Finding a builder for a project is more time-consuming than you would think. Reliability, experience, and cost are all things to consider when searching for a builder. While personal recommendations are a great way to help you find possible candidates, you also want to make sure you do your own research and qualify your builder through reputable sources. Here is our guide to help you find the best builders in your area to get the job done!
1. Friends and Family
This is a great stepping stone to finding the builder of your dreams. Ask your friends, family, neighbors, and even co-workers if they know of or have worked with any builders. You will want to learn as much as possible about the builders’ workmanship, costs, reliability, attitude, and work ethic. How long did it take them to complete a job? was it done according to the schedule and budget? What was the communication like? Make a list of questions you have and rank them in order of importance. Utilize any tradesmen contacts you may have. Plumbers, welders, electricians, and framers have all built up a network of builders they have worked with or encountered over the years. Property buyers, real-estate agents, architects, and even interior designers will also have contacts and experiences with builders!
2. The Internet
When in doubt, turn to Google and other sites, such as Yelp or ratedpeople.com, for help. Client testimonials and online reviews allow you to read about the first-hand experiences and impressions of other clients—but you have to be careful. It is important to read reviews and such in a critical manner. It is easy for a customer to post a legitimate review on the internet, and it is also easy for companies to post illegitimate reviews. Many people get roped in or tricked by fake reviews. Be wary of discount reviews that are overly positive or overly negative. Many of these reviews are so over-the-top that they may have been paid to be gushy by the company or paid to be upset by competitors. If a review focuses heavily on the reviewer, then this may be a ploy by a Public Relations team to target a specific demographic group. Pay attention to reviews that compare a product or service to similar ones and look for commonalities. If 5 out of 6 reviewers offer similar opinions about the quality of an experience, then that gives their opinions more validity. However, if these reviews sound exactly the same, then they may have been written by the same person. Trust your intuition and collect a variety of feedback to analyze!
3. The Better Business Bureau
It may sound a little old school, but make sure you qualify a builder through the Better Business Bureau before hiring them. Not only does the Better Business Bureau rate a business by customer and client reviews, but they also include their own evaluation of a company or person. There is a mixture of star ratings, which the internet loves, and a letter grade, which the Better Business Bureau prefers. Compare these reviews to your own research to help make the best decision about your builder! In addition to checking BBB, you can also read Consumer Reports and search for any professional or trade publications.