What “Cutting Corners” Really Means
And Why We Refuse To Play Along
Many St. Louis exterior home contractors use the art of selective corner-cutting to lower costs and speed up their installation process. These savings are used to make their quotes as low as possible to get more work than the next guy.
The problem with this method is that, while their bids are honest, they merely promise to do the job mostly right. But when it comes to your home, mostly right isn’t acceptable.
Good Enough Isn’t
The first thing you should know about “good enough” is that no, it isn’t.
Good enough means that their work will outlast their warranty period (probably) but makes no promises after it is over. Good enough is a promise not to homeowners but instead to shareholders. It says that the company won’t have to spend any money backing up their anemic warranty.
In our mind, that isn’t good at all, much less “good enough.”
How Corner Cutting Is Done
While you might think that cutting corners is about carrying cheaper products, that isn’t necessarily the case. Many companies have some excellent products, but product selection isn’t always the problem.
Even so-so products can do a decent job, but all levels of roofing, siding, and replacement windows are only as good as the installation they receive – and installation is where the shortcuts come into play.
What You Can’t See Can Hurt You
Some shortcuts are impossible for homeowners to spot unless they spend all day looking over an installer’s shoulders. Things like using cheap or the wrong type of screws and nails or simply not using as many as recommended can have huge ramifications.
Using four nails where the manufacturer recommends six seems like a small matter, but it’s a big problem. Manufacturers base their installation procedures on research and deep knowledge of their products. If they say use six nails per sheet, you can bet the bank that there’s a good reason.
Usually, it has to do with survivability in adverse conditions and fighting the effects of time, based on the amount of weight each nail can safely handle over the decades or in high wind conditions.
So, while it may seem like it’s no big deal, shorting an installation by one or two screws per piece can significantly decrease the lifespan of a product.
Another big area where some companies will try to save money is insulation. You could have the best windows in the world, but if your installers don’t insulate them properly, they become little better than leaving an open hole in your wall.
The adage “You get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true when it comes to installation crews. Many contractors use random subcontractors and even temp agencies to fill out their work crews, saving them a bundle on payroll.
The problem is that subcontractors have uneven levels of training, and temps often have no training at all.
Worse still, these unaffiliated crews install whatever’s available. So you get folks installing your windows who were doing siding or roofing the week before. This back and forth from one product to the next keeps them from ever becoming experts at anything.
And of course, home solutions companies who take this route couldn’t be less interested in the quality of their builds. So long as they last long enough to keep them off the hook for their short warranties, they’re satisfied. For them, it’s all about the money.
There is an astounding amount of difference between inexpensive materials and those most often recommended by manufacturers. Cheap screws are prone to shearing, low-priced staples can pull out, and bargain barrel nails just don’t hold up.
It’s hard to spot these issues when you are holding these materials in your hand, but if you looked at them ten years down the road, their weaknesses would be readily apparent.
And no matter how good your product is, if the stuff keeping it in place is no good, your project won’t last.
The XteriorPRO Difference
We are positively obsessed with the quality of our work. After all, why sell the best of the best windows, roofing, doors, and siding and then let just any old crew install them? We know that, at the end of the day, quality products depend on a quality installation.
We train our installers to respect even the most minute details and to follow manufacturer recommendations to the letter. This guarantees that our work will last for decades and that your new windows, doors, roofing, or siding will perform as expected.
We send all our crews to factory training and then keep them trained as new techniques and procedures come down from our manufacturers. We do use subcontractors, but they are hand-picked crews who have been with us for years and believe in the XteriorPRO way.
They know that we’ll never tolerate a messy worksite or any activity or language that would make a homeowner uncomfortable. They know full well that they aren’t just operating at a job site but are at your home and to act accordingly.
We also don’t mix and match our crews. Each crew is expert at installing their product, be it James Hardie siding, GAF roofing, or ProVia windows, and they stick to the product they know inside and out.
What You Can’t See Is The Most Important Part!
Even when it comes down to the nails, we use the best available. Certain products, like GAF roofing, provide everything necessary for installation, and we never stray from their product line.
But we take things even further.
The caulk we use is much more expensive than what most home renovation companies use.
Because we know it lasts.
And in some cases, when even the manufacturers allow the use of a cheaper product, like with flashing, we go above and beyond and use the best flashing materials we can find.
Sure, we can spend less and still protect your manufacturer’s warranty, but squeaking by the warranty (no matter how long it is) isn’t our goal.
Our goal is to provide the best products available and install them in a manner that guarantees you’ll never need to use that amazing coverage.
You see, for us, it isn’t about the money. It’s about personal pride and a desire to always be the best answer for home renovations in the St. Louis area.
We want you to be able to have an old friend over to your home for the first time in years and have them ask, “Hey, is that new?” long after we’ve finished the project.
And that can’t happen if we don’t sweat the details.
If you need work done on your St. Louis area home and like the idea of having it done by the best crews in the business, contact us at XteriorPRO / Windows Depot USA of St. Louis for a free quote.