Jery Y. Huntley is president of the Vinyl Siding Institute, in Washington, D.C. VSI recently started a program to certify vinyl siding installers.

REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR: Why start an installer certification program?

Jery Huntley: It ties in to our product certification program started in 1998. That program ensures certified products are up to ANSI standards through twice-yearly plant inspections. We have a quality product, so we want to ensure that it's properly installed.

RC: How long did it take to get the program up and running?

JH: About three years. First we updated our installation manual and put the contents, free and downloadable, on our Web site ( Then we tried some pilot classes to understand how to teach it.

RC: How many trainers are out there right now?

JH: Ten of our manufacturers have certified trainers. There are also some contractors certified to train.

RC: Installers must have a minimum of one year experience and take a two-day course to be certified. Any other requirements?

JH: After the first two years, you must be re-certified. And if, for some reason, practices have changed, you must be re-tested. Otherwise, you just have to show that you're still a hands-on installer.

RC: What's the advantage for the certified installer?