This year, if you’re planning to spend time and treasure on a home remodeling project, but don’t quite know where to start, there are many resources that can lead you in the right direction. In fact, if you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re headed down the right path. You’ve got a wealth of resources literally at your fingertips as you browse the internet:
Houzz – this site is great for homeowners who are looking for ideas for both remodeling and hiring a builder their area. It’s full of photos and descriptions and each is associated with the builder, designer or architect who created them. It’s free for consumers, and free for builders to have a site. Houzz is worth a look to start your “idea book,” and to begin finding local contractors.
Angie’s List – This is a paid service. Consumers who want to have a network of people in their area who provide honest reviews on local contractors and businesses must sign up for a membership. They can then access any number of categories of tradespeople and reviews about them. The businesses listed on this site are honestly reviewed by real local people. The membership is well worth the time, money and effort. It’s like having your best friend’s recommendations at your fingertips.
Online reviews – Check out the reviews on a builder’s website and/or Facebook page. Granted, no one is going to post a negative review on their own site, but if you read the comments carefully, you can usually discern what you need to know about a particular person or business.
Live references – There’s still nothing like a live referral. If someone raves about a project they just completed with a builder, then they probably had a positive experience. Ask them who did their remodeling. Ask for the builder’s name and contact number. When it comes down to the wire, ask the builder for his own references and make sure you either visit these homeowners and ask the right questions, or have a phone conversation about the client’s experience.