A division of SEA Construction, Inc.

Our Re-Siding Proposals Now Come With Hugs!

Posted by Petalyn Swartalbert

Sep 24, 2013


proposals that hug you 2  resized 600Brilliance sometimes arrives within thetwinkling of an eye, and just such a moment occurred this weekend. I was glancing over a re-siding proposal we were about to send to a homeowner, and it occurred to me that thenumber highlighted in bold at the end of the page seems almost irrelevant to anything other than a deficit to somebodies bank account. Even when that number is broken down into the itemized categories, it really doesn't offer any pertinent information. It's just a number without any relation to other alternatives. 

"What if we could show a homeowner what the alternatives options would cost, right there in their re-siding proposal?" 

In other words, since the value of any number is only revealed in relation to alternative numbers (i.e. costs of other methods and means) it seems a disservice to NOT include them also. After all, our job as a service oriented installer is to make certain we meet the needs of our homeowner first; the needs of their home are an equal-second.

Result? Peninsula Siding Company will include substantiated cost comparisons for alternative re-paint and/or repairs, in every proposal we send out. As a homeowner myself, it's what I'd want! 

If this extra step is going to be taken seriously, it's imperative to make sure that these alternative numbers aren't inflated with a bias toward the contractor. The only way to ensure against that is to use third-party research and calculators that are based on credible industry data, is up-to-date and geographically relevant. Geo-location is absolutely necessary because what it costs in Kansas to do the same job here, is night and day due to cost differences in labor, material, permitting, and fees etc. 

What if we just repainted?

"What if we just repainted and got a little more wear out of the old stuff?" 

It's a fair question when you're trying to stretch your money between your current cost of living in your current home and city, impending college fees, and the inevitable (albeit hefty) home maintenance items breathing down your neck.

We believe making the right choice now rather than later is pivotal. Whatever you decide, it's best to make the the call with eyes wide open! You almost always have a choice to spend what seems like a lot now to ensure against financially painful emergencies later, or spend less now while gambling a bit on the future.

What our proposals can not show you are future numbers; nor will we project for anything (in the future) over and above the cost of dealing with conditions now. Nothing exists in a vacuum and deferred maintenance continues to get worse, not better. A proposal today can not (in good conscience) reflect the future cost of:

  • likely added scope of additional repair work
  • possible increase in material costs
  • possible termite and weather damage 
  • dry rot, window and flashing repair or total replacement
  • Possible permit fees associated with a larger scope of work 

Pros And Cons of Making The Decision

Free re-siding estimates compare alternatives to a James Hardie ExteriorSuffice to say, when you finally make the call to explore exterior options its usually because the current exterior material is already compromised. Then again, many of homeowners use the a repair as an opportunity for a total reside with Hardie. The pivotal benefit (they reason) is that their home is not only uniform and gorgeous, but virtually maintenance free for more than thirty years.

(Confession: I LOVE saying that! When I personally imagine the value to me of more than 30 years worry-free, I realize that I'd be well over eighty before the warranty ran out, and my siding will still be in great shape after. Once done, I never have to think about it again; literally! There's just no down-side to that.)

Obviously not addressing the failing integrity of one's current siding condition and the damages of concern just beneath its surface, only puts off the inevitable prospect of having to re-side later anyway.

What To Look For

Beginning today, we are implementing this new practice for proposals given by Peninsula Siding Company. We will include the costs of repainting every 5 years. According to best practices you don't want to wait until your paint begins to fail before repainting. Even the best painting jobs will fail between 5-10 years. Amortize the cost of repainting at proper intervals over the next 30 years (or the length of warranty of James Hardie siding), and you have a number that -when coupled with repairs and partial replacements (again...over 30 years)- quite likely exceeds the cost of a full installation at today's current investment.  


The future seems less predictable than ever, so the real power to protect the future lies in the present and thats why you need real numbers. Be assured that the numbers we use to calculate (alternative) costs are derived from third-party sources -which we will openly list in each proposal. This way, should you choose, you may verify our calculations for yourself. While Peninsula Siding Company's parent SEA Construction is more than capable of estimating these costs, we feel that it is in your better interest to use numbers from unbiased sources. One reason we use 3rd party data and not SEA historical data is because SEA Construction Inc. is a General Contractor and therefore estimates would reflect added management typically involved in a larger scope of work. There is no need to hire a GC just to paint a home. Such figures would not represent what you can expect to pay a professional painter directly.

By the way, the process of providing a painting and repair cost comparison as an alternative to a full Hardie re-side, offers you and PSC instant confirmation of both immediate and future value, substantial peace-of-mind value, not to mention real protection of your home against future financial emergencies in a way that is truly responsible today.

When we contract with a homeowner it is supremely important to us to provide an excellent and worthwhile service to our client and their family.

Here is an example of what the new proposal format and cover letter will look like moving forward: To see our new estimate format, click HERE

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We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

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