If you’re a homeowner shopping for an exterior contractor in the Kansas City area, choosing the right company to hire is challenging.
You may have questions like “what online reviews can I trust?” and “can I be sure that the installation will be done right?”
There’s also the issue of cost. If you think that all window or siding installers are “pretty much the same,” should your goal be to find the absolute lowest price?
If you want to avoid a nightmare home improvement project, these are important questions to think through.
There are specific steps you can take to sort through exterior companies to find the exact right window contractor or siding installation company for you. Before outlining those steps, let’s take a quick look at the kinds of companies that you’re likely to find.
Different Types of Kansas City Windows & Siding Contractors
There are many exterior contractors available to homeowners, but, in general, they can be grouped into 3 main categories.
Exterior Contractor: ‘A Guy And His Truck’
The most numerous kind of exterior contractors are very small – many of them are even one-man operations. They usually do business using a truck as their office and hire temporary labor for jobs as needed.
Some of these contractors are competent and seek to do good work. However, even many of these don’t know the basics of running a business and often get in over their head.
Here is a list of things to be cautious about with this type of contractor. While everything on this list won’t apply to all, these are things to be aware of as potential problems:
- Not properly licensed and little or no insurance.
- Not responsive, late for appointments.
- Often goes out of business within a few years, won’t be there if you need them down the road.
- Hiring temporary help that is not qualified.
- Will sometimes install inferior products to cut costs.
- Installation standards are inconsistent at best.
Be careful that you are 100% comfortable before hiring ‘a guy and his truck’ for your window or siding project.
Exterior Contractor: A Sales & Marketing Company
There is another type of exterior contractor you’ll find in Kansas City. These companies are often big and spend a lot of money on advertising.
The business model they use is essentially this: they are a sales and marketing company. Often after making a sale, they sub-contract out the work to a low bidder and pocket the difference as profit. They also often have a huge marketing and advertising budget, which drives up costs that are passed along to homeowners.
Here is a list of concerns to be aware of:
- These types of companies often have high-pressure sales presentations.
- Quotes are often high to help cover the costs of huge amounts of advertising.
- Installers are often sub-contracted crews with lots of turnover.
- Because of the size of these companies, it can be confusing as to who is ultimately accountable for the quality of your project.
You can sometimes get good results from these type of exterior companies, but beware of higher costs and uneven installation standards.
Exterior Contractor: Experienced Company, Fair Pricing, Proven Products
There is a happy medium between two extremes when it comes to window and siding companies. The key is to find a company that installs top-quality products with consistently high craftsmanship standards, but without outrageous prices.
Companies like this have the following characteristics:
- They’ve been around a long-time.
- They seem more interested in educating you about products than in pressuring you.
- They can tell you who will do the installation on your home and describe their qualifications in detail.
- Companies are often family-owned, with hands-on owner that is accountable to you.
The Steps You Can Take To Find The Best Kansas City Exterior Companies
To find the best window or siding replacement contractor, investigate each of these points with any contractor you are considering:
- Check out online reviews. Customer testimonials on the contractor’s website are okay, but the one’s you can most trust are on independent, 3rd party websites like Angie’s List, GuildQuality, HomeAdvisor, and Google.
- Make sure they show respect for you during the sales process. If a contractor is late for a consultation, that can be a sign of things to come if you hire them.
Also, if you get the feeling a salesperson is more interested in pressuring you into a sale than educating you on products, avoid that company. Choose a company that educates you on products and installation and then lets you decide.
- Do more online research. If a company has excellent online reviews and shows respect for you, take an additional step before hiring them. Look at their website – is it professional and can it tell you more about the kind of company? Also, check out the company’s Better Business Bureau rating and if they have any complaints against them.
It can also be a good sign if you see that they’ve won awards from manufacturers and respected industry organizations.
- Consider pricing. Remember that while you don’t want to pay outrageous prices, you also want to be cautious of low prices. No company can stay in business with low prices unless they are cutting corners with inferior products or installation. Obviously, you need to take costs into consideration, but always weigh it against the quality of the results.
- The last step is to be comfortable with the products your chosen contractor will be installing. As a rule, it’s a good idea to stick with products from proven manufacturers. Look for products made by companies that have been around for decades and have a proven reputation in the window and siding industry.
Take these 5 steps to find the right exterior remodeling contractor in Kansas City for you and your home.