Thousands of homeowners across south Charlotte and upstate South Carolina are spending the first day of their three-day weekend figuring out how to have their homes repaired after a hail storm Friday.

(click here to see photos of the hail)

The fast-moving storm pelted the region with golf-ball sized hail for about 15 minutes. NBC Charlotte viewers sent in photos of patios that looked like they were hit by a snowstorm; some came home to find holes in their windows and siding. Contractors' trucks lined the streets of the Rosemont neighborhood, off Ft. Mill Highway, Saturday afternoon.

Almost every home needed siding, gutters, or roofing shingles replaced. Roofing contractor Chuck Tabor said days like these are when homeowners are most vulnerable to scams. Homeowners have to choose contractors carefully.

(click here to see photos of the hail damage)

There's a lot of problems with this -- water, mold, everything, said Tabor. When you're talking about your prized possession, you want to know it's done right, your people are going to be there when something goes wrong, and everything needs to be done right.

Tabor gave us some advice to pass along to homeowners. First, make sure the contractor or roofer is insured. If a roofer falls or gets hurt on your property, you will end up paying for it if they decide to sue.

Second, ask your friends if they've used a contractor and if they have one they can recommend. Call the contractor's references. A good track record with customers says a lot about a contractor. Third, make sure the contractor walks around with you, pointing out damage and taking pictures. Once you hire them, they can work with the insurance adjuster to make sure you get the most coverage possible to fix your damage.

Finally, try to use a local company if possible. Storms will often bring out-of-town contractors and sometimes they will be the only ones you can find to do repairs quickly. Ask how they will honor their warranties if they are not local.

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