Not too long ago, if you wanted to find a home improvement professional, like a replacement window company, you would ask around for recommendations. Maybe your neighbors had recently replaced their windows and patio doors, so you would ask them if they were happy with the company they had used and the products they installed. Or, you would just look in the phone book for replacement window companies in your area and start making phone calls.
All of that has changed with the rise of the internet, and all of the review sites on it. Now, you can easily see numerous reviews, both positive and negative, on multiple websites, about almost any company.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the more popular and useful websites used for finding home services professionals like replacement window companies in San Diego.
Yelp (www.yelp.com) is the go-to review site for many people looking for replacement window companies in San Diego, or any other local businesses for that matter. Because it is such a popular site, there are often many reviews to read through to get a good idea about a company and the products and services they provide. As you read through multiple reviews, you’ll start to get a sense of what people like and dislike about a particular company.
Companies can advertise with Yelp, and their paid listing will appear on the top of the page for relevant searches, but these listings are clearly labeled as ads. Just beyond the paid listings, you will find San Diego replacement window companies that are highly rated, with many helpful customer reviews. On Yelp, it is also easy to search for specific companies by name, so if you already have replacement window company referrals from your friends and family, it is easy to get some additional insight into the companies on Yelp.
Best of all, Yelp is free for consumers to use. You don’t have to sign up or give them your email address, thereby subjecting yourself to spam emails. They also have a handy app for your phone so you can research businesses when you are on the go.
HomeAdvisor (www.homeadvisor.com), formerly known as ServiceMagic, has an aspect their site that is like a traditional review site. You put in a search term like “replacement windows” plus your zip code, and you get a list of replacement window companies in your area, complete with ratings and reviews of those companies. HomeAdvisor does not have nearly the volume of reviews that Yelp does, but the site claims that they have “Real feedback from real homeowners.”
Replacement window shoppers can also use HomeAdvisor’s Pro Finder tool to have replacement window companies in San Diego contact them directly. To use it, you click on the “ProFinder” tab, enter some basic information about your project, and HomeAdvisor will send “Screened Pros” your way. Just be aware that these companies pay HomeAdvisor to receive these leads, meaning they aren’t necessarily the best or most highly rated companies out there.
Google (www.google.com) also offers reviews of businesses that consumers can read to gain insight into replacement window companies in San Diego. Simply type in your search term (like “replacement windows San Diego”) into the Google search bar and, in addition to company search results, you will see Google reviews and ratings. The advantage of Google reviews is that they are connected to Google Maps, so you can see where a replacement window company is located in case you want to visit their San Diego showroom or office.
Angie’s List (www.angieslist.com) is a consumer website dedicated to providing helpful information for consumers about service providers, like home improvement professionals, health care professionals, and auto mechanics. The site offers basic contact information for businesses, publishes customer reviews, and gives businesses an overall grade (A through F). According to the Angie’s List website, many of the customer reviews on the site are “verified,” meaning it has been confirmed that they were written by actual customers, and not the businesses themselves (or a business’s competitor).
You are required to sign up as a member to see the reviews on Angie’s List, but membership is free. However, they do send regular (daily) emails to the email address you register with, which can get tiresome.
When you see a listing on Angie’s List that says “Angie’s List Certified,” it indicates that the company is up-to-date on all of the relevant licenses, has a good member rating, and has gone through an Angie’s List background check. It also means they have paid Angie’s List for a better position on the website, as Angie’s List Certified Service Providers appear above non-participating service providers in search results. So, certified businesses at the top of your search results aren’t necessarily the best, or even the most highly reviewed, local business of their type on Angie’s List. The certification is basically a form of paid advertising—although the business does have to meet certain standards to qualify for it.
The site also gives preference to companies offering exclusive discounts to Angie’s List members. So make sure you read the reviews, as companies at the top of the list may not have the best reviews, and there may be some “hidden gems” further down the list of your search results.
Houzz (www.houzz.com) is a great site to find inspiration for your replacement window project, or any other home improvement project, as there are many beautiful photos to peruse. The site focuses exclusively on products and services for the home. It also features reviews of home improvement professionals, but just like Angie’s List, businesses on Houzz can pay to move their business listings up in the search rankings. Of the 20 search results that appear on page one of your search results, usually 10 of those companies will have paid for that position, and it’s not obvious which companies those are.
Houzz is a great place to find ideas, and to see various styles of replacement windows for your home, but it should not be the only place to look for a San Diego replacement window company.
Facebook (www.facebook.com), the popular social media platform, can be a great place to research replacement window companies. On a company’s Facebook page, you can see reviews and ratings left by past customers, and you can also get some other insight into a company that you might not get from their website. For example, you can see if they post helpful articles and tips about replacement windows, or if they are they more concerned with just making a sale.
If a company doesn’t have a Facebook page, or if it has never or rarely been updated, it doesn’t mean the company is bad or out of business, it may just mean they are focusing their efforts elsewhere. That being said, most reputable replacement window companies in San Diego will have an active Facebook presence.
To find a replacement window company on Facebook, you will need to type in a specific company name. This makes Facebook the place to go for research after you’ve already narrowed your search down to several San Diego replacement window companies, and not necessarily the place to start your search.
Finding the Best Replacement Window Company in San Diego
Review sites have definitely changed the way people shop for replacement windows. You no longer have to rely on your limited circle of friends and family for recommendations, or on a company’s own published testimonials. Free, unbiased advice is readily available in multiple locations on the web.
Don’t automatically dismiss a company because of one scathing review. No company can be perfect everyday, and sometimes customers have unrealistic expectations. But you should definitely take note when you start to see patterns of poor customer service or shoddy workmanship in the reviews, and avoid working with those companies.
If you’d like more insight into the process of selecting a replacement window company, BM Windows has published a helpful e-book called A Homeowner’s Guide to Buying Replacement Windows that will walk you through the entire process of researching and selecting a replacement window company. It is available here as a free download.
If you have already done your research, and are ready to start gathering quotes, contact BM Windows for a free in-home consultation. One of our helpful team members can give you more information about the products we offer, and provide you with an estimate on replacement windows and doors for you home.