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  •    Jul 23, 2015
  • Posted in Windows

  • Posted by Andrea O

Windows & Doors Rebates

The Canadian government provides costs incentives to encourage Canadians to switch over to high-efficiency products. Ontario homeowners can get Government of Canada ecoENERGY grants for new doors and windows when they replace their existing units.

  • Replace windows with models that are ENERGY STAR qualified for your climate zone and get $40 back per unit.
  • Replace your exterior doors with models that are ENERGY STAR qualified for your climate zone and get $40 back per unit.

To be eligible for a grant, proof of ENERGY STAR qualification of windows and doors is necessary. A prime example of valid proof is an ENERGY STAR label on all of the replacement windows and doors indicating they are in fact ENERGY STAR qualified for the climate zone. If these have been removed by the installer, make sure you request a copy/invoice as well as the climate zone for which they are qualified. Also, these windows and doors must be installed into an already existing opening in a wall or roof, facilitating the installation.

If you aren’t from Ontario, there are plenty of other rebates available in other regions. For instance, BC government rebates up to $70 per unit on new windows and doors depending on which part of BC you are in.

If you’re in Québec, Gaz Métro offers financial assistance with the purchase of new, high energy efficiency ENERGY STAR certified windows and/or patio doors depending on your climate zone. This is also the case in Nova Scotia, where rebates up to $40 are available. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power also offers large rebates on ENERGY STAR qualified windows.

Find out out here if your region has something to offer:

On top of these rebates, you will be saving money year round, especially on your home’s heating bills. Good doors and windows will keep out the cold, and add comfort to your home.  Plus, if well executed, they can make your home look better… and who doesn’t want that?

  •    Jul 23, 2015
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Average Window Installation Cost

The following data is based on pricing info homeowners provided when contributing reviews on HomeStars.

window costs chart

How to get government rebates for your A/C

Did you know that as much as 60% of the average homeowner’s energy bills go toward cooling and heating their home?

By switching to an Energy Star qualified system, you can save money on your energy bill and get up to $650 in government rebates. To qualify, your cooling system must be purchased and installed by a contractor participating in Ontario’s Heating and Cooling Incentive. 

To find a heating & cooling incentive contractor visit Save on Energy’s Contractor Locater. Speak with more than one qualified contractor to find out which air conditioning unit best suits your home and to compare costs.

Here are the available rebates:

1) Receive a $250 rebate when switching to an Energy Star central air conditioning unit. The system must have a minimum 14.5 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). This SEER rating is based on the unit’s cooling output – which is determined by the performance of the air conditioner’s parts such as the motor, the compressor, fan etc. The second rating that is considered for the rebate is the EER  (Energy Efficiency Ratio) which must be 12 or more. EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity compared to the total electricity being input.

2) For homeowners without a duct system, stand-alone central air conditioners (also known as ductless mini-split systems) are a good option and have savings available. Receive a $400 rebate when switching to a stand-alone CEE (Consortium for Energy Efficiency) “Tier 2” level unit. For eligibility the unit must have a SEER of at least 15 and 12.5 EER.

Types of Air Conditioners

Summer weather has arrived! If you’re feeling the heat and want to get air conditioning for your home, here’s a quick guide on the different options on the market and their price, based on costs reported by homeowners. 

1) Central Air

Wall mounted central air conditioner unit control How it works: It uses your home’s ducts and registers (the grill-like vents on the wall or floor) to circulate cool air through your home.

If you are looking to get even cooling throughout your home, this is your best bet, plus it’s quiet. This is a pricier option, especially if you don’t have the ductwork in place.

Lifespan: 15-20 years

Cost: Assuming ductwork is already installed in your home, the average cost to install a standard central air system is $2,040. Installing new ducts can more than double this cost. 

2) Stand-Alone Central Air Conditioning aka Ductless Mini-Split:

air-conditioner on white background (done in 3d)

How it worksThese units require no duct work and are very energy efficient, making them a solid choice in homes with no duct work. These systems have indoor units that connect to a compressor outside the house. Their powerful fans and louvers allow air to circulate throughout the home. A 1600 square ft. home may need just a single indoor unit. If your home is bigger, one outdoor compressor can typically connect to two or three indoor units located throughout your home.

