26 September, 2022

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Home » With Home Improvement Projects on the Rise, Consumers Look to Better Business Bureau for Help Choosing Contractors

With Home Improvement Projects on the Rise, Consumers Look to Better Business Bureau for Help Choosing Contractors

Thinking of adding a deck to the backyard? How about finally finishing the basement, or redoing the bathroom off of the kitchen? You’re not alone. Americans spent a lot of time indoors in the past year, and one of the lessons we learned was that our homes are not always perfectly suited to our new work/life balance. Whether telecommuting at the dining room table, taking a class in the living room, or exercising in the basement— most of us have looked for creative alternatives to get things done. Now, the roar of power tools is being heard in neighborhoods across America as homeowners are finally getting to those projects they’ve been putting off.

Home Improvement Projects Are on the Rise.

Many homeowners are looking for ways to make extended periods of isolation more comfortable. Some want to create new spaces for work or hobbies, and some want to beautify their surroundings; in any case, there are no signs of this trend slowing down. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, Americans have spent an estimated $439.9 billion on home improvement products in 2020. While many industries are negotiating an uncertain future, home improvement professionals are enjoying a dramatic increase in business. But how will you know which one to choose for your project?

When it Comes to Your Home, Trust is Everything.

Unless you’re an expert, you’re going to need help. With so many designers, contractors, builders, and installation specialists to choose from, it can be tough to know if you’re making the right choice. Fortunately, the Accredited Business Seal of the Better Business Bureau remains the most reliable method for determining who you can trust to get the job done. Why? Accredited businesses meet the BBB Standards for Trust, a set of principles identifying companies that are committed to a higher standard. It says that a business has been vetted and demonstrates an investment in positive customer experiences—the kind that build consumer trust and loyalty.

Remodeling Your Home Starts with a Plan.

Homeowners planning to remodel should follow some important steps before beginning renovation with a contractor. Things like having a backup plan for materials that are out of stock and establishing good communication with your builder can make a huge difference in the success of the project. But most of all, it’s important for homeowners to do their research. Getting referrals and seeing examples of a contractor’s work is the best way to be sure you’ve got the right company for the job. That’s where Better Business Bureau comes in. With BBB.org, you can check to see if the contractor you’re considering is accredited, as well as see reviews and confirm that things like insurance, licensing, and permits are all in order. Businesses committed to excellence bear the Accredited Business Seal of the BBB, letting customers know that honesty and integrity are among their core values. And it’s not just good for consumers, BBB helps businesses find success too!

What Makes a Company Successful?

On the business side of things, demand for home improvement services is projected to remain strong. Homeowners are capitalizing on low interest rates, an improving job market, and better work/life balance. More than ever before, home improvement companies must do all they can to distinguish themselves from the competition. Better Business Bureau has identified some of the most important factors that make a successful business:

  • A Multi-skilled Workforce – Companies with a strong network of subcontractors and tradespeople have the upper hand when securing materials and completing projects.
  • Cost Controls – By identifying and reducing business expenses, contractors can increase profits and maintain growth.
  • Marketing – A robust marketing strategy helps grow businesses and target potential customers.
  • Contacts – Having the right connections with trusted developers, industry suppliers, and general contractors can provide your business with a boost and generate repeat business.
  • Reputation – Companies of all sizes that carry the internationally recognized seal inherit an added advantage of bearing a seal that’s synonymous with trust.

With more than 10 million home-improvement-related BBB business profile views in 2020, it’s clear that consumers continue to rely on BBB.org to find and research reputable companies. Having a spotless reputation and portfolio of trust can make all the difference in securing new customers. In addition to the enhanced credibility (and increased visibility) that businesses with the Accredited Business Seal enjoy, BBB helps companies grow with networking opportunities and access to industry trends and research, as well as seminars and training programs.

Man doing renovation work at home together with his small yellow dog

Connecticut Design Firm Proudly Accredited for Over 13 Years

Keith Santora, the owner of BBB Accredited Handyworks Remodeling and Design in Wallingford, CT, says that business is booming. “We noted a dramatic upsurge in our design work and general remodeling,” Keith says. “It started in early 2020 and continued throughout the entire year…we had more design projects in 2020 than in the past four or five years combined!” Keith understands that with so many firms to choose from, securing new customers can be difficult. BBB accreditation, he says, helps instill trust with customers—especially during a pandemic. “To the homeowner, a company’s accreditation is just like a recommendation because, in many ways, it is. The homeowner can instantly see which businesses are BBB Accredited and which ones are not.”

BBB Helps Homeowners Navigate a Crowded Field and Start Their Project with Confidence.

Today, savvy homeowners expect the best when paying top dollar for a home improvement project. Still, each year, thousands of consumers fall victim to costly scams and rip-offs. In the 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, home improvement scams ranked in the top five by overall risk, exposure, monetary loss, and susceptibility. For home improvement specialists, building trust with clients is paramount to the success of their business. In a 2021 BBB consumer survey, 88 percent of consumers familiar with the BBB letter grade said they are more likely to purchase from a business with an “A” rating or higher. With a new customer emerging—one who is more aware and intentional about where they spend their money and take their business—home improvement professionals can’t afford to miss out.

Looking Ahead, the Need for Trust Has Never Been Greater.

The increased demand for home remodeling was an unexpected outcome of the pandemic. The national lockdown had a profound effect on the way we, live, relax, and spend money. Post-pandemic life promises more adjustments in store. Many people will continue working from home, and folks who experienced a long period of isolation will want to make sure their homes are optimized not only for comfort, but for getting things done. With more and more homeowners renovating to accommodate a shift in their lifestyles, reliable, ethical contractors will be in high demand. Since 1912, Better Business Bureau has bridged the gap, helping consumers make informed decisions and find trusted businesses. And that doesn’t just go for home improvement projects either. Companies of all kinds that partner with BBB send a signal to consumers, that they can be trusted to act with the customer’s best interest at heart.

Nonprofit- and Community-Focused, For Over a Century

Today BBB remains dedicated to creating an ethical marketplace. As a nonprofit organization focused on communities, its business is connecting people with trusted organizations. Through conflict resolution, education for businesses and consumers, and investigations of scams and fraudulent business activity, BBB serves local communities every day. In a market saturated with companies vying for customers, Accreditation gives consumers confidence that they are dealing with an ethical and vetted business, as well as providing that business with the tools it needs to grow.

Visit BBB.org to Find Out More.

  • Millions of people turn to BBB every year to view its business profiles, all of which are available free of charge. Visit org today and get your home improvement project up and running with confidence. If you are a business owner, apply for BBB Accreditation today and show customers that your company is committed to honesty and integrity. 

For additional information about the BBB, visit https://www.bbb.org/about-bbb. Whether you’re interested in remodeling your home, or want to make sure your business stands out, Better Business Bureau is here to help.