Daniel Taetzsch on Angies List
8 years ago
03/16/2012, 10:46 AM
Overall, the project was completed by Olson WDS with excellent work and service. Kevin and George (the crew leader) were very good about telling us what to expect. The crew worked long and hard. All of them were extremely polite and careful to watch out for our kids or other visitors approaching the home while work was going on. George had some excellent observations on things that needed my attention but which were unrelated to the siding project but important for the home exterior. He and crew members also checked with us on some of the critical design changes before completing them. They installed new outdoor light fixtures that we purchased and assembled. When my wife and I didn't like some of the changes when we saw them on the house, Kevin and George were great at coming up with a better solution. The crew was careful to install the Hardie product according to the manufacturers instructions-- this is critical for the long-term effectiveness of cement fiber board-- not any easy process with all of the trim and some of the angles around our exterior. Kevin, the sales rep, checked in on the project regularly. Any time I called with a question or concern, Kevin and George were very responsive. One of the hard parts of the job was out of everyone's hands--the awful weather. The bad weather kept delaying the project. Given the size of this job, there was a lot of material -- trim and siding-- stored on our yard. The material was covered and safe; however, due to weather delays, it stayed on the lawn longer and made it more difficult to restore the lawn. (We had the option to pay for a storage container on the drive way and we should have done that to avoid the hassle of lawn restoration.) Also, the weather delays were far more than anyone expected so this caused a delay in projected completion date. Kevin and George run a tight ship with crews and scheduling so when the project got delayed, they did a good job of juggling crews to get our job finished. ( Note: if you have some critical dates in the future where you'll need your home-- weddings, vacations-- make sure you work those into your project plan.) The crew was very careful to re-install downspouts and gutter guards. They also cleaned up very carefully to remove any of the nails, cut aluminum and other debris. A few months after completion, I noticed a few areas that needed adjustment with gutters. Also, I had some other work done on the roof which then required some adjustments to some of the trim. I called Kevin and soon was visited by George, who checked out what needed to be adjusted and took care of everything. They really do stand behind their workmanship guarantee. The home looks spectacular. We've received many compliments from neighbors on the design.
Our 30 year-old home had original aluminum siding that was beginning to deteriorate with weakened metal and badly fading paint. Also, the wood trim was rotting and was not holding up against rain and snow particularly around the dormers on the roof due to poor maintenance or repairs in the past. We researched the various options of painting the siding and trim, replacing the siding with vinyl or using cement fiber board by James Hardie Co.
We decided to replace both the aluminum siding and and all of the wood trim with James Hardie product. The decision to replace all of the wood trim significantly increased our costs due to the labor and material involved; however, we had seen liked the uniform look of this on other houses we have seen in the area and we were tired of having to worry about replacing rotting wood trim on the home. This also enabled us to change the look of our home by replacing or covering the older styles of trim particularly around the dormers, the front porch and garage. Because we chose to replace the wood trim, we had to replace our gutters. The project also included new Tyvek house wrap, new aluminum wrap around aluminum windows, new attic vents on sides of house and new shutters.
We received several bids from various contractors that we had from local referrals and Angie's list. Beware, some of the siding contractors out there are "storm chasers". They give you a low-ball price and try to get you to sign up with them claiming that you can file for an insurance claim to get more savings. They may not be around if you need them to come back for any adjustments in a few months. The best contractors spent a lot of time with us going over the various options for design and material before submitting their bid.
We selected Olson Windows, Doors & Siding. They were not the lowest bid, but we liked their creativity, responsiveness and cost-effective approach. The comments on Angie's list and their experience with Hardie products and other home exterior work were also factors.
Kevin, our rep from Olson WDS, was exceptionally good at suggesting design changes which would increase the curb appeal of the home. Based on recommendations from Kevin we also replaced the shutters on the home with a more contemporary design to match the other upgrades we were making. He also made suggestions on other minor construction, window and door improvements to the home that we could consider. He suggested ways to improve venting of our roof through the project. I cannot overemphasize the value of having a contractor who is able to be creative, practical, cost-conscious and responsive in this process.
We also needed to replace the gutters and downspouts because they would be destroyed during the process of removing the trim. (Note: if you are going to replace your gutters, think about any future work to be done on roofing, trim and siding since those impact your gutter system) Olson WDS carefully saved our downspouts and and gutter guards since they were recently installed with the new roof. This saved us significant replacement cost. Some contractors we talked to were not willing to be bothered with this.