You've noticed your home's siding could use a face lift. Maybe your siding is cracked, has damaging build-up or perhaps the passage of time has taken a toll on its appearance. With the primary purpose of exterior siding being to add a protective layer to your home, you've decided it's time for a siding repair or replacement. Now what?
Before getting started, make sure you know the different factors that go into a siding project so you sign off on a fair estimate. Here are five tips for getting an accurate siding estimate (to help you avoid surprise expenses along the way):
Request Multiple Quotes
First thing's first, make sure you gather several estimates to compare and contrast (which will also help you formulate the right questions to ask contractors). However, don't automatically assume the lowest estimate is the best. An experienced siding professional will always take the time to be thorough, which helps ensure the final bill won't wildly overshoot the initial estimate.
Understand How Size Impacts Cost
Home size is one of the largest cost factors of a siding estimate. More square footage equals more materials (leading to a longer installation period and increased price). While you can't change the square footage of your home, contractors typically calculate labor in the square foot price when developing estimates, so this is a good watch out while reviewing your options.
When choosing your siding material, quality rules all. Don’t be fooled by low-cost options that may look attractive on paper, but could end up costing you more long-term with a potential replacement in the near future. Look for durable siding for homes with a proven record to last for a good long-term investment. Additionally, certain types of siding materials are easier to install (hence less labor intensive and costly) than others. For example, an engineered wood siding option like LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding is known for its durability and ease of installation.
Learn about Location
“There are several factors to watch out for that can add costs to a siding job,” says Nick Zeman, vice president of All Around in the Minneapolis, Minn., area and a Master-level member of the LP® BuildSmart™ Preferred Contractor Program. “It could be something as simple as the height at which you’re working.” If you’re planning on repairing or installing siding on a home with multiple stories, in hard-to-access areas like behind large shrubs or with architectural features like eaves, it could increase the price of your estimate when compared to a simpler design.
Factor in Timing
According to recent statistics by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 300 000 vacant jobs in the construction industry. What’s more, residential remodeling is gradually increasing. This combination means projects are taking longer to complete. Spring and summer are typically the busiest construction months, which can often lead to a premium. Consider completing your project during an off-season month, particularly in regions with mild winters, to ensure availability and potentially cut costs due to lower demand.
A seasoned, credentialed installer like Zeman knows that you'll get bit by the things you omit in an estimate. Knowing the questions to ask and the items to look for in your estimate will help ensure there are no surprises for a smooth project from start to finish.
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