How to hire a contractor for value and quality: A step-by-step guide
When you’re hiring a roofer—whether you’re looking for a commercial or residential roofing contractor—you need to vet candidates carefully in order to avoid scam artists and maximize the value and durability of your finished roof.
In this guide, we de-mystify the process of hiring a contractor, giving you step-by-step directions on how to choose the best roofing company for your project.
From the research phase to navigating a contract, here’s what you’ll learn if you download our guide:
Research phase: What to look for and what to weed out when hiring a contractor
Check more than just the Yellow Pages. Ask around—who would your friends and family recommend? Check the St. Louis Better Business Bureau directory and sort by rating. Don’t accept anything less than an A+ rating. In our guide to hiring a roofer, we’ll give you a list of qualifications you should look for in the preliminary research phase.
Pick up the phone and interview your short list
After the research phase is over, you should have a short list of contractors that fit your needs—at least on paper. A quick phone interview should give you an idea of whether each contractor would be a good fit for your specific home or facility. And, if they don’t communicate well on the phone, there’s no way they’ll be a good communicator throughout the duration of your roofing or siding project.
In our guide to hiring a contractor, you’ll receive a list of questions to ask your short list of contractors during the phone interview phase.
The phone interview should give you a good idea of which contractors are in the front running and which ones to drop. But, contractors have to see your home or facility’s roof in order accurately estimate the cost of your project. In person, they will be able to see your pitch, ascertain your material wants and get a feel for your price constraints.
It’s equally important that you know what questions to ask. Some non-negotiables: licensing, insurance, communication skills, knowledge of St. Louis building codes and permits.
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll give you a list of questions to ask and warning signs to look for during your consultation.
Sifting through multiple bids
Don’t go for the lowest bid. Often, if a contractor gives you a bid that’s significantly lower than competing offers, it’s a signal that they are cutting corners on insurance or materials. Though it might save you money in the short-term, it could have long-term ramifications.
While dollar-for-dollar price doesn’t matter, here’s what does: Finances, licensing, insurance. If, for example, a contractor asks for all the money up front, it could signal cash flow problems which could slow down—or stop—your roofing project halfway through. And, you will be held responsible if your roofing contractor doesn’t obtain the proper permits for your project, or if there is property damage and they don’t have insurance coverage.
There’s a lot to think about when choosing between bids. That’s why we break it all down in this guide.
And finally, how to steer clear of the scam artists
Unfortunately for all of the honest, skilled contractors in St. Louis, there are a handful of fly-by-night scam artists who look to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners and commercial facility owners. The FTC has released information about different schemes they’ve come across, which we unpack in this guide. From experience, we can offer some tips on how to avoid being scammed by a dishonest ”roofing contractor.”
In this guide, we offer tips on how to find honest contractors—and leave the scam artists in your dust.
Want to learn how to choose a contractor that will complete your project quickly, professionally and for a reasonable price? We want to help you. Download our guide to benefit from our experience as you navigate the process of hiring a contractor for your next roofing project.