And when we say green, we don’t mean a newbie. We mean a siding contractor who recognizes and follows a strict code of building for eco-friendliness. If preserving the environment means something to you, here’s what to do to ensure that you hire a truly green siding contractor.

1. Ask potential candidates what kind of siding they use.

Fiber cement siding often gets the nod over vinyl siding and other new siding types for green building. Fiber cement siding does not contain PVC, a material that has no known pro-environmental qualities. So the contractor you hire may prefer this type of building material over any other. If fiber cement siding isn’t an option, you should ask why it isn’t viable for your situation.

2. Ask potential candidates if they employ sustainable building practices.

This means the contractor you hire should conserve water and energy at every turn. He or she should suggest materials and appliances that model efficiency throughout the life span of your home, even if that means a higher up-front cost. A green contractor should be able to give you the straight answers from the beginning.

3. Select from professionals listed in eco-friendly resources.

Two that come to mind immediately are Engineering News-Record and the Green Contractor Guide. If you use others, make sure that the listings aren’t free to all contractors. If a siding contractor must pay to list their business, that is a pretty good indication that they’re serious about their reputation as an eco-friendly builder.

Hiring quickly and without purpose increases your chances of making a poor decision. Follow these three guidelines and chances are you’ll hire a siding contractor who shares your sense of obligation to reduce the carbon footprint we all leave when we build.

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About the Author: Kelly C. Richardson, EdS is a freelance writer and manic do-it-yourselfer. He specializes in home improvement projects ranging from savvy landscaping to house transformation and beyond.

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