Lifespan: 12-15 years

Cost: The average cost to install a ductless mini-split system is $4,240. 

3) Single Room Air Conditioners 

air conditionor window unit

Two kinds: Window mounted and free-standing.

How it works: Much like the name suggests, these systems provide cooling for a single room. Some require the unit to be installed within a window or on the wall, while the free-standing models are portable and can easily be moved to other rooms.

Proper installation for the window-mounted systems is key, otherwise the cool air will leak outside. Make sure you install panels between the window frame and the unit itself. This will minimize cool air escaping outside. These units can be removed and re-installed elsewhere. 

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Cost (equipment only):

Free-standing: $300 – $600

Window mounted: $120 – $500


How to Optimize the Efficiency of Your AC System

Optimize your AC’s Efficiency

Simply put, air conditioners take heat out of your house, in much the same way that refrigerators do. To optimize their efficiency, try to prevent heat from getting inside the house in the first place with the following steps:

  • Your roof gets most of the direct sunlight and the attic is like an oven. Heat from the attic radiates down into the house. By improving your attic’s insulation, the upper floor stays much cooler.
  • For the side of the house that gets the most sun, install blinds that effectively block out sunlight. Cover up big glass doors and large panes of glass if possible.

AC Care

When starting up an AC unit, it is very important to make sure that the furnace filter is clean and the unit has been serviced in the previous year. It is wise to install air conditioning in the spring before the real heat kicks in. Once the heat wave hits, it can take a while to find an available AC technician.

Most modern thermostats are battery powered. As a rule of thumb, replace the battery on your thermostat when you replace the one on your smoke detector.

 Before you turn on your AC for the summer…

  1. Make sure the humidification system is shut down
  2. Clean the furnace filters
  3. Check that the outdoor unit is clear of debris
  4. Make sure all the registers (the grill-like vents on the floors or walls) in the house are open

To find the right contractor to service your air conditioner, or install a new one, visit the heating and air conditioning category.

Seventy-six per cent of Canadians say their purchase decisions are influenced by online reviews

While only twenty-five per cent ever check reviews when hiring home contractors

HOMESTARS - Purchasing Survey

We recently surveyed Canadians nationally and found that even though online reviews were influencing purchasing decisions in general, they were not always being consulted when hiring home service professionals. Despite the fact that home improvement can cost thousands of dollars and is also an on-going investment in the largest single asset of most Canadians, a staggering seventy-five per cent admitted to never checking online reviews before hiring home improvement professionals. Surprisingly, only four per cent of Canadians always use reviews when hiring a contractor.

People are influenced by online reviews – in fact, 68 per cent had changed their mind on buying a product or service based on a review they had read.  Regarding trust, two-thirds feel online reviews are either “somewhat” or “very” trustworthy, but there is lingering doubt among the remaining one-third of Canadians about whether reviews are real. So, here are some tips on how to detect a fraudulent review:

  • Look for details about the work done and their experience with the company. Names, photos and detailed descriptions are indicative of an authentic review.
  • Do an online search of the contractor’s name to learn more about them.
  • Some websites flag reviews that seem suspicious. Check recent reviews for flags or reasons why a review was removed.
  • If several reviews are written too similarly, it may be the same person with different usernames.
  • If the writer has reviewed more than one company, it usually signals an authentic reviewer writing about different jobs done in their home.

Editor’s Note: Survey was conducted using Google Consumer Surveys in April 2015, with responses from 1,004 Canadian adults.

Full release here.


Insulation 101

Insulation affects your energy bills and comfort levels year-round. Alex Schuts from Insta-Insulation has provided the basics every homeowner should know when it comes to insulating their home.



Most important areas to insulate:

1) The basement

WHY? Your appliances, like your furnace and water heater generate heat to the rest of your home. The goal here is to keep that heat captured so it can work its way upwards, making your house more comfortable.

  • Many basements are insulated with blanket insulation which was minimum code 25 years ago. New code requires basements to be fully insulated, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat your home.
  • Energy efficiency increases 25 per cent by putting in a better, properly insulated system.


  • A 1200 sq ft basement typically costs $4000-4500 to insulate with spray foam insulation.

