I researched Angie's list, BBB, Google and went with the middle, cost wise of 5 estimates mix of large companies and contractors advertised as licensed or bonded. I had 3 questions for all 5, Do you pull permits? What is time frame to start project? References Please? mark's estimate was inflated and things included in verbal quote are now extra from quote given at my home but revised verbally after receiving rudimentary written estimate and we agree to move forward, siding is ordered per mark. He welcomed me to the family. My advice to members and to anyone based on this experience. Get a written signed contract, including contingencies for unfinished work and poor workmanship. Be very specific on what is included and what your expectations are, you might regret relying on the hand shake, bear hug, welcome to the family verbal agreement like I do. If you hire someone licensed, handy man or home improvement contractor that uses subcontractors they might not work for you or have your interests in mind as you would hope, such as walking by obviously poor, extremely sloppy workmanship and states the guys are doing a great job, subs are how they make their money, they might protect them before you and your home. Subs aren't bad, they might have built 1/2 of America but it's another person involved if something goes wrong. Definitely make sure the handy man or home improvement contractors license is current in you zip code! Check on your own if permits are needed in you city, town etc. In my zip code permits are required for windows and siding projects per the city of Columbus, I was told during initial quote its not necessary in my area. A couple of days after window measurements things move quickly, time frame is now 4-5 weeks on ordered windows and mark calls to say he wants to put a siding crew to work they can start today or tomorrow. We already discussed windows first but assures me there will be no problems. I am reluctant and mention this several times to mark but figured mark is doing both windows and siding he can fix it if there are problems, siding lady also states any one who is worth he salt will do window install beautifully even if siding being done is not ideal. I didn't have time to paint trim and soffit due to rush. We went wrong from the start, doing siding 1st, allowing 1 man to install siding and being told later lots of Columbus siding crews are one man. I called him on this and he backed off, example of more spinning. I thought mark would be bringing contract and collecting my down payment. 2 people started my siding, mark arrived with no contract and I wanted to stop production but felt stuck because I now have siding on 1/4 wall of my home, windows are ordered and I didn't want to insult the the siding crew who had a sick member, so I'm not sure why we rushed the project to be done by only one guy. My siding looks beautiful if you don't look too closely, lots of long scratches from one man trying to hold up siding with tool. At the very least it is not an ideal way to install siding at worst I'm not getting the job I paid for. I am upset, I want a written contract, talk about my neighbor having a lien on property problem and he brings me same rudimentary quote, and puts windows and $ amount on another letter head?? no detail, not signed, wants no deposit still. He forgot about painting a large vent, I supplied paint but was told it was too dry, looks worse then before they touched it. Day 3 2nd guy shows, worked on areas that were not supposed to be caulked. Rosati front window and kitchen door with pre-sanded wood fill, preventing a storm door install due to not wanting to remove caulk or effect an warranty I had on siding. 4th day mad rush they have a 1/2 day job to get to per mark. siding left on roof, siding in my dog pool for them to step on, pieces and parts of siding and finishing nails everywhere around house, roof and deck, I have 3 dogs with soft paws. I was not asked where things should be hung, now Ihave holes in siding for mail box, door bell, hose holders etc. Despite all the challenges I paid mark $9634.00 for phase one as he called it and requested and received from mark 2 tubes of caulk to fix sloppy areas around air con hoses, gas lines and the j channel around kitchen door if a problem with caulked door arose for door installer. Thinking don't complain too much we still have windows to get through, I had reservations and felt the way things were going I needed to be careful with mark's ego because he defended and spun blatant errors on several occasions. mark says to wait for rain to knock off dust on the job site before addressing scratches in/on siding mark later says I am unpleasable and nitpicky. You be the judge. Windows were measured incorrectly even after telling window sub several times how to measure because I had literally seen openings and he agreed when he left to measure outside of metal frame. Window crew is in a hurry from start they are rushing about my home muttering and complaining, when mark arrives sub gives him ****, telling him how much more work this is then he thought. Visible upset and says he will finish today instead of the 2 days allotted. I verbally gasp at how large the gaps around the windows are in my bedroom and mark takes me outside to spin and tell me I am getting more window because the outside capping will be thinner than my Rosati windows all because of the way window sub measured. Windows are about an inch to small around, I could