their installation is paramount to their near and future prospects.

It’s okay to ask about guarantees. Along with your roof, your siding is critical to protecting your home from the elements and protecting the integrity of your home. Be sure your siding contractor has explained to you specifically how your upgraded siding will both stand up and protect against:

  • Rotting
  • Warping
  • Cracking
  • Holes from insects or birds
  • Unexpectedly high energy bills
  • Interior moisture

While it’s hard for a contractor to make exact promises, they can certainly help you understand what to expect in the future. The less deep that future is and the more susceptible to damage your siding is, the less your installation should cost.

Your Siding Contractor Should Assess Your Siding Plans

Be sure to ask precisely what siding material your contractor recommends and why.

It’s okay to expect the contractor to handle the bulk of the work in research—after all, one of their value propositions is expertise in the field and local knowledge about the best siding material to increase your home’s curb appeal and resale value while protecting your home from the elements.

While the size of your home plays an important role in any home improvement project, it is a paramount factor in your siding project. The size of your home, number of stories, and terrain will impact your installation timeline. Your contractor should address all of these variables with you ahead of your final quote. You may have your own notions of what should occur, but check them against what the contractor recommends.

Get an idea of what’s out there so you’re better prepared to ask about different materials during your negotiation. If you want, you can ask about material costs and even consider buying them yourself if there are cost savings involved. Options to explore include:

  • Vinyl
  • Fiber cement
  • Wood
  • Clapboard
  • Cedar
  • Cedar shake
  • Hardie board
  • Aluminum
  • Stone
  • Brick
  • Faux stone
  • Engineered wood

Whether you’re installing a new choice of siding or upgrading your existing siding, you should have a solid understanding of what it is and how it affects your home, now and in the future.

Labor Is Expensive — If You Do Some, You Might Save Some

Before your siding installation, a lot of preparation needs to take place. While some contractors might offer to do so for a price or as part of the package, consider doing some of the work or preparation yourself in an effort to negotiate the final price of your home improvement project.

Work you should at least consider doing:

  • Trimming, or tying back, trees and shrubbery near your home.
  • Cutting your grass short. Shorter grass will make it easier for your contractors to use a magnetic nail finder to recover any nails or staples that go astray during your siding replacement.
  • Clearing all items away from your home’s exterior, including potted plants, patio furniture, and gardening equipment.
  • During your siding removal and installation, the interior walls of your home may shake. Consider Removing pictures, shelves, and valuables that may risk falling.

Get Clarity on the Warranty, and Ensure It’s Part of the Price

You can always negotiate with your contractor on the price of a successful project before signing a contract. Discuss your budget with your siding contractor. Agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing to help you remain within your budget. Surprises, in other words, shouldn’t surprise you or your contractor, and they should definitely not surprise your investment.

Warranties will also impact your quoted cost. Most installers offer manufacturer’s warranties that protect you from faulty equipment. Some might offer additional guarantees for the installation, as well, covering potential damage to your house. Be sure the quoted warranty is clear in what it covers—and in what it doesn’t. Additionally, use the warranty as a bargaining chip.

A lower price should elicit a short length warranty and a higher price one that is longer. A 50-year warranty might be too long and a two-year warranty might be too short. The particulars of your system and your siding installation needs dictate these numbers more than anything else. Discuss them thoroughly with your contractor.

Reputation is Everything: Does Your Siding Installer Pass Muster?

Your business is their business—and while this siding installation could stay with you (or at least your house) for decades, it will also build, or continue to build, their reputation into a prosperous business.

A veteran siding contractor might be well endowed with repeat business and a booked schedule. Younger companies and contractors might be more willing to reduce their price and elongate their warranties for a solid project like yours.

Get to know local and trusted contractors through services like Modernize. The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your siding installation project is in good hands. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

Siding Contractors Get Second Opinions—You Should, Too

The entire process of a siding installation is detail-heavy and involves a myriad of moving parts, from the fine print of your contract to the machinations of the installation itself—remember what we said about surprises?

Since your contractor has (literally) been around the block and has experience you might lack, be sure to consult close friends and family about the major steps of your journey. While we condone this type of support, homeowners have repeatedly told us through surveys and interviews that deciphering some of the deeper and more complex elements of their project left them seeking more professional support—which our homeowners found with Modernize.

Your biggest friend in a siding contract negotiation could be a service like Modernize. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.