2) The attic

WHY? Most homes do not have enough attic insulation. There are a couple methods for increasing your attic’s insulation:

  • Blowing cellulose or fibreglass over your existing insulation
  • Removing all the existing insulation and air sealing the entire attic, preventing all moisture from entering. A cellulose or fibreglass layer is then blown over top of that.
  • In both cases it’s very important to maintain ventilation. Your soffits must be open so fresh air is introduced into your attic and then exhausted out through your roof vents.


  • The average insulation upgrade for an attic (not including spray foam) costs between 1.25-1.50 a square ft. depending on the degree of difficulty.
  • This includes adding moore vents and the actual upgrade of insulation with cellulose or fibre glass.
  • An attic insulation upgrade typically yields a 20-25 per cent reduction in energy bills. This could be increased by doing a lot of air sealing in your attic as well.

4 Signs your house lacks insulation:

  1. You aren’t comfortable in your home – it’s either too hot or cold.
  2. Your energy bills are high.
  3. Moisture and mold – moisture in the walls feeds on the drywall and wood, causing mold.
  4. The snow on the roof of your house melts away quickly.

Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Forget long-stem roses and chocolates!

Get your Valentine something they’ll appreciate year-round. Here are some truly thoughtful and creative gift ideas for your sweetheart!

1. Handyman Services: Kill the honey-do list.
friendly handyman in new house

2. Junk Removal: What’s more romantic then giving up something for the one you love?

Box of unwanted stuff close up

3. Closet Organization: Take care of something you’ve been planning to do every weekend for the last five years.
modern closet 3d rendering

4. A Hot Tub: This is actually pretty romantic, especially if it helps joint and muscle pain.
Man having massage in  hot tub spa.

  •    Feb 2, 2015
  • Posted in Best of Awards

  • Posted by Andrea O

Best of 2014 Winners

We have travelled across Canada to award the country’s best home improvement companies. Tonight we are wrapping up awards season in Toronto. This is our seventh year awarding contractors who have done outstanding work, based on homeowner reviews.

Check out the winners in your region!

