Siding is one of the most important features of any home. Your siding doesn’t just define the look of your home. It also plays a key role in providing insulation. Over time, siding will begin to fade, warp, and deteriorate. While you may be tempted to dismiss aging siding because you can “live with” the unattractive appearance, the reality is that a poor aesthetic is far from your only concern. Here are the risks of delaying your siding replacement:
- High Energy Bills: Siding plays an essential role in maintaining a properly insulated home. Even the best heating and cooling system won’t be able to prevent air from leaking from your home through cracked, loose siding. One of the first signs that your siding needs updating is a spike in energy costs.
- Water Damage: When a portion of your home’s siding is damaged or missing, water can easily get through the gaps to penetrate the walls in your home. This inevitably leads to rotting and warping that can cause significant structural damage. One telltale sign that water has already penetrated your siding is the presence of bubbling in your siding. Generally, bubbling is a clue that water has become trapped beneath your siding instead of beading on the outside.
- Mold and Fungus: Allowing moisture to penetrate outdated siding puts your home at risk for a serious mold or fungal infestation. Unfortunately, mold and fungus can pose serious health risks to your household. Remediation can also be extremely expensive.
Many people hesitate to get new siding because they worry about cost. In truth, the costliest decision you can make is to put off your siding project. Allowing structural damage, mold, and other consequences of insufficient siding to fester can turn what would be an easy siding replacement into a large-scale project that costs thousands more. If you see telltale signs that your siding may be in need of replacement, the best thing you can do is to contact a qualified, experienced Philadelphia home remodeling company to get an honest opinion. Finding a good siding contractor in Philadelphia can feel overwhelming. Let’s cover what you need to look for when finding a professional specializing in Philadelphia home improvements.
How to Find a Good Siding Contractor in Philadelphia
The first issue to tackle when talking about how to find a trustworthy, competent Philadelphia siding contractor is the problem of “big claims.” Many local companies will claim to be capable of handling your siding job. Unfortunately, many companies are eager to say anything just to get you to sign a contract. You need to make sure that the company you choose can back up its claims. There’s simply nothing worse than discovering that a contractor doesn’t actually have the tools, materials, and skills to handle your particular siding project. How do you confirm that a Philadelphia contractor is trustworthy? Let’s walk through some tips.
1. Verify That a Contractor Is Registered With the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Start by checking with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to ensure that any company you’re considering is a member. You also want to verify that the company has a high BBB rating. If a company isn’t registered with the BBB, this is often a red flag. BBB membership is considered to be a standard way for companies to display a commitment to being accountable for customer issues. If you’re willing to go deeper, you can also consider checking out the state’s Attorney General website to verify that a contractor is a licensed and legitimate contractor.
Be wary of siding companies that offer you ultra-low rates. These contractors are often using a strategy of offering a rate that’s so appealing that you’ll be too excited to even bother checking to verify that they’re legitimate. Of course, there’s no way that this contractor can actually complete your siding project with the quality level necessary based on the rate that they are offering you. In a worse-case scenario, they’ll never show up after collecting payment. In a best-case scenario, they’ll perform incompetent, incomplete work that leaves your home at risk for serious damage.
2. Ask for References
Any reputable Philadelphia home improvement company will be eager to provide you with references. Reputable, highly rated contractors are proud of their work. That’s why you should consider any hesitancy to provide references to be a serious red flag. How do you go about asking for references from a contractor?
Start by simply asking to see photographs of previous jobs. This is important because it gives you an idea of what you can expect from a contractor’s completed work. It also demonstrates that a contractor has experience with the type of work you need done on your home. If a contractor isn’t willing to provide you with pictures of work completed for clients, it’s time to simply walk away without wasting any more of your time.
If you are impressed by a contractor’s portfolio, it’s time to ask for references. It’s acceptable to ask for up to 10 references. These should be clients the contractor has performed work for within the past few years. An established, trustworthy contractor should also be able to point you to published online reviews from previous clients. Reading these reviews will give you a good idea of how effective a contractor is at meeting client expectations, providing quality work, and delivering reliable service.
3. Ask the Right Questions
There’s nothing wrong with putting a contractor through an “interview” process. After all, you are putting what is essentially the biggest investment you possess into their hands when you allow them to work on your home’s siding. Consider asking questions about the type of siding they recommend for your home, the specific nailing process that will be used, and other project details. The reason for this interview process is to measure how open the contractor is regarding the methods they use. It’s always a bad sign when a contractor is being secretive or avoidant when it comes to the way they’ll be handling your home. It shows that they may not actually have the experience and expertise needed to confidently answer questions.
An experienced contractor will be eager to talk to you about every detail of how they will provide you with world-class siding. For instance, a knowledgeable contractor will answer a question about nailing siding into a home by telling you that siding can only be nailed so far into the walls of your home because it needs to be able to expand and contract with temperature and humidity variations. A confident contractor will also have plenty of thorough answers regarding how long a project will take, how cleanup will be handled, and the process for hauling away discarded materials once the project is completed.
4. Verify Crew Size
Many so-called siding companies aren’t the large-scale operations their owners want you to believe they are. In fact, a siding “company” may consist of a single person who will attempt to side your home all alone. Some unscrupulous contractors try this technique because they would prefer to pocket the profit from the job instead of paying qualified people to get the job done. However, these contractors are truly biting off more than they can chew. As a result, the job won’t be done properly. Even contractors with plans to bring in others to help may not actually have a dedicated crew capable of showing up. This means you’ll wait for weeks while the contractor tries to gather the crew needed to get the job done. You need to work with a company with a trained, experienced staff capable of working on a reasonable schedule.
The Dangers of Trusting Your Home to “Just Anyone”
At American Home Concepts in Philadelphia, we’ve seen the repercussions of trusting unverified contractors with home siding projects countless times. We know the damage these contractors can do because we’re the company many homeowners call to redo jobs the right way after being scammed by unqualified siding companies. Poorly installed siding can cause water damage, mold damage, and high energy bills. In some cases, contractors simply fail to complete the work they promised to do. In other cases, they complete a job that “looks good” from the surface. However, homeowners find out years down the line that a bad siding job has actually been causing severe structural damage that will cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Doing some simple research can help you to get high-quality, properly installed siding that will provide your home with security, beauty, and value for years to come. American Home Concepts is a licensed, qualified Philadelphia home remodeling company specializing in home siding projects. We bring years of experience to every job. We encourage you to read our customer reviews to get a sense of the quality and integrity we provide to our clients. Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation estimate for your home siding project!