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How Consumers Hire Contractors in the Digital Age

Each year, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA) and North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI) collaborate on a research initiative to assess macro-level trends in consumer opinion throughout the United States. Over the past five years, the remodeling industry has consistently ranked as one of the most problematic industries based on the volume of consumer complaints it receives.

This statistic may not come as a shock to those of us who have owned or managed a home as well as those of us who have worked in the contracting industry. At some point or another, we have endured the pain associated with missed deadlines, escalating budgets or unsatisfactory results and felt that the system was somehow broken.

For many years, consumers had a limited array of options for finding a reliable home improvement contractor and sharing their opinion after the project was complete. This limitation has been eradicated by the plethora of communication channels accompanying the Digital Age.

With all the Web directories, review sites, referral services and social media sites, consumers have a seemingly unlimited array of options at their disposal. In fact, a new challenge has emerged: the dilemma of choice.

The underlying goal of this research initiative is to better understand how today’s consumer navigates the media ecosystem when hiring a home improvement contractor and establish benchmarks that can be used to detect trends moving forward.

II. Research Methodology

To help design the methodology that would frame the research initiative, we conducted a series of in-depth interviews with a limited set (20) homeowners to better understand the manner in which they find and evaluate remodeling contractors.

The feedback suggested a three-phase model for consumer decision-making that consisted of several phases and suggested a level of sophistication that helped frame the research initiative.

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How to Choose a Builder/Remodeler/Commercial General Contractor

March 15th, 2012

Each company and client has their own needs and wants when it comes to choosing their builder. We have identified, over our 27 years in business, the major areas businesses ask about when in the selection phase of choosing a builder and we would like to share our knowledge with you.

First and foremost, business owners today have operations that don’t stop when the clock hits closing time. Having a professional builder that is able to answer the phone line 24/7 days a week is crucial. Many companies are also concerned with the friendliness, efficiency, and comprehensibility of the voice on the other end. All of our offices are based in the US however, we do provide bi-lingual Spanish and English services as well.

If you're in the market for a new home, you should shop for your builder as carefully as you shop for your home. Whether you are buying a condo, a townhouse, a house in a subdivision, or a custom built house, you want to know that you are buying a good quality home from a reputable builder. Here are a couple of tips to help you choose a builder.

Make A List of Possible Builders
Once you have thought about the type of house you want, you will need to find a builder.
  • Contact your local home builders' association to obtain a list of builders who construct homes in your area. You can find your local HBA at nahb.org/findanhba. You can also look on Move.com, NAHB's official new homes listing website.
  • Look in the real estate section of you local newspaper for builders and projects. Looking through the ads and reading the articles can help you to learn which builders are active in your area, the types of homes they are building, and the prices you can expect to pay. Make a list of builders who build the type of home you're looking for in your price range.
  • Local real estate agents may also be able to help you in your search. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Ask about builders they have dealt with directly, or ask them for names of acquaintances who have recently had a good experience with a builder.
Do Your Homework
Once you have a list of builders, how can you find out about their reputations and the quality of their work? The best way to learn about builders is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners.
  • Ask builders on your list for the addresses of their recently built homes and subdivisions. Builders may even be able to provide names of some home owners who would be willing to talk with you.
  • Drive by on a Saturday morning when home owners may be outside doing chores or errands. Introduce yourself and say you are considering buying a home from the builder who built their home. Talk to several owners, and try to get a random sample of opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression of a builder you are likely to get. At the very least, drive by and see if the homes are visually appealing.
  • When you talk to builders and home owners, take along a notebook to record the information you find and your personal impressions about specific builders and homes. Doing so will help you to make comparisons later. Some questions you can ask people include: Are you happy with your home? If you had any problems, were they fixed promptly and properly? Would you buy another home from this builder?
  • Usually, people tell you if they are pleased with their homes. And if they are not, they'll probably want to tell you why.
Shop For Quality and Value
Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open houses sponsored by builders are good opportunities to look at homes. Model homes and houses displayed in home shows are often furnished to give you ideas for using the space. You may also ask a builder to see unfurnished homes.

When examining a home, look at the quality of the construction features. Inspect the quality of the cabinetry, carpeting, trimwork, and paint. Ask the builder or the builder's representative a lot of questions. Get as many specifics as possible. If you receive the answers verbally rather than in writing, take notes. Never hesitate to ask a question. What seems like an insignificant question might yield an important answer.
BDC is Licensed and Insured General Commercial & Residential Contractors for West Virginia and Virginia.

For more information on BDC custom home building or commercial construction services, please contact us at 813-613-1547. If you'd rather send us an email, you can use our online contact form to get in touch.

BayWatch Development Corporation | Moneta, VA

BayWatch Development Corporation provides custom home building services to Virginia, specifically Western Virginia, such as Smith Mountain Lake and the surrounding communities.

Contact BayWatch Development Corporation

Tom Lovegrove, Owner
Phone: 813-613-1547
Fax: 866-824-3659
BDCTommy@gmail.com
Postal Address:
P.O. Box 478
Moneta, VA 24121
Attention: Tom Lovegrove


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