have had larger windows for the same cost under 100 inches. Possibly effects light in home and resale. Window subs muttering to himself and complaining while aggressively pry-baring my metal windows out doing damage to drywall and toilet and not telling me. Looks pretty bad as I am peaking at their progress but I am stuck now, what can I do, I have questioned mark several times for contract, I already did siding and I am met with spinning of the truth or reality when I bring up an issue, I need to manage my expectations and not poke the bear, I have been blown off or spun and steam rolled through this process and I felt intimidated and very uncomfortable expressing my unhappiness with the workmanship and the rushing around, because mark strongly defended poor workmanship several times through project and we weren't done yet. day 2 sub has to come back to foam and trim, literally jogging through my house on cell phone speaking while mitering trim, slamming doors while jogging. Muttering and complaining and huffing, coughing just not happy at all...I commented on his behavior and he left shortly after, leaving one kid behind to finish 15 minutes of nail fill work. He came back after bidding a new job an hour and a half later after I texted him to pick up his co worker . kid went into my backyard with out permission and was almost mauled by my rescue dog. Totally unacceptable to be in area, should not have still been at my home. Crew did not walk me around job just left. Trim looks horrendous, I literally could have done better, huge miter gaps, uneven, nail holes, some caulk in some areas, cracked wood from nails too close to edge of wood, drywall damage, wall damage in 3rd bedrooom caulk or fill compound on window slides and wood, unfinished globs of caulk just childlike workmanship. I have not paid for windows yet due to mark not taking a deposit after trying on 4 or more separate occasions to give him one and negotiations of price reduction for childlike workmanship, with mark. He came to my home tried to spin situation and blame on my old house, saying its so hard with these old houses. hard to measure? Miter? to get even but when challenged as untrue he finally said I would not pay extra $1010 charged for trim since he didn't have any profit on that anyway. He asked what would make me happy, I said I don't want to pay for install he said we couldn't do that because sub will just put a lien on my home and then he would be involved and he didn't want that and it wasn't fair to him. I felt uncomfortable and like he was trying to intimidate me with the lien comment because i had just mentioned my neighbors situation and the word came up for my situation?? mark spoke a lot about fairness. He seemed interested in being fair to himself and subs but not to me. This is were it really sunk in he definitely didn't have my best interests in mind and he didn't work for me. Temporarily agreed on another 500 off for me to hire someone to paint large vent he said he'd paint and all clean up work I had to do through out project. I was very intimidated, mark's demeanor changed as I listed all the poor workmanship through project, he took it very personally. He arrived early I was unprepared for meeting and am diagnosed with anxiety. I forgot to mention several things after the lien conversation because it really scared me. I texted later stating to give me a call or stop back out I wasn't happy with the end result of our conversation and to please call when convenient. I told he I wanted free install I'm thinking maybe $1000 off plus the $1010 so total of $2010 off window total of around 5200. he has to think and call me back. Next day mark's tone is dismissive and asks me to explain again what is going on because yesterday he was driving and didn't get what I was saying in our 10 minute conversation??? I am frustrated at repeating myself again and let him have all of my complaints at once, too much, yes, so I did later apologize for my not letting him get a word in. He had not thought about a resolution as discussed the day before and got very upset when I had asked him if he pulled a permit for my job. I only asked because a form I was looking at asked if permit was pulled and because I have unsigned, rudimentary paperwork I did not know for sure. Well now I know in Columbus you do need a permit and mark said he did not say he would pull a permit because he never does. So I asked why he called back if he hadn't thought about my request and he force closed me with either pay $3500 and siding crew replaces J channel and maybe capping on windows and they will look at rosati window and kitchen door j channel/capping or $2000 and we are done no repairs. Just lovely... I have no choices here but bad ones so I reluctantly agree steam rolled again, mark to call with crews schedule but probably schedule for couple days. I don't here anything for a week, I e-mail him and get a response days later of "I am out of town til next Tuesday". Several text and emails later mark sends final pdf punch list final bill, pay half of 5100+ bill and I will schedule siding crew for now called punch list. No description of scope of work . I finally decided to complain after being called unpleasable and difficult, I tried to be reasonable, maybe both crews were having bad days but the window subs work was so horrific I could not let it pass, not fair to others they might do work for in the future. Wish me luck!! I have so many more photos if needed.