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Old 03-03-2010, 05:19 PM   #1
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


I'm starting to get quotes for vinyl siding. I've read recently many contractors are giving a very hard sell to potential customers. Is there anything I should be aware of before I start receiving bids for this project?
Also any other advice or referrals would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:48 PM   #2
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Where are you?

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:01 AM   #3
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Before you get any estimates I would check with the BBB to see how they rate...it's not perfect, but if you find negative comments you may want to steer clear of them.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:24 AM   #4
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


Tips:
Ask each bidder to list, or tell you, the amount of Squares (10'x10' area), or SF - for the project.

Bear in mind, that there are other factors that denote the cost of a siding job, such as the amount of soffit, and aluminum needed, wrapping of windows, etc.
Also, the brand, and style of siding to be used. Siding installers have specific brands that they prefer, or sell. However, there should be a commonality to the number of squares, and comparitive costs.
This can give you a comparison amount (numbers to compare the bids to)


References:
Ask for Similar Job references, and not just "references".
You can also ask for pictures of their work (example: I have lots of pictures of our work in photo albums).

Ask for proof of insurance. This should be an insurance certificate listing a General Liability policy, vehicle policy, and workmans comp policy (check expiration dates, the insurance co, and the title of the insured)

Find out if your area requires a permit for the work, then ask the contractor if he will be obtaining a permit for the work.

Ask the contractor if they have a license, or other certification for the type of work (licensing and requirements vary by state/city/location).


Difference in Quotes:
Remember the general rule - be weary of the lowest estimate number, as that low ball price "most often" reflects a lower quality of: service, installation, professionalism, care for your property, reliability, manners, warranty, lack of proper insurance, no license, bad reputation, etc....


Lastly:
If you get a lower price from Contractor "C", but really liked the professionalism of contractor "A", then don't be afraid to tell "A" that, and ask "A" - if they are willing to do the job for the lower "bid" price of the other guy ("C").

99% of the time, when a Home Owner tells me that, I will match the lower price (when that lower price/amount is within reason)

Remember = You always get what you pay for.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:28 AM   #5
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Where are you?

Detroit, MI
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:21 AM   #6
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When you get references on something like siding, roofing, driveways, etc.
Its a very easy thing to see from the road. Drive to those houses, and look at the siding or what ever from the road at least. You have an idea then, what your house will look like.

Don't be afraid to ask for references on jobs that were done 2 or 3 years ago.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice everyone. So I had 2 contractors come and bid yesterday. The first, wasn't so bad, was here like an hour quoted me a price I thought it was a bit high. But the guy seemed fair, straight to the point and honest.

The 2nd contractor was anything but. He was nothing more than a pushy salesmen. He was at my residence for 3 hours and 20 minutes trying to push his product on me. It was the most painful thing I've ever sat through and felt like putting a gun to my head. I honestly felt like it was a "Time Share Condo" sales pitch. He would not take no for an answer even though his price more than doubled the first contractors. He went as far as getting his boss on speaker phone to add pressure on me. I must have told this guy 100 times THIS IS OUT OF OUR BUDGET!!!. But what I thought was funny is by the end of the evening the guy came down nearly 40% in price but was still too high. He even tried to force some "Good Faith" contract on me basically stating if I found a better quote we'd rip up the contract, WTF? Who did this guy think he was talking to? Needless to say he finally left. I was so discouraged over the whole event that I'm canceling the rest of my quotes (AKA 3 hour sales pitch) and holding off on the siding.

I wish these people would realize their pressure is probably driving customers away.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


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Originally Posted by krb613 View Post
The 2nd contractor was anything but. He was nothing more than a pushy salesmen. He was at my residence for 3 hours and 20 minutes trying to push his product on me. It was the most painful thing I've ever sat through and felt like putting a gun to my head. I honestly felt like it was a "Time Share Condo" sales pitch. He would not take no for an answer even though his price more than doubled the first contractors. He went as far as getting his boss on speaker phone to add pressure on me. I must have told this guy 100 times THIS IS OUT OF OUR BUDGET!!!. But what I thought was funny is by the end of the evening the guy came down nearly 40% in price but was still too high. He even tried to force some "Good Faith" contract on me basically stating if I found a better quote we'd rip up the contract, WTF? Who did this guy think he was talking to? Needless to say he finally left. I was so discouraged over the whole event that I'm canceling the rest of my quotes (AKA 3 hour sales pitch) and holding off on the siding.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:07 PM   #9
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After an hour I would have tossed him out
If he refused I would have called the cops & had him arrested for trespassing
I try very hard not to waste anyone's time, I expect the same
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


HELP! Need IMMEDIATE advice on contractor decision making
So I posted earlier about vinyl siding quotes. I've narrowed it down to 2 contractors.

