What a Builder’s Reputation Reveals
You know that reputation matters. But did you know a builder’s reputation can predict what type of experience you can expect, down to specifics such as how permits will be pulled or how the builder will deal with any unforeseen problems that arise. Let me give you some examples:
- Testimonials. Look closely at what’s being said in testimonials, client satisfaction ratings, and references. For example, if many comments cite the builder’s creativity and quality workmanship, you can expect the same on your project. On the other hand, comments that refer to how helpful the builder was in fixing problems might reveal a management style that allows problems to arise in the first place.
- Industry reputation. What professional memberships and awards have the builder received? Industry “peer to peer” recognition like Remodeling magazine’s “Big 50” award signal that you can expect a very smooth, professional experience. If the builder has Energy Star certification or the Building Performance Institute’s Building Analyst Certification, you can expect a high level of technical expertise during your project.
- Business/community reputation. How long has the builder been in your community? The longer they’ve been around, the more the builder knows about the building trends, materials, and options that work best for your specific area and type of home. Plus, having community roots reveals a respect for the “long term” that makes it likely that the builder will have the right business insurance, will get proper permits and inspections, and will use quality materials and workmanship.
- Online reputation. ALWAYS Google a prospective builder! An online search can pull up ratings and reviews from clients that aren’t included in testimonials and references. If you do find issues, ask the prospective builder about these problems before you sign a contract. The honesty with which your builder responds to this also shows what you can expect should problems arise during your project.