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Choosing between two siding contractors

Bogleheads • View forum - Personal Consumer Issues - www.bogleheads.org
I need to have new siding put on the south side of my house and intend to use Jame Hardie fiber cement siding. My house extends over a hillside so that the job will require scaffolding over a three story drop. I've gotten two bids and am trying to decide between them.

Contractor 1: The guy who put the new roof on my house after I purchased it. The roof as very well done and I was impressed with his attention to detail. His crew consists of his son and others who have worked for him for years. When he came out to look at the siding he was here for 45 minutes, measured, and made notes about the odd things the original builders did that would need to be accommodated in the job. He sent me a very detailed quote with specifications of the work to be performed, products to be used, and measurements.

Price: $16k

Contractor 2: A contractor who runs several crews, he recently renovated the house of our friends. They thought that the exterior work on their house was very good although there were problems with work inside due to the fact that the contractor wasn't onsite on a regular basis. When he came to look at the siding job he took some measurements and was gone about 20 minutes later. His bid is a spreadsheet with costs for painting, materials, labor, etc. but no product specification or detail descriptions of the work to be done.

Price: $11,500

I suppose that I should get another bid but I'm really leaning towards going with the first contractor since he is detail oriented and has done good work for me in the past. Still, the cheap side of me thinks that saving $4,500 would be good and that siding is not that complex.

I thought that I would call on the wisdom of the forum for your thoughts.

Thanks!


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