Selling details as part of a siding job gives you two advantages: You distinguish yourself from competitors and add to net profit.

“Most guys who sell out of pickup trucks don't get into any details when they show siding,” says Jeff Monsein, owner and president of Aluminum Co. of North Carolina, in Raleigh. “They don't want to mess with vinyl rails or dentil block. We differentiate ourselves. We carry a dozen types of dentil blocks, door surrounds, and pediments. That sets us apart from the competition,” he says, because other contractors want to be the low bidder.

Look of Distinction Fiantaco Construction in Sterling Heights, Mich., does a lot of jobs that include siding details, says owner and president Charlie Fiantaco. “You can generally tell our jobs from our competitors'.”

Owners like their homes to be distinctive. With so many cookie-cutter suburbs out there, “some people want to be unique, with eye-catching detail, whether it's minor or dressed to the nines with all the accents,” says Bob Marrash, sales and operations manager of Accurate Roofing & Siding in Lawrenceville, N.J.

But not everybody. Marrash advises presenting information on detailing only after you've gotten prospects interested in your company and product. “Read your customer,” he says. “Know what they're looking for. You've got to be careful you don't lose the job because you think the house should look different.”

Details as Options Many contractors are afraid to mention details because they drive the price up, Marrash says. Fiantaco suggests handling that by not automatically adding details to the total price. “We'll throw them in as an option so they can add it up themselves if they're interested.”

Details boost profits. Depending on the extent of the job, Monsein says, Aluminum Co. of North Carolina gets 10% to 20% more with details than on a job without. Like many contractors, Fiantaco adds a little extra markup onto details, although Marrash doesn't.

In addition, you're often providing customers with options they didn't know they had. “Nine times out of 10, they don't realize the detail is available,” Monsein says. “They're surprised.”