Once you've made the decision to re-side your home with vinyl siding, however, you need a qualified contractor to install it properly to ensure long-lasting curb appeal.
"Vinyl siding is not something anyone with a hammer can install," says Matt Russo, production manager with Hollingsworth Home Improvement. "There are techniques that need to be followed."
Look for installers certified through a program sponsored by the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI). A VSI Certified Installer knows how to:
* Correctly fasten siding to allow for vinyl's normal expansion and contraction properties and keep it straight and secure on the wall.
* Properly prepare the area around doors, windows and other openings to prevent water infiltration.
* Pay attention to details that will give your home a beautiful appearance that will last.
When Margaret Seibert needed to have her 30-year-old siding replaced after a particularly heavy Minnesota storm, she looked to a firm that used only VSI Certified Installers to ensure a quality job. "They did a really good job, and I'm very satisfied with how it looks," Seibert says.
"The main thing is not nailing the siding too tightly, but letting it move," says Matt Ocel, owner of Ocel Buildings in Farmington, Minn., which completed Seibert's re-siding job. "Especially with a climate where you go from 100-degree days to 40-below, you have to leave room for vinyl siding to expand and contract."
With nearly 3,500 VSI Certified Installers across the U.S. and Canada, VSI offers a locator tool to help homeowners find professionals in their area. Log on to www.vinylsiding.org to learn more. Ask if your builder or home improvement contractor is using VSI Certified Installers; these qualified professionals carry a photo ID with their current certification number and expiration date.
VSI Certified Installers have demonstrated their installation skills and knowledge of the industry standard ASTM 4756, verified by an independent quality control agency. ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade and build consumer confidence. VSI Certified Installers must have a minimum of one year of experience installing vinyl siding and accessories, attend a hands-on course taught by a VSI Certified Trainer, pass a written test about proper installation practices, and be re-certified every three years.
Vinyl siding installation companies can also become certified. The company must have an approved quality control program, as well as a certified installer or trainer present on every job crew where vinyl siding is being installed.
For more information about VSI's program, visit www.vinylsiding.org/certifiedinstaller.