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Old 06-27-2013, 11:34 PM   #1
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Re-Siding Quotes Torture


Now that we are seeking re-siding quotes I am rapidly becoming disheartened with contractors and their salespeople. Here for your entertainment is a summary of my adventure to date.

THE ROOKIE
This encounter was with a young new Hardie only contractor who wanted to buy directly from a Dallas Hardie distributor but needed me to pay for the material up front. In other words, he had zero capital nor credit. Additionally his contract stipulated tha I pay for all OSHA required masks and any other miscellaneous safety supplies.

The Big Blue Box
While confirming the at home appointment the blue rep heard me say I wanting them to also paint the siding and house trim, etc.. The rep quickly but politely told me all they installed was pre-finished Hardie lap siding. At least she saved us both time and trouble.


SIGN ZEE PAPERS OLD MAN
The big orange box sales and installs Hardie only if they do the painting. That in itself is understandable but the big orange rep would not or could not tell me the Glidden paint they would use. When I pushed the issue I was told we could use any brand paint we want but the rep again would not or could not tell me the up charge. The further we went the more he got frustrated with me being so inquisitive. Oh, i ascertained the ripe orange's primary goal was to get me to go ahead and sign a contract along with handing over a 25% deposit. After I said "not at this time" his facial expression became very sad as he related how HD paid him no salary. Not even expenses. No sale, no money to support his wife and small child.

WE CAN DO IT BUT ..............
When I told the rep/owner of a contruction company we preferred Hardie he went into a spiel about how almost anything, even hail, would shatter Hardie. This truly affable gentleman was his own worst enemy. Without me saying a word he confessed his installers break too many pieces of Hardi siding during installation and make too many mistakes. Plus his men are not equipped with the needed saws to rip or make any "special cuts" (whatever those would be). Here's the kicker. He said I had to pay for all of the material they break! His true pitch was to push me to use LP Smartside since it is so much easier for them to install. Late this afternoon he called to tell me that he cannot locate LP siding samples for us and that both HD and Lowes in our local area no longer stock LP Smartside lap siding. They only stock LP panels. He is to contact one of several LP distributors tomorrow. He need not go to the trouble.

---------------------------

You folks warned me about the orange crate and blue box so I have no one to blame but myself for that wasted time. The other outfits were all recommended to me. I guess it's time to go to Angie's List.


Last edited by sore thumb; 06-28-2013 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Correct Lowes section.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:08 AM   #2
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Re-Siding Quotes Torture


Call Hardie and ask if they have a list of certified installers.

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Old 06-28-2013, 05:26 AM   #3
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It's not out of line for a contractor to ask for the payment of the material up front. U have to remember that they can get burned too from a home owner. If they order the material and then the home owner changes there mind it can screw a small contractor who is just starting out and trying to make a name for himself.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:24 AM   #4
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I'm with smyers on that one.
I've been screwed to many times by customers to take a chance anymore.
They can make the check out to the vendor, come with me when I place the order and pay for it.
One deck I did was $7000 in just materials, customer promises they will be down that weekend to pay for the materials when they see them on there property.
We worked for two weeks on this deck, so now I'm out for the materials, all the labor and there still a no show.
When the lady finally shows up it's only to tell me she does not have the money to pay me. And insist I keep working and she will "try" and get the money.
We walk off the job and file suite to get the money.
In the mean time she gets a bunch of day labors to finish the deck and tells them to cut off the rail post because she does not want railings. (the deck was 48"'s high)
She had been told by me, and the building inspector she had to have railings, seats, or steps.
She then try's to sue me because it would not pass inspection because of the railings, which she had cut off.
It took me a year to recover.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #5
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Re-Siding Quotes Torture


I have not been burned often but I too learned the lesson and not actually from reentering the trades. I had vendors strung out to the tune of $3-5 million once and clients slowing down or deciding they could not pay. It was the most stressful period of my working life.

When restoring antique homes, I walked completely and instantly away from clients not into the concept of paying upfront for materials and afraid of the concept of regular, scheduled, progress payments.

Now then, I realize homeowners need help defining major projects but for something like a siding job? Instead of just calling in people and handing them the wide open task of siding your house? Why not write down what you expect (and it does not have to be dead on) so everybody starts from the same point.

I am sorry but I also have a strange view of siding people which is, I suppose unfair. I've never used it but should admit there is a place for vinyl siding. But, have you ever seen the movie, "Tin Men"? It appeals to my sick sense of humor. And Danny Devito as a siding salesperson will have to have you in stitches.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #6
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We have no interest in vinyl siding. Regarding funding. We always support contractors with any reseaonal advance schedule. Although every young contractor has to get established after research the young man I wrote about he truly has little if any capital. Even to the point he robs from Peter to pay Paul. No funds for payroll, no insurance, expired license. Saddly, one from bankruptcy. I cannot knowing expose us to fiscal risk.

My father was a custom home builder in from the mid 1950's through 1961. He owned his own lumber yard and hardwar supply store. Father built beautiful high quality custom homes. Initially very successful yet his business plan was over ambitious. Due to a lack of long term capital his business was shuttered.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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"we are seeking re-siding quotes..."

Hmmm......couldn't be a bit more specific, could you? I mean, I read that you wanted some painting to be done too. That might just narrow down the choices somewhat...
"We have no interest in vinyl siding."

Ah, OK then, no vinyl. But how about aluminum, or wood, and what about the other fiber-cement products out there? And how much research have you really done?

sorethumb, I'm not dragging on you, but it seems your post was a bit short on specifics as to what it is you really want, and long on other details about why you couldn't. Look, if you want Hardi, then go to Hardi. Get a quote, get the name of an installer - or go elsewhere. It seems to me that you're going at it backwards: "I want siding therefore go to Home Depot" - or Lowes - or Angie's list...

No wonder you get the mixed results you're getting; throw out a wide enough net and you'll catch everything. That's why I 'm saying start with research, zoom in on fiber-cement, drill down to Hardi, then proceed from there.

Here it sounds like you haven't even made you mind up on fibre-cement, and are thinking engineered wood....?
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:38 AM   #8
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We were set on Hardie until meeting with the last contractor. I have extensively researched Hardie. It is true I am leary of private contractors. Your comments are appreciated.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
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Last summer my father and I just did my house in fiber-cement siding.

We had no real experience so there was some learning.
We went to a local lumber yard that sells the product and talked with their guys for about an hour on how to install it what tools needed and any special tricks. Usually your local lumber yard guys know a lot more than the big box store guys (not always) because they work with contractors all day.

We ruined probably about 8 16' boards. Once we got the hang of it it went fast.

Point of the above is go talk to someone that actually works with/sells the product.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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Re-Siding Quotes Torture


I don't want to sound like a shill, but homeadviser (servicemagic) has worked great for us here in michigan to find contractors. It's free for us (the companies/contractors pay) so try it without any fear.

Personally, I'd lean towards a medium-sized local company, and avoid the big box stores. Someone in the middle of the price quotes you get probably.

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