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Posted: 1/23/2006 4:50:39 PM EDT
A buddy of mine is considering having vinyl siding put on his house. I was over at his place tonight when the salesman was over. Due to a torrential downpour, they weren't really able to walk around outside. Inside the house my buddy was trying to get a ballpark figure of what it was going to cost to have the siding put up. He was NOT trying to seal the deal and get a 100% firm price. Meanwhile the salesman was dancing and weaving around the issue of price and wouldn't give him a real answer. It reminded me of trying to buy a car from a bad used car lot.

Any input as to how much of a margin the salesman has? What is a fair price for a smallish three bedroom house (single story). Any questions my buddy should be asking or things to look out for?
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 4:55:53 PM EDT
The reason he didn't want to give a price is because he wasn't finished selling yet. Windows, soffits, gutters and anything else he had up his greasy sleeve.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:01:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
The reason he didn't want to give a price is because he wasn't finished selling yet. Windows, soffits, gutters and anything else he had up his greasy sleeve.



Please elaborate.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:06:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 5:07:37 PM EDT by Pangea]

Originally Posted By tReznr:

Originally Posted By Pangea:
The reason he didn't want to give a price is because he wasn't finished selling yet. Windows, soffits, gutters and anything else he had up his greasy sleeve.



Please elaborate.



He's going to try to sell vapor barrier, insulation, new windows, new eves, raingutters and maybe even a roof. Not to mention any structural damage that he finds. That's my experience with these guys. You might as well invite an Amway salesman or irish Traveller into your home.

eta, and by the way, are you really Trent Reznor? That would be cool.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:18:12 PM EDT
The summer after my first year of college I was on a crew that put up vinyl siding and associated crap in South Carolina. Crew cheif was a --wait for it--- ex Navy Seal. Well maybe he was, I didn't know enough to question it, and had no reason to doubt him.

We put siding on the crappiest houses you could ever imagine. The nails would hardly hold into the rotted asbestos board and clapboard already on the house. The salesman's specialty was looking for poor black women that had recently lost their husband, and wanted to sell the house, but it was in too bad a shape to sell. Aforementioned sales slug would convince them that spending $8000 on siding would add $20000 value to the dump (tripling the value as far as I could tell..) I felt sorry for the folks, but by the time we got there to put the stuff up, they were already in the contract.

Go to a Home Supply wholesaler and ask what the price of the stuff is, figure in a reasonable rate for labor, and tools depreciation (mainly a good radial arm saw and a bending brake), a little profit, and figure it out for yourself to have a number to compare to the salesmans. Insist on a quote for siding only, and if he still won't come to brass tacks, politely show him the door. It ain't like there aren't 50 local companies competing for your business...
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:23:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By tReznr:

Originally Posted By Pangea:
The reason he didn't want to give a price is because he wasn't finished selling yet. Windows, soffits, gutters and anything else he had up his greasy sleeve.



Please elaborate.



He's going to try to sell vapor barrier, insulation, new windows, new eves, raingutters and maybe even a roof. Not to mention any structural damage that he finds. That's my experience with these guys. You might as well invite an Amway salesman or irish Traveller into your home.

eta, and by the way, are you really Trent Reznor? That would be cool.



While this may be true, I hate people that want you to pull a price out of your ass when you first go look at a job. Why rush him for a ballpark figure? Let him measure the job and price it right. It has been my experiance that if you try to "guesstimate" and you end up higher with the actual estimate, people throw a fit. I don't dance around the question though, I simply tell them there are too many variables for me to come up with a price off the top of my head.

That said, most "siding salesmen" will try to sell you everything under the sun.

Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:30:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
and by the way, are you really Trent Reznor? That would be cool.



Nope, just a fan.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:32:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By home_with_kids:

Go to a Home Supply wholesaler and ask what the price of the stuff is, figure in a reasonable rate for labor, and tools depreciation (mainly a good radial arm saw and a bending brake), a little profit, and figure it out for yourself to have a number to compare to the salesmans. Insist on a quote for siding only, and if he still won't come to brass tacks, politely show him the door. It ain't like there aren't 50 local companies competing for your business...



And insurance, workman's comp, vehicles, accountant fees... etc. Materials, labor and a little profit? You are only going to get it for that price if you find someone doing it as a side job, or someone new that doesn't know how to run a business.

Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:35:42 PM EDT
I have a 2200 sq ft tri -level home, after the recent tornado I get to reside my house.
The quote I got for vinyl siding, and fifty foot of guttering and three replacement windows. was $5900. dollars here in Southern Indiana thank goodness Insurance is paying.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:42:55 PM EDT
out-a-ammo said:
And insurance, workman's comp, vehicles, accountant fees... etc. Materials, labor and a little profit? You are only going to get it for that price if you find someone doing it as a side job, or someone new that doesn't know how to run a business.



Well, I was going off the experience I had, and that was some time ago. You may find that most of these guys, with maybe the exception of the vehicle, don't carry/use any of that fancy stuff like insurance and workers comp. Don't mean to step on anyone's toes, but the most of the "home repairmen" I have seen are on the level of house painters, ie, alchoholics working just long enough to buy a good drunk.

Now that I know better, I only hire repair/fixit guys through referals. I pay more, but I don't worry as much about the job getting half done, or somebody rolling off my roof.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:58:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 6:59:21 PM EDT by ARMALITE-FAN]

Originally Posted By home_with_kids:
out-a-ammo said:
And insurance, workman's comp, vehicles, accountant fees... etc. Materials, labor and a little profit? You are only going to get it for that price if you find someone doing it as a side job, or someone new that doesn't know how to run a business.



Well, I was going off the experience I had, and that was some time ago. You may find that most of these guys, with maybe the exception of the vehicle, don't carry/use any of that fancy stuff like insurance and workers comp. Don't mean to step on anyone's toes, but the most of the "home repairmen" I have seen are on the level of house painters, ie, alchoholics working just long enough to buy a good drunk.

Now that I know better, I only hire repair/fixit guys through referals. I pay more, but I don't worry as much about the job getting half done, or somebody rolling off my roof.





According to a few post up you enabled a thief. Ex Navy Seal or not that still makes him a thief also. You felt sorry for the people but you still did it. I guess you just needed the money, so that made it all right. Then you insult legit contractors above. There is plenty of over head in running a business. I dont do it for a little profit either. I make good monet at it. Just because its manual labor doesn't mean its not skilled.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:45:54 PM EDT
But a good salesman ought to be able to punch a few buttons into his laptop and get a ballpark for the basic job and give a preliminary estimate that does not include x, y, or z and prints out and very clearly says that a detailed quote depends on a site survey by the estimator and inspection of underlying structure.

You ought to be able to give a preliminary estimate based on square footage, complexity, interior and exterior corners, windows and doors to be worked around, removal od existing materials if necessary,installing gutters at x amount per foot, # of corners, downspouts, etc. And that estimate does not include any repair of damaged underlying structure.

What the salesman should have done was to say you want a detailed estimate at this point, let's go out and take some detailed measurements.

But as noted, you can call a couple of companies in and get estimates from all of them. there should be enough similaritys and differences that you can determine a ballpark price. AND always check references. Your city engineering or codes inspection office might be able to shed some light on past history of certain companies.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:51:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
But a good salesman ought to be able to punch a few buttons into his laptop and get a ballpark for the basic job and give a preliminary estimate that does not include x, y, or z and prints out and very clearly says that a detailed quote depends on a site survey by the estimator and inspection of underlying structure.

You ought to be able to give a preliminary estimate based on square footage, complexity, interior and exterior corners, windows and doors to be worked around, removal od existing materials if necessary,installing gutters at x amount per foot, # of corners, downspouts, etc. And that estimate does not include any repair of damaged underlying structure.

What the salesman should have done was to say you want a detailed estimate at this point, let's go out and take some detailed measurements.

But as noted, you can call a couple of companies in and get estimates from all of them. there should be enough similaritys and differences that you can determine a ballpark price. AND always check references. Your city engineering or codes inspection office might be able to shed some light on past history of certain companies.






I take it you missed this part;


Due to a torrential downpour, they weren't really able to walk around outside.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 8:37:20 PM EDT
Of course I saw it, that's why I said this -

What the salesman should have done was to say you want a detailed estimate at this point, let's go out and take some detailed measurements.

In other words you want a specific answer I need specifics to factor in and if I go out, you go out because I am going to have questions.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 9:40:19 PM EDT
Hardiplank is much better material for siding if you have a choice. I wash alot of siding in my business and vinyl siding can have big problems. Hardiplank is solid, 90% cement and is a "Part" of the stucture instead of just covering it up with vinyl.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:14:48 PM EDT
"Certainteed siding"

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