How to avoid hiring a bad contractor
Finding the best contractor for your job can be frustrating. Whether it’s roofing, plumbing, electrical, or something else, it can be overwhelming! There are a lot of contractors you can consider, and it’s hard to know what exactly you should be looking for.
Since we’re a contractor ourselves, we know the quickest ways to disqualify the risky contractors. Here are five tips you can use to avoid hiring a bad contractor.
1. Ask for a referral
Seeking out advice from your trusted friends and family can really help point you in the right direction. If you ask enough people, you can create a list of contractors to research. This can help you come to a decision faster.
2. Research company on BBB
Information about companies can be found online with the Better Business Bureau. Businesses may or may not be accredited. Businesses have to meet certain standards set by the BBB, and the business has to apply for accreditation as well.
There is also a rating system given by the BBB. It ranges from A+ to F. Businesses get this rating based on the number of points they have, which varies based on multiple factors from the BBB.
If a business claims they have an A+ rating, but the BBB website displays something different, always ask the business why their rating is different than what they claim.
3. Make sure the contractor has workers’ comp and general liability
It is very important that businesses have workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. Otherwise, the burden of an accident may be placed on the consumer rather than the contractor.
To verify that the company has workers’ comp, you can request to see their certificate of insurance. The contractor may or may not have this certificate on hand, so it may take a day or two if the company has to request it from their agency.
Businesses generally have general liability proof on hand. But if not, they can easily request it. General liability allows consumer protection if damage occurs and the contractor is at fault. It is best to insure the contractor has general liability in order to prevent potential legal issues, should any damage occur.
If you want to check online to verify if the contractor has workers’ comp in Oklahoma, visit the NCCI Proof of Coverage web page. You will need to know the exact legal business name.
If you visit the Secretary of State website, you can search registered entities to find out the exact business name. The legal name may not be the same as their DBA (doing business as) name.
4. Check for city and state license requirements
Every state has different requirements. The state of Oklahoma requires that all roofers have to be registered with the Construction Industry Board. If a roofer is not registered with the CIB, they are not legally allowed to be in business. Visit the Roofing Contractors page on the official Oklahoma website to look up registered roofers.
If you happen to live in a state other than Oklahoma, you can search online for more information.
At the city level, every city is different. It is very important that the contractor has the necessary city permits. Otherwise, they can be shut down in the middle of a job if they don't, and it can take up to 90 days to get the correct city permits.
You can check with your local City Hall for code enforcement.
5. Interview your contractor
Meeting with contractors is crucial before you make a decision. If you feel comfortable with your contractor after all of your research, then stick with that contractor. However, if you get a bad feeling about the contractor, don’t go with them. Go with your gut and trust your intuition. You may have to interview a few more contractors before you find the right one.
We know we're not the perfect roofer for everyone in Oklahoma. But if you're currently in need of a roofing contractor, feel free to consider us using those tips. If it makes sense for you, feel free to contact us.