You Have To Read Between the Lines with Online Reviews

When it’s time to find a reliable contractor, like a roofer or a landscaper, online reviews are one of the best ways to find someone - or it can be the worst. On one hand, these ratings can give you a clearer picture of your potential contractor while on the other, you may end up unsure when you see only a few reviews for a particular contractor or super ratings that seem too good to be true. This guide can help you in interpreting online reviews.

You find a few or even no reviews.

When you Google “roofing contractors in Houston” for example, you may get several mega-companies in the big city and then a lone result right in the neighborhood. Problem is, the local guy has no reviews, or just a few. A fix for this is to visit their website to get as much info as you can. Also, you can find out how long he’s been in business and meet face-to-face, to see if he knows his stuff. Ask for references that you can call or, better still, visit to check out his finished product.

Tons of really great sounding reviews.

Encountering a huge list of positive client reviews seems like it has to be great. Well, maybe yes and maybe no. A contractor who is that popular could be very busy and possibly too busy to get your job done according to your timeframe. In this instance request a completion date with milestones along the way, for a large project like a kitchen remodel included in the quote and again in the contract.

You’ve become overwhelmed.

You’ve run into a heap of jubilant reviews. When every single result rates the contractor 5-stars and raves about the outstanding, fantastic, perfect job, be on alert as if it sounds too good to be true, it just might be. Rave reviews are not a reason to blow a contractor off completely. The first step is to check with the Better Business Bureau (Monarch is a member). Online consumer forums can also be a good place to verify the contractor’s reputability.

You’ve found some bad reviews in the past.

No contractor is perfect. Every one of them can make a mistake now and then. The most truest test of a contractor’s professionality is in how they handle these mistakes and whether they care enough to have a fix for the problem.

It’s ok to be confused.

You don’t know whether to trust reviews on the contractor’s own site. As should be expected, chances are good that you won’t see anything besides positive reviews on the contactor’s home website (just like on ours). Balance the picture by looking on third party sites, such as Yelp, Angie’s List or the BBB. You might even find more positive reviews there to help you with your choice.

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