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When do I need a certified installer?


People will often ask me about the benefits of using a certified installer. I think that question can be best answered by an example. In this case, a siding job that we did for a customer in Lombard.


Our customer had seen James Hardie fiber cement siding on the Science Channel’s How It Works show, and she decided that she wanted it for her home. James Hardie fiber cement siding is a high quality product that is superior to vinyl siding in many ways, but it requires special installation procedures.

 

Our customer had used another contractor for several routine jobs in the past, and she felt that she could trust him. That contractor was not certified to install this type of siding, but he told her that he would read up on it. Further, he said the job would require 6-8 weeks to complete. Based on his promises she contracted with him to replace her siding, and to do some additional outside work.

 

Once the demolition work was done the owner paid for the entire cost of the siding material, a practice that I wouldn’t advise.


Avoidable problems soon started. The contractor didn’t bother to have the vapor wrap installation inspected, and so the county issued a stop work order. Unfortunately, to pass this inspection the already installed siding had to be removed. At another point, a storm pulled off some of the siding, which was likely caused by using the wrong type of nails during installation.


The job was now passing the year point, and her contractor had effectively abandoned the project. She contacted us, as well as another certified installer. We both concluded that the entire siding job had to be scrapped and reinstalled.

 

She signed a contract with Gizmo to replace the siding, and in addition she wanted us to replace her windows and roof. The project was completed on time, and to her satisfaction.


Different home remodeling and repair jobs require different training and certifications. James Hardie fiber cement siding is a fantastic product that will give the homeowner superior service. However, this special product requires someone who knows how to install it. In the end our customer unnecessarily spent thousands of dollars because of an improper installation.


Please make sure that you protect yourself when hiring anyone. Don’t pay the entire fee until your work is completed. Use a certified installer when indicated, and make sure that you have both a fair contract as well as a good line of communication with your contractor.