Taking the mystery out of vinyl siding estimates

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Uncategorized
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The age old wisdom in remodeling is to get at least three estimates. This makes perfect sense until you face the mind numbing process of comparing the bids. One contractor might include board and batten vinyl siding while another has half round siding or gable siding. And, are they all insulated? How wide are the boards? How can you possibly compare?

If your head is spinning trying to read the bids, consider a few shortcuts:

  1. Do your remodeling research ahead of time. Decide what colors, textures and detailing you like. Look for products that accent your home’s architecture, exterior features and landscaping. Start your search online and check out this handy product visualization tool from CertainTeed.
  2. Make a list of remodeling costs. Vinyl siding is a great and affordable way to update your home, but there are many variables. Here’s a detailed list of what goes into vinyl siding costs. Make sure your contractor includes all those secondary materials (fascia, soffits, etc.), because they do add up!
  3. Narrow down your remodeling budget. What can you realistically afford? Will you borrow the money or use savings? Talk with the contractors before the bidding process to make sure you’re shopping in the right price range.
  4. Fine tune details with your contractor before the bidding. Sounds obvious, but unless you’re clear about your preferences and budget, you could end up with three very different bids. Now we’re back to the head spinning concept! Here’s a good primer on what to look for in vinyl siding.

Remodeling with the experts!

For more tips on vinyl siding, check out this Twitter chat with experts from VinylSidingZone and Bob Vila. They’ll give you the rundown on siding, paints, stains and general remodeling topics. Catch it Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern time.

This is a rare opportunity to connect directly with Bob Vila and other remodeling experts. Go to http://twitter.com/#!/bobvila and http://twitter.com/#!/vinylsidingzone and select the “+Follow” buttons on each.

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