Hello, My name is Bill. I have been in the vinyl siding business for about thirty years. When I first started, I was making a whopping $3.50 per hour. I worked for a small contractor that was doing rehab work for HUD.
At that time, we did complete remodeling. The crew I was on didn’t do much siding, we did mostly interior work. On days that we didn’t have much to do inside, or I wasn’t needed for that work on that particular day, I helped with the siding work. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I enjoyed that work, and I asked for it more and more.
While on break, I used pieces of scrap aluminum to try to make trim patterns.
As time went on, I got really good with the aluminum brake (a tool used for bending and cutting aluminum). I figured it out pretty quick, as with most everything, I had it in my head that it just takes a little common sense. practice makes perfect, and within a few weeks, everyone knew that I had a real talent. I started trying new things, and came up with ways that most people in the business didn’t think were even possible. I saved my boss so much money that he gave me raise after raise. by the end of the year, I was making $8.50 per hour.
Time changes us all, and after a while I knew that I needed to go out on my own.
I borrowed a truck, and a ladder, rented some other tools that I didn’t have and went out to make my fortune.
I started sub-contracting for first one good company then another. I knew that this wasn’t getting me anywhere. One thing I noticed when I was trying to do side work. I didn’t make any more money than when I was doing work for the other companies. That’s when I decided to start my own company. Still when I started doing it for myself full time, I didn’t charge enough. Over the years, I learned to charge more money, and had a successful run at it. The point I’m getting at is that the work I have done, even though I have gotten better over the years, pretty much remained the same as far as quality.
This is the reason I am writing this because if you are contemplating using an independent installer, as opposed to a big well known company, why pay for all of that overhead( Cadillacs, Television adds, high pressure salesmen, etc…)?
Ask for a few references, go look at the work he has done, talk to the people that have had work done by this installer. If you are satisfied with your own conclusion, then give the guy a chance. You’ll most likely save a lot of money, and get the same job quality, or better.( remember that this guy is trying to get his reputation built and will probably go the extra mile for the reference.)
If you don’t trust him then by all means go with the big company and spend the extra money.
Peace of mind is worth a lot in itself.