Toronto’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

A Marco Plumbing Ltd.
A-Line General Contractors (Roofing Services)
A&F Duct Cleaning
A1 Quality Chimney Cleaning & Repair
AAA Gates Wildlife Control
Ac Appliance Repair
AC Electrical Contractors Ltd.
AccuServ Heating and Air Conditioning
Advanced Plumbing
Albvision Windows and Doors
All Canadian Self Storage
All County Aluminum
AllMax Home Inspection
Amazing Results
Ambia Windows and Doors Inc.
AMI Repair Service Inc
AquaDry Technologies
Arby Cartage
Art Metal Workshop Inc.
Avenue Road Masonry
Beaver Brothers Decks inc.
Big Ben’s Junk Removal
Black Forest Woodworking
Bravehart Building Design & Build
Brighten Life Construction Cleaning Inc.
Bromley Contracting Inc Co Mr Stucco
Button’s Heating Inc.
Canadian Roofing Company Ltd.
Capps Duct Cleaning Services Inc
Captain Electric
Cargo Cabbie Professional Movers
Carpet Selections
Choice Leather Furniture
City 1 Roof Works
Clarke Basement Systems
Clean Cut Design & Build Inc.
Clean Cut Painting and Decorating Corp.
ColourWorks Painting
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Cosmopolitan Construction
Crowning Touch Trim
Damski Masonry
Dan The Drawer Man
Daryl Johnson Masonry
David Audio & Video Installations
David R. Smith Design
Davis & Davis Renovations
Derek’s Tree Service INC
DMS Home Services
Doors and More Frameless Shower Applications
Double Tree Landscaping Inc.
DrainRooter Plumbing
Drape Master
Dufferin Iron & Railings
Easy Access Garage Doors
Easy Flip Garage Doors Inc.
Elite Designed Concrete Inc.
Envirotech Insulation & Electrical Services
Eureka Assembly & Installation Inc.
Expert Crown Moulding
ExpressRooter Plumbing
Falco Landscape Design
Family Comfort
FFR Contracting
Fine Finishes Custom Design Solutions
Firemen Movers
First Choice Fence
Five Star Moulding Company
Floors Direct North
Foam Comfort Inc.
ForeverStoneDesign Inc.
Fortress Windows & Doors
Fujitech Technologies Inc.
Gardens in the City Inc.
Gas Fireplace Services & Repairs Inc.
Grand Alarms
Green Maple Home Renovations
Green Valley Irrigation Ltd.
Hall Developments
HotWire Electric-All 416-553-5533
IKEA Furniture Assembly Service
IKEA Kitchen Installation
Inch By Inch Inspections, Mold Detection and Removal
Infinity Gutter
Integrity Contracting
Invision Hardwood & Decor
Janice Lindsay – Pink, Colour + Design
Junk It!
Just Deck It
Kasa Bella
Kris’s Painting – Kris the painter
Lampert Renovations & Bathliners
Landscape Toronto
Lighting Innovation & Design Inc.
Lindy Consulting Limited, Architect
Locksmith Care
LS Kitchen Specialist
Lusso Glass
M Scott Home Improvements
M3 Design Group
Maple Carpet Care Ltd
Maple Window & Eaves Cleaning Inc.
Maret’s Quality Home Cleaning
Master Drain & Water Works 416-910-3599
Matthew Tormey Design and Woodworking
McDermott Plastering
Mega City Roofing Inc
Metro Chimney Inc
Mike’s Renovations
Millard Bautista Designs
Milorad Tiling
Mister Plumber
Mr Rooter Plumbing
Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON
Mr. Fix It Handyman Service
Mr. Handyman of Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Markham
Multiple Choice Flooring
Nanique Interiors
New Century Maids
NewRidge Refinishing Group
nighthawk chimney sweep & service
NK Windows and Eaves
Nu-Site Contractors Ltd
Oakville Kitchen Designers
Ontario Electronics Service
Open Sesame
Otto’s Masonry
Paint Core Finishes
PC Service On Site
Perfecto Painting & Renovation
Pest Solution Services – Bed Bugs Specialist
Potlight Expert
Pretty Handy Guy
Pro Appliance Ltd.
Pro Concrete & Paving Ltd
Pro-Land Landscape Construction Inc
Public Plumbing in GTA – 416-556-5658
Quick Bins Disposal Canada Inc.
Raywal Cabinets
Reach Restoration, Inc.
Red Robin Masonry
Reliable Home Comfort
Restoration 1 Toronto West & Etobicoke
Rileys Tree Services Inc.
RLC Electric
Roadrunner Bins Inc
Rockwell Masonry
Rovimat Construction Ltd
SafeTech Alarm Systems and Video Surveillance
Scott’s Painting Services
Skilled Taper
Sky – Blinds & Shades
SKY Kitchen Cabinets Ltd
Skywire Security and Surveillance
Smith Metal Works
snap pest control
So Green Canada (Landscape design / Build)
Solutions Electrical
Sonoma Contracting
Sosna Inc
Spring Home Heating & Cooling Systems Inc
Star Tech Stucco
Straight Up Masonry
Techno Kitchen Refacing
Templar Mould / Asbestos Analysis and Removal
The Appliance Guy
The Chimney Company Inc.
The Custom Deck Company
The drapery shop
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
The Expert Touch Interiors
The Floor Shop
The Home Cleaning Team
The Home Improvement People
The Reno Coach
The Tub Guys
TJ. Fine Upholstering
Toronto Decks and Fence by BinSolutions
Toronto Home Theater
Toronto Tree Removal
Trevor’s Drywall and Taping Services
Turnbull Masonry
Unique Custom Moldings and Trim
Valentini Kitchens
Victorious Carpet Installation & Repair Services
Victory Locks Ltd
Vorob Craft Cabinetry
Watchtower Interiors Inc.
Well Done BBQs
Wonder Woods Flooring
Wood Specialties
Zaid Moving

