Contractors usually offer free estimates to their potential customers for comparison, and they hope that their proposal will be accepted. Have you wondered how they calculate a siding estimate? Good businessmen must accurately calculate costs of materials and labor in order to make any profit on a job. Understanding how the estimate is made may help you judge between potential proposals.

The cost of materials depends on the particular product you have chosen to cover your house. Vinyl, cement fiber, and brick are popular options and each of them is available in different options that affect the cost of the materials. The first step is to calculate how many square feet must be covered and how much material must be ordered. Some types of materials are ordered in squares. One square is equal to one hundred square feet. The surface of your house can be divided up into shapes-squares, triangles, and rectangles-based on the shape of the building, the number of walls, and the roof line. The square footage of each of these shapes is calculated, a certain percentage is added to account for waste during trimming, and a certain percentage is subtracted to account for the presence of doors and windows. The final sum is divided by one hundred and rounded up to get the number of squares that must be ordered. If 16.7 squares are calculated, 17 must be ordered. Add to that the cost of any underlayment or additional trim pieces as well as fasteners to get the total cost of materials.

Labor costs reflect how much the workers must be paid to do the job. This is greatly affected by the details of your house-how many windows and doors there are, whether there are any unusual rooflines or any other things that require special attention during the job. Labor costs are also affected by the hourly wages he has to pay his workers. The hourly wage can vary widely between different regions of the country. A highly skilled worker will also be paid more to reflect his value to the company. An experienced contractor should be able to accurately predict how many hours it takes for a skilled crew to finish the job. If his prediction about this part of the siding estimate is wrong, he may not get any profit on the job and may even lose money.

This is how the business itself makes money to keep going forward. It is the profit that pays the owner of the business his salary. It also pays for facilities, utilities, vehicles, equipment, and office staff. A reasonable amount of profit is part of any siding estimate. You may not see the siding estimate broken down into these categories, and may just receive a single figure from your contractor, but it is still helpful to know how he has arrived at those numbers. An educated consumer can be confident that he has chosen wisely.

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