Here’s a quick customer tale about a wood siding installation job that really exemplifies why Buffalo Lumber believes educating customers about wood ownership BEFORE they purchase will ensure a happy outcome AFTER the project is completed.
Customers come to us from different roles in a project. Some are homeowners, some are builders, and even architects have purchased from us.
This particular customer was the general contractor, or GC. The homeowner also worked closely with the GC and myself in siding and color selection.
Bad Wood Siding Installation Job
It was a good-sized job, almost 3700sqft of clear grade T&G cedar siding. A big investment for the homeowner. It was beautiful cedar, delivered on time and in perfect condition.
Not long after delivery, I received a call from the homeowner, worried and horrified, because the installer, who worked for the GC, was all over the place with the hammer.
Nails were driven in randomly, hammer dings were everywhere, and plank joints weren’t aligned.
He sent me a few photos. It was the worst installation I’d ever seen.
I agreed to talk with the installer, who was offended that I was questioning his work and walked off the job. He wasn’t an experienced wood siding installer and he knew it was over for him.
I talked with the homeowner about the craftsmanship and experience necessary to install wood siding. With a little knowledge under his belt, he confronted his GC.
After inspecting the wood and checking his bid, the GC decided he wouldn’t be able to finish the installation and they parted ways.
I helped the homeowner shop around for experienced installers and vetted one I was certain could get the job done. The new installer did a beautiful job.
So good was the installation that we published it in our magazine. It’s so important to know the questions to ask as a homeowner when trying to find a wood siding installer.
What To Know About Wood Siding Installation
What’s to be learned from this tale? A little knowledge goes a long way.
I got my client, the GC, fired when I told the homeowners he wasn’t experienced with wood and proper wood installation. All of this could have been avoided with a little wood know-how.
Installing wood siding is a craft. There’s more to it than nailing boards to a wall. Experienced wood installers know this and they bid based on the work involved. A good installer will charge about 30% more than an inexperienced installer. Know what to ask about wood installation before installation begins.
Be proactive. Inspect the work. People don’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect. There was just 150 square feet of siding installed when the homeowner saw the problems. Imagine if he hadn’t inspected at all or even at the half-way point.
If you’re considering cedar siding and just starting your quest, check out the Top 20 Cedar Siding Frequently Asked Questions. It’s a mini tutorial that will put you at the top of the class.
In closing, my priority was, and always will be, to make sure the wood gets properly installed. I do want happy customers. But, in the end, I want happy wood lovers.