There are many factors to consider when choosing a professional contractor, especially if you’re looking for specialist roofing or materials. Picking the wrong contractor for your project can lead to more problems in the long-term and may leave you wishing you’d chosen differently. Which is exactly why we’ve made this blog! 

We’ve included everything you need to know about picking a good roofing contractor, with clear do’s and don’ts to help you recognise a quality contractor and get the best service you possibly can. 

What makes a good contractor?

Any trustworthy contractor will have a portfolio of previous work that you can access, whether this is on a website or social media platform. Having photos and details of previous projects visible shows that they are proud of their work and can help you decide which contractors are best suited to your needs. 

It might seem obvious, but having good customer reviews is a sign of a good contractor. Of course it can be hard for any company to have flawless reviews, but a general consensus of good communication and positive testimonials shows a well-liked contractor. If there are bad reviews, take a look at how the company handled them and consider whether you would be satisfied with their customer service if something did go wrong. You can find testimonials on many contractor’s websites, Google My Business accounts, Trustpilot and more. 

S&J has been awarded the Three Best Rated Certificate of Excellence, a certificate that takes customer reviews into account and is awarded to the three top local tradesmen in each area of the UK.

A good contractor must be accredited to show that they keep to the rules and regulations and are upheld to high standards. At S&J, we are approved members of the FMB, which ensures you as a customer that our work has been carefully checked to ensure we uphold the standards of the largest federation in England. We are also members of the Government endorsed Trust-Mark scheme which helps potential customers find reputable companies. 

What are the warning signs? 

One of the biggest warning signs is if they ask for payment upfront and only accept cash. Yes, everyone has their preference, but as a customer this can be a precarious position to be in. Upfront, cash payments are hard to trace and can be difficult to get back if anything should go wrong. Some contractors may ask for a deposit instead and keep it secured for your peace of mind. 

Another vital warning sign to watch out for is a lack of accreditation. As mentioned above, there are a number of certifications that a professional roofing contractor must have. If they don’t — stay away!

Unable to provide knowledge of materials / explain the thoughts behind recommendations If they don’t know why they’re using certain materials or the method behind certain processes it may be because they simply don’t know enough about the work. A good contractor will only take on a job that they know they can do well, to a high-standard. 

Poor choice of materials can cause huge issues for you in the long run and you may end up wasting more time and money refurbishing their work once the cracks begin to show. 

It’s an industry norm to provide no-obligation quotes for customers. Comparing quotes and contractors is accepted as a usual practise in the construction industry so any company who is resistant to providing you with a quote with no-strings attached is abnormal. On the other hand, it’s unrealistic to expect free advice from a contractor, so don’t feel entitled to any in depth advice unless you have already agreed to pursue working with them. 

What questions should you ask? 

The key to picking the right contractor (for any work) is good communication. Take a look at some of the questions we recommend asking before agreeing to their terms. 

  • Can you take a look at their previous work? 
  • Can you get their estimate in writing along with any other contracts or quotes? 
  • What is their guarantee or policy for repair work? 
  • Will you need planning permission
  • Do they offer an Insurance Backed Guarantee? 
  • What materials do they suggest and why? 
  • What are their payment terms? 
  • How do they ensure the work is done safely? 
  • How do they dispose of the waste?

How do you approach a roofing contractor? 

So you’ve found a contractor you like and now need to know how to approach them with your request. If you haven’t already, get in touch with them for a quote and discuss the details of the roofing work you require to ensure you’re on the same page. If they are happy that they can deliver what you want, and you’ve used the information above to assess whether you think they’re a good fit, it’s time to get the ball rolling! 

If you’re ready, go back to them with the quote they gave you and ask them about their availability. Schedule in a time that works for you and them and get an estimate of future timings so you can create a timeline of the work you can expect. 

A good contractor will let you know if any issues arise and adjust your expectations accordingly. 

Remember, if you do all this and they do a great job, leave a review! It’ll help guide other people. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality, professional roofing contractor in the South West that you can trust, look not further! We offer free meetings to discuss your roofing requirements. 

At S&J, our trained team can reconstruct your whole roof providing a traditional or more modern roofing system. We only work with the very best high quality materials and use advanced roofing techniques to deliver a roof that will last for many years to come.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your project, or view our previous work