If you’re ever considered a major remodeling project in your home—one that would involve significant financial commitments, time, energy, and everything that goes into such an undertaking—you’ve probably realized the importance of finding the right professional for the job. With these kinds of resources on the line, it’s not something most people take lightly.
Being a skilled researcher—and knowing what to look for when considering such a hire—is therefore hugely important. There are probably dozens of possible home remodeling contractors in your area, with varying levels of expertise and reputation. Homeowners need to be able to navigate this information skillfully in order to hit on the best decision for their project.
So how useful are third-party reviews in this process?
In a nutshell, they’re one of the most useful resources out there. The reason is simple. As skilled and qualified as a given company may be, it can always control the information on its own web site. It’s certainly helpful to see a well-organized and informative site, but there’s always the possibility that the company has ignored negative reviews and posted only the best feedback. You want to make sure you get the whole story by seeing every kind of review out there—including the negative ones.
But there’s another important question to ask. What should you really look for in third party reviews? How do you sort through and find what’s really valuable?
It’s always good to take stock of scathing reviews. If somebody has had a very negative experience with a given contractor, you definitely want to know about it. If there are multiple accounts of homeowners (who themselves come across as reasonable) citing the same problems with a contractor, you should definitely be on red alert and raise these concerns up front if you decide to write or call this contractor.
At the same time, it’s good to be aware that a single scathing review can actually arise from a homeowner who was not altogether reasonable in their assessment. Of course, the contractor should have remained polite and accommodating in their response (if there was a public response to the comments); but there are cases in which someone had a chip on their shoulder that wasn’t entirely justified. A reputable contractor will do everything they can to please every single client, but as we all know, occasionally there are people who simply are unreasonable.
The more of these you can find, the better. You want to be one of those reviewers who gives five stars for the company you chose, and can’t say enough about them. This means you’ve had excellent results with your renovation, and you also enjoyed the service aspect of the project.
However, it is important to read these reviews and take them seriously. False reviews that say only good things do, in fact, exist. Such reviews may even be written by the contractor itself, under false aliases. Fortunately, these false reviews are often easy to spot. The situation they’re describing doesn’t quite seem real, and the voice doesn’t seem genuine. If most of the contractor’s five star reviews seem suspect, you might want to contact them and ask for direct references—or simply move on to other contractors.
By taking a close look at both scathing and glowing reviews, and also paying close attention to those middle-of-the-road testimonials and any common problems they identify, you’ll be on your way to finding a truly reputable home renovation contractor using third-party reviews.
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