Contractor 1 came in at $5100. I was surprised how low this was compared to the other quotes I received. But he seemed honest, up front, and didn't try to bullsh*t me. The material also used seemed like good quality (not great but not cheap either) but equal to the other quotes I received. The guy was also very young, roughly 25-26.

I never heard of this company and tried finding them on BBB but came up empty. They have a nice website with many referrals including local professional athletes, news anchors, etc. Which they could be making this up also. He said the company has been in business 30+ years. They are licensed, have a lifetime warranty, carry insurance, and do not sub-contract.

Contractor 2 came in at $7100 for basically the same exact service as the first guy (I used the first as a template for services). He asked "How'd I come in?" I said "well... you're way over on the previous quote". I gave him the cost on the 1st quote and his mouth hit the floor. He said at that price he'd being doing it at cost making virtually no money. He then went into a tirade about the first contractor. Told me they probably weren't legit, or did suspect work, hired illegals, etc etc etc. He couldn't understand how a company like this survives. He then said he could work with me on price getting it down to $6000 but that's the lowest he can go. He left with this "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR" which kind of frightened me about Contractor 1.

Now this guy was driving a 010 Chevy Pickup truck (oppose to Contractor 1 driving a 90's Blazer) lives in a exclusive area, and is the owner of this company. Also has a complete staff, with superindentant, etc.

I'm a little skeptical of Contractor 1 since he came in so low. I'm a little skeptical of Contractor 2 since he went from $7100 to $6000.

Who would you go with?
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:21 AM   #11
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


This is not really fitting in with the purpose of a DIY site. Since you aren't doing it yourself.

Go and look at these installs they are using as a reference. Look at ones that have been done 3 to 5 years ago, and see how their product holds up.



Moved to off topic forum.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:32 AM   #12
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Since this is a DIY site...... I'd go with grabbing my tools and installing it myself and saving thousands of dollars!

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Old 03-06-2010, 11:55 AM   #13
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


Call the references - this is a must. And always always, remember that feeling you have in your gut - it will almost always be right.

That said, having been in sales and marketing for a long time - a good rule is not be bad mouth the competition. Best to explain why your price and services should be selected, help guide the customer to decide, etc. You will get a lot further than just showing distain for the competition.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:12 PM   #14
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


very easy..

A. call State or local Biz & proffesional regulations and check on contractor 1 & 2.. they will also be able to advise any disiplanary actions.

This info may be available online.

B. Call contractor 1. ask for phone numbers of referances... a couple old and new. And call them

( if you asked me this I would respond... sure what letter of the alphabet would you like...)

I drive old trucks... without signs.. a. I hate payments b. never justified the cash to buy new...let somebody else take the depreciation beating.
c. for guys like you that are turned off by flashy new vehicles owned by people you want to hire. " we put your money in your project not in our trucks". d. No sign.. I'm there by word of mouth... I don't want to alert my competition I'm on it.

Go with you gut!
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:21 PM   #15
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Vinyl Siding Quotes ?


i agree it's off topic,but i think it's an important discussion

when a homeowner contracts siding out not only are you paying for labor
and materials your are also paying for overhead and profit,and these are different for every contractor

the bigger siding/roofing contractors usually have more over head but can buy materials much cheaper because of higher volume,and because of the nature of the bigger companies they are generally the companies that employ sub contractors on a regular basis [whether they admit it or not]
the salesman generally don't install, he may have a great quality control or
be more interested in getting the job done quickly

then there are the smaller ''family'' type business,they operate out of the home,wife is usually the bookkeeper/secretary,they may have older equipment but they usually own it,the person that sells is usually the installer too,or closely work with their own employees,these contractors are generally more quality oriented....generally

the there are the ''jack-legs'' as Tinner calls them,they are always the cheapest ones initially,but you usually have to pay to have their work repaired or replaced if they actually come back after taking your down payment

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