The reason for these programs is to educate and ensure that contractors and tradesmen are installing their products with “best practice” methods according to the manufactures specifications. This is very important for you, the homeowner, because often times manufactures will void their warranty if the product isn’t installed per manufactures’ specs. This leaves a homeowner in a precarious position if for some reason the product fails. The contractor points the blame at the manufacturer for the failure and the manufacturer blames the contractor for improper installation, meanwhile homeowners suffer with no resolve. A “certified” contractor assures the homeowner that he has successfully gone through the manufactures certification program and understands the “best practice” installation for that particular product. Should a warranty claim arise in the future the homeowner is better insured.
The programs to gain certifications vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Often times there is an installation guide book that must be read and an online test that needs to be taken based on the information provided in the installation guide book. Most manufactures also require an inspection of their product being installed on an actual jobsite to insure the product is being installed to their standards. Before rewarding a contractor their stamp of approval, they may ask for certain criteria from the contractor such as: proof of insurance, copy of state and city licenses and proof of the number of years the contractor’s been in business. Only when all the criteria has been met will a manufacture give a prospective contractor their certification.
Along with manufacturer certifications, there is also industry certifications. For example: Mastic, is a manufacturer of vinyl siding and many other products. The Mastic brand has it’s own specific certification program. In conjunction with this is the VSI (Vinyl Siding Institute). They too have their own certification program which is a more broad program that envelopes all vinyl siding manufactures. Vinyl siding manufactures work side by side with VSI to standardize “best practice” installation methods across the entire industry. Along those lines, the state of Wisconsin now requires contractors to take continuing educational classes on products and installation methods in order to keep current with the ever changing construction industry. In fact, a contractor cannot hold a valid license if he/she does not have enough “continuing education credits”.