Peel/Halton/Wentworth’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Ac Appliance Repair
Action Appliance Sales & Service Inc.
Amazing Results
Arby Cartage
Art Metal Workshop Inc.
Babus Electric
Beverley Hills Home Improvements
c-clear window cleaning
City 1 Roof Works
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Doors and More Frameless Shower Applications
Easy Flip Garage Doors Inc.
Family Comfort
Firemen Movers
Five Star Moulding Company
Green Maple Home Renovations
Heart’s Content Gardens
Home-Pro Electric Inc
Innovative Contracting & Maintenance
Milton Hardwood Floors
Mr Rooter of the Golden Horseshoe
Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON
Mr. Fix It Handyman Service
Natik Painting
New Century Maids
New Steel Roofers
NewRidge Refinishing Group
Oakville Kitchen Designers
On The Level Home Renos
Orsan Air Services
Pop-A-Lock of Halton
Potlight Expert
Public Plumbing in GTA – 416-556-5658
Purisoft Water Solutions
Rankin Home Inspection
rapid pest control
Raywal Cabinets
RCC Waterproofing
Real Home Inspections Ontario
Rightway Roofing
Rockwell Masonry
Studio Linea Home Staging and Redesign
Techno Kitchen Refacing
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
The Expert Touch Interiors
True North Home Services
What Wood U Like
Zen Construction

Durham’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

A Marco Plumbing Ltd.
AAA Gates Wildlife Control
All-Pro Landscaping & Carpentry Ltd.
AllMax Home Inspection
Apex Glass & Mirror
Bath Revival
Button’s Heating Inc.
Captain Electric
Clarke Basement Systems
Complete Window Decor
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Crowning Touch Trim
Distinctive Designs Landscaping
Double Diamond Duct Cleaning
Durham Plumbing
Emmons Electric
Envirotech Insulation & Electrical Services
Fyfe’s Roofing
Ideal Stairs
Infinity Gutter
Kitchen Court
MacLeans Custom Kitchens
Mason Restoration
MV Drywall
Natural Choice Heating & Cooling
NewRidge Refinishing Group
Prestige Carpet Cleaning
Rand Electric
Reliable Home Comfort
Restoration 1 Durham
Spring Home Heating & Cooling Systems Inc
Taylor Landscape Construction
The Cutting Edge Roofing
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
True North Eavestroughing
TWG Landscaping & Property Maintenance Inc.

Eastern Ontario’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

ABC Appliance Service
Appliance Surgeons
Bats Canada Inc
Best Price Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Blu Dot Interiors
Boiserie Sebo Woodwork
Bronson Johnson Seamless Eavestroughs
Bulgari Paving
Canadian Water Inspection Services
Capital Junk
Custom Roofing Ltd.
Danco Electrical Services Ltd
Dave Marcotte Foundations
Dr. Clean Air
Eaves Experts Ottawa
Fireplace West
Hills & Valley Water Systems
J. Lamarche Landscaping
Krumpers Solar Blinds
Mike Shurben Heating Ltd.
Old World Craftsmanship
Penta Plumbing
Probitas Plumbing
Rainsoft of Ottawa -Eternally Pure Water Systems
Reliable Home Environment
Remember Me Roofing Inc.
Ring Electric
Safari Plumbing … The White Glove Plumber(TM)
Saley’s Custom Woodworking
Salter Electric
Sarah Kidder Design
sunrise roofing
Verdun Doors & Windows

Calgary’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

24/7 Electric
A Better Way Plumbing Ltd.
A T A Appliance Services
Abacus Landscaping Ltd
above all overhead doors ltd
Academy Ceramic Tile
Alpine Services
Appliance Service Centre
Attic Pros Insulation Services
Blackstone Tub Refinishers
Boulevard Exteriors
Bull Tough Flooring Ltd
Calgary Carpet Restretch
Copper Brook
Day & Knight Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
Diamond Home Inspection
Distinct Heating & Cooling
Eisses Windows
Ekko Cabinetry
Elite Trade Painting (Calgary)
Enviro Surface Removers Inc
EuroStar windows and doors INC.
Frontline Home Inspections
Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning
Great Dane Electric
Handyman Connection Calgary
Hatton’s Hardwood Floors Inc
Helene’s Siding Inc.
Highland Moving & Storage Ltd. | Starline Overseas Moving
Hubbard Roofing & Exteriors Inc.
Impact Zone
Interiors With Elegance Inc
Jamison Furnace LTD
Johnston Glass Ltd
Lakeview Floors
Laporte Custom Stone Inc.
Marvellous Movers Ltd.
MAXgreen Windows and Doors Ltd.
Mega Roofing & Exteriors Inc
MoldPro inc.
Nu-Way Floor Fashions Ltd
Reliance Home Comfort
Rodex Enterprises Corp.
Roof Right Solutions
SIS Supply Install Services
Stampede Overhead Doors Ltd.
Sterling Exteriors Inc.
Stone Consulting Group Inc.
Strand Home Inspections Inc
Sundeck Solutions Inc.
The Gutter Patrol
The Honest Electrician Inc.
The Mudd Monkey
The Pine Nuts Woodworking and Renovations Ltd.
Trademark Renovations ltd
United Roofing
United Roofing
Vacuum Specialists
WallNuts (Formerly ValuePro)
Weather Pro Windows and Doors inc
Weather Pro Windows and Doors inc
Western Granite & Stone Ltd
Williams HVAC

