Online Reviews are Key to Finding the Best Remodeler

Choosing the right company to help you remodel your home involves a leap of faith.  Unlike many other purchases you make, you can’t buy from 3 different companies, compare the items, and return the ones you don’t like.  So how do you decide which company will be best for you?

One of the most valuable tools available to consumers today are online reviews.  The second best thing to a personal referral from someone who just remodeled, is reading what other customers have said about their experience.  “Remodeling is a tough business, we’re tearing apart your home and interrupting your daily routine,” says Normandy Remodeling Principal Andy Wells. “Ultimately the best relationships come down to trust, and how that trust is maintained throughout the relationship.”

Online reviews provide a window into the daily interactions between the company and the customer. The words that homeowners choose to describe their renovation can tell you a lot about the type of relationship they have with their remodeler. “We believe strongly in the bond that is made between the homeowners and the designer, and your Normandy Designer is your main point of contact for the entire renovation, all the way through to the final inspection,” commented Andy.  “Our job as the company is to provide the experts, the resources, the skill, training and talent to make the ideas envisioned by your Normandy Designer a reality. We don’t believe in handing the customer from one department to the next, but rather maintaining that trusted relationship with the designer throughout the renovation.”

While the actual renovation process is a piece of the puzzle, that experience is only part of the deciding factor when choosing a remodeler.  The quality of the products, the usability of the space, and how well the new space met your expectations are the results of your home remodel that you will enjoy for years.

Many people feel that a warranty offers some measure of security against poor craftsmanship, if an issue should arise in the newly remodeled space a few years down the road.  But not all warranties are created equally, and it pays to read the fine print.   “We feel it’s important to have a warranty that really has some teeth, which is why Normandy warrants the products, the labor, and all the structural elements of a renovation for 5 years,” notes Andy. Online reviews can tell you how the company has responded to any problems that have popped up after the project was complete.  Make special note of repeat customers and the reasons they decided to purchase another project from their previous remodeler.

So if you are on the cusp of choosing a remodeler for your project, where are the best places to find out what current and past customers are saying about your potential remodeler?

 

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 Angie’s List is a membership based review service, which means there are no anonymous reviews and very little opportunity for fake reviews.  Membership to Angie’s List costs only a few dollars a year and is money well spent before signing up with a remodeler.

 

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 Houzz.com has become a dominant player in the world of home improvement inspiration, and has reviews from customers who have been active on Houzz throughout their information gathering phases as well as their active construction phases.

 Google is another resource for reviews on a company’s Google+ page.  Just type in “company name reviews” and you’ll see a company listing that links to their specific reviews on Google.

Remodelers, home builders, and real estate developers rely on GuildQuality's customer satisfaction surveying to monitor and improve the quality of service they deliver.

 Guild Quality is a resource focused on the home improvement industry that allows companies to survey their past customers to make sure that the company is performing to the highest standards.  In addition to the written comments, customers assign a numeric rating to their satisfaction in key areas.

You’ll be well served to look through ALL the review websites for the company you’re considering to see what is said on the various sites. Some review websites seem to skew more positive, others more negative, and by looking through them all you’ll get a balanced view of this remodeler’s past performance. These few minutes of research can be invaluable when you’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars with a company, to help you ask the right questions or put your mind at ease.

So you’ve read over the reviews, but would really like to talk to a real person about your potential remodeler?  Try calling your local building department. They interact with nearly every company that works in your town and knows which ones abide by the rules and which ones tend to cause trouble.  While some departments are very giving with details of local builders and remodelers, others are less forthcoming.  Virtually all of them will be able to tell you if a particular company has a good reputation in that town, or if you may want to consider another option.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your contractor to talk with past customers and visit current job sites.  You can then get your specific questions answered about how the renovation went and if they felt the remodeler provided a good value for the project that was completed.

 

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