Today’s homeowner has more information at their fingertips than ever before. This is a good thing, because it allows people to make more informed decisions and consider a wider array of options. But it also creates challenges.
For example—let’s say you’ve made the decision to install an outdoor deck for your home. It’s an exciting prospect, and you’re looking forward to all the benefits and advantages of having a new deck. More functional square footage, better options for entertaining, maybe even an outdoor kitchen or exercise area.
You’ve also decided that a DIY installation is not going to give you the result you want. This is an investment in your lifestyle and your home’s market value. You don’t want to take any chances in terms of the quality, appearance, or safety of the deck. As a result, you’re focusing your attention on outdoor deck builders in your area.
How do you know where to begin? There’s so much information out there, and you want to make sure you get the best possible result. You can peruse web sites and even make phone calls, or use online contact forms to get in touch with specific contractors, but this still may not give you a very objective view of a given contractor’s reputation and past results.
Here is where online reviews become so important. They give you a realistic view of outdoor deck builders from the customer’s point of view. These are people who invested good money in a deck—exactly as you’re planning to do—and put their trust a given contractor to deliver excellent results. Reading about their experiences is one of the most beneficial, clarifying factors in the decision-making process. After all, these reviews are not controlled by the builders and contractors themselves. They come straight from other homeowners.
Review sites like Google+, Yelp, Angie’s List, Houzz, and others can all be great sources for online reviews. Although it’s helpful when outdoor deck builders publish reviews and customer testimonials on their own web sites, looking to third party sites is the best way to make sure you get objective information.
Here are a few key factors to look for when you’re reading online reviews of outdoor deck builders:
What was the planning and design experience like? Did the contractor answer all questions and address all concerns before starting the project?
Was the contractor easy to contact and consult throughout the process? Or did the customer feel like they were “left in the dark” during the project, unable to contact the deck builder when they needed questions answered?
Problems and challenges sometimes arise, even with the most reputable deck builder. How did the contractor deal with these challenges? Was the client satisfied with the final resolution, or did the deck builder do a poor job of making things right?
What did people think of the final results? Did the builder deliver an impeccable final result, according to specifications and within the parameters of the budget? Or did problems linger after the contractor packed up and left?
Using reviews to your advantage
Planning your outdoor deck project will be much easier if you can find a quality pool of objective reviews, giving you a clear window into how a given contractor really operates. By focusing on deck builders with impeccable reviews and swift resolution of problems that do arise, you’ll be able to expect a similar experience when you finally make a decision and sign a contract.
Best of luck on your outdoor deck projects!