“My cousin Steve knows a guy who’ll do that for two hundred bucks.” We’ve all heard something similar to that expression before. The truth is, it can be difficult to know how to hire the right contractor.

Whatever your need – plumbing, construction, roofing, HVAC, there are likely dozens of options in your region, all throwing around buzzwords like “quality” and “reliable” without bothering to prove them.

Unfortunately, low-quality, unreliable work can come from contractors who have stood behind these buzzwords.

So how do you know who to trust?

Here are some of the best ways we’ve found to ensure the work you’re receiving is high-quality by a reliable contractor:

1. Check out their reviews

You may think this one goes without saying, but homeowners or business owners often choose people they know or know through somebody they know to do contracted work.

While it might help your neighbor, Susan, not researching her electrical contracting business could spell disaster for you, your home and your savings account down the road.

If you go to research a contractor and can’t find any reviews, it’s not an immediate disqualifier, but it may be a good idea to put that one on the back burner. The contracted labor world has more than its fair share of fly-by-night operations without permanent office locations, insurance or reviews.

A good review profile will also contain some less-than-positive reviews. We’re not talking about half of them being 1 or 2-star reviews claiming the contractor stole the money and left a faulty job in his or her wake. The majority will be positive, obviously, but you’ll want to get a range of opinions from real customers and not just generic 5-star reviews written by the friends and family of the contractor.

Here are the sites we recommend checking in order:






Contracted Labor Specific:




2. Check out their affiliations

In the world of contracted labor, working with a trade organization says a lot about a person or business. Trade associations usually have difficult criteria that members have to match in exchange for being able to use their badge on their website/fliers/etc…

For contractors that means having to maintain a high standard of quality. For home or business owners, that means being able to use this badge as a guarantee of reliability and commitment to a great reputation.

These trade organizations will differ by industry, so it’s important to do your research and read about exactly what membership of each means. Additionally, there are regional and state trade organizations that further certify a contractor or contracted labor business as dependable.

A reputable contractor will proudly display the names and badges of these organizations on their website/marketing. If you can’t find this information online, call and ask if the contractor is a member.

3. Stick to a checklist

A checklist, like the one we created here, serves three important purposes:

1. It covers all of your bases

Every item on this checklist is important for both you and your contractor to have a good idea of what you are looking for. This checklist features information such as communication, stability, warranty and reputation.

2. It prevents omission

Having a checklist will prevent you from skipping over an important element of quality criteria, leaving a contractor uninformed or worse.

3. It lets your contractor know you’re informed

Sadly, uninformed customers are the ones most often taken advantage of. Your checklist shows your contractor that you know what kind of service, quality and guarantees to expect on his or her work. It’s like walking into the mechanics with an exploded-view diagram of your car and referencing the parts while you get your estimate.

We offer this checklist for free because we know how important it is to do a quality job the first time. At Security-Luebke Roofing, we’ve been able to serve Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh and the Fox Cities for over 55 years by exceeding expectations and always standing behind our work.

Download our checklist now

For a free estimate on your roofing or gutters project, contact us today!