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How reliable is Homestars.ca?

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[OP]
Newbie
Aug 5, 2008
17 posts
3 upvotes

How reliable is Homestars.ca?

Getting a lot of work done to the house and like everyone
else, want to hire the right person and not get ripped off.

Read about homestars.ca here. Checked it out. Wondered
about all the companies with suspiciously perfect ratings
and nothing but rave reviews. Emailed the website to ask
how they make sure people don't just post great
reviews for themselves to drum up business. No answer.

Does anyone here know how the postings are screened?
Has anyone hired a contractor based on the reviews?
If so, what was your experience? Thanks in advance.
107 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2003
4172 posts
3449 upvotes
Toronto
I was looking up something there before and one company had a perfect rating from a bunch of people, all posted within a couple of days, with similar language. As with anything, buyer beware.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 27, 2003
1394 posts
414 upvotes
North York
I've used that site to hire an electrician and hardwood flooring and was very impressed with both companies. One highly rated electrician gave me a overly high quote and another didn't even want my small job, so you still need to get 2-3 quotes to use for comparison. I'm gonna use them to hire a air duct cleaner soon.
Sr. Member
Jun 3, 2006
678 posts
79 upvotes
Markham
I used the site to select an electrician, but I used it more as confirmation based on my other research. The company I selected already had a great reputatation from other research I did.
Newbie
May 10, 2008
84 posts
toronto
dustywallet wrote: Getting a lot of work done to the house and like everyone
else, want to hire the right person and not get ripped off.

Read about homestars.ca here. Checked it out. Wondered
about all the companies with suspiciously perfect ratings
and nothing but rave reviews. Emailed the website to ask
how they make sure people don't just post great
reviews for themselves to drum up business. No answer.

Does anyone here know how the postings are screened?
Has anyone hired a contractor based on the reviews?
If so, what was your experience? Thanks in advance.

There are legitimate companies whose positive comments are written by satisfied customers, and "questionable" companies who may well have written their own comments.

I was looking for flooring and went into a number of stores that had good comments. Because I'd been doing comparison shopping and research on products, I had a bit of knowledge. I was told all kinds of crazy (and sleazy) things by some of the "good" stores so they could make a sale. Now, that's not to say all companies write their own comments. The store I settled on had positive comments but I also knew several people who'd been pleased with their work and service so it gave the comments credence.
Newbie
Aug 4, 2007
37 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
i also checked out homestars and am suspicious of all the great comments.....

however, when i see a bad posting, then i know that it is a dissatisfied customer!!

so, take the info with a grain of salt!!
Deal Addict
Jul 20, 2005
1293 posts
63 upvotes
I chose a general contractor for a big job from Homestars. He was very highly rated and did a great job, but expensive. Apparently Mr Holmes could never make a living in the real world because his costs are astronomical. Basically the better the reputation, the more you pay. For a start you'll be paying tax on everything, whereas other people will do a cash deal. You can save a lot of money going with smaller guys, but you either need balls or a recommendation. And unfortunately in my experience the good small guys are not found on Homestars.
Sr. Member
Sep 11, 2008
601 posts
34 upvotes
Toronto
monomono wrote: I chose a general contractor for a big job from Homestars. He was very highly rated and did a great job, but expensive. Apparently Mr Holmes could never make a living in the real world because his costs are astronomical. Basically the better the reputation, the more you pay. For a start you'll be paying tax on everything, whereas other people will do a cash deal. You can save a lot of money going with smaller guys, but you either need balls or a recommendation. And unfortunately in my experience the good small guys are not found on Homestars.
Of course Holmes on Home is a TV show, with that kind of $$$$ anything can be "done right the first time"
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
35457 posts
9478 upvotes
Ottawa
Deal4US wrote: Of course Holmes on Home is a TV show, with that kind of $$$$ anything can be "done right the first time"
Are you ever right but, your statement could enrage the evangelistic Mike Holmes disciples. There could be an intervention waiting to happen in your workshop, beware :cheesygri
Newbie
Nov 28, 2010
2 posts
Toronto
If all the reviews sound the same I would question them, but for many of the companies listed there are reviews going
back for several years....If there are 100s of reviews and not a single bad one I would question that too.
My experience with a general handyman was excelent, I have reccommended the site and am now using it to get quote
for electrician.
Sr. Member
Sep 19, 2009
796 posts
11 upvotes
Toronto
Honestly, I feel the ones with the best reviews and a lot of them over charge. I, unfortunately had no choice and had to go with it.

If you have the time, I suggest getting some references to jobs that they've done.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 22, 2001
7050 posts
188 upvotes
Toronto
cross check with the better business bureau (www.bbb.org), and ask for refs when meeting in person, and GO CHECK THEM OUT!.
Deal Addict
Dec 31, 2007
4431 posts
925 upvotes
Richmond Hill
balou911 wrote: cross check with the better business bureau (www.bbb.org), and ask for refs when meeting in person, and GO CHECK THEM OUT!.

+1. Homestars is only part of my research tools. Checking with BBB, speaking with a rep in the company, compare quotes, ask on RFD.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 3, 2011
3128 posts
18111 upvotes
Out of all the contract jobs that we have done to our house (atleast 3 or 4 of them), we did our due diligence first - gone through all the reviews and roughly relied on the higher rated reviews and had a few different contractors come out and give us quotes and ideas of how they would go around in doing the work. We've been extremely happy and posted up our positive reviews on homstars.
Sr. Member
Jul 30, 2003
936 posts
249 upvotes
nyik wrote: +1. Homestars is only part of my research tools. Checking with BBB, speaking with a rep in the company, compare quotes, ask on RFD.

BBB #1.
RFD Threads #2.
Homestars #3.

That's how I've rated them in the past. BBB always has the most reliable info. RFD ususally provides a good knowledge base (best if you're in the GTA area). Homestars is better for NEGATIVE ratings... you can learn a lot from what 1 person complained about. Also, Homestars is a good place to figure out PRICING... I always received the highest quotes from top rated companies.

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