Vancouver’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

911 Restoration of Vancouver
A & Wes Tile
A Glass Act Window Cleaners & Building Maintenance Ltd.
Acme Home Inspections
Adanac Roofing and Gutters
Alan O’Rourke Construction
Andy’s Appliance & Refrigeration
Benchmark Painting Ltd.
Bulldawg drywall
Busy Boys Roofing Ltd
Cedar Coast Fence Ltd
Celsky Vinyl Sundecks & Railings
Centra Windows, Exteriors, Restorations – Okanagan
Cloverdale Moving and Van-Lines
Cloverdale Moving and Van-Lines
Coast Mountain Roof Ltd.
Crucial Roof Services Ltd
Delfabulous Home Improvements Inc.
design happens
Eclipse Painting and Decorating
Electra Technologies
EuroLine Windows Inc
GVA Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
Hot Electric
Imagine Maintenance Ltd.
J. Murphy’s Contracting
Joyce Heating Service Ltd
Kitchen Makeovers
Landmark Roofing Ltd
Mcloughlin Construction Ltd
Meadow Ridge Plumbing & Gas
Miller Plumbing and Drainage Ltd.
Millwall Roofing Ltd
Modus Enterprises
Monkey Tree Services
Networx Windows, Doors, Exteriors
Newtech Appliance Repair & Refrigeration
North Shore Stone Works
Nu-Phase Electric Ltd
Pest Maven
Pure Luxe Painting
Quality One Home Services
Raincity moving and storage Ltd.
Sean Moss Home and Mold Inspections
Silverback Electric
Sunrise Painting & Stucco Ltd
Super Rooter
THE Home Inspection Co
Transformations Landscaping
Triple R Construction Inc.
Westmount Heating

Edmonton’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Acclaimed! Heating, Cooling & Furnace Cleaning
Amsteam Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Budget Blinds Edmonton & St. Albert
Butler Plumbing Heating & Gasfitting Ltd
Capitall Exterior Solutions / Window and Door Clearance Centre
Clean air solutions Ltd.
Dan’s Carpet & Upholstery CleaningEdmonton
Do It Right Heating & AC LTD.
Fair and Square Roofing Inc
Generation Contracting Inc
Golden West Exteriors
Green Thumb Landscaping
GreenFox Windows & Doors
Harmcor Plumbing & Heating Ltd
Heights Residential
Ironclad Mechanical
JTL Alarm & Surveillance
Nomad Roofing
Picture Perfect Flooring
Recoveryworx Roofing
REI – Real Estate Inspections
River Valley Final Grading
Robart Electrical Services Ltd
Ryalz Tree Care Inc

A big congratulations to all the winners! We will continue announcing this year’s Best of recipients as we hand out the awards.

A message to owners of home improvement businesses:


Our HomeStars Best of Awards (BOA) were launched seven years ago to recognize top-rated companies that we believe are the most trustworthy and have been recognized for great work by validated homeowners. We know that people take note of the Best of Awards badge and that it informs their hiring decisions. As this award has grown, HomeStars continues to improve the process by which we select our winners.

Recent events surrounding the bankruptcy of a previous BOA winner has triggered some changes to how we decide who wins. We have implemented new, more rigorous checks to ensure authenticity of reviews. As a result of these new checks, we are confident the BOA winners for 2014 will be our most trustworthy group of winners yet. In addition, we have applied these new checks to previous year winners and in rare cases the we have taken the difficult step of revoking the award from a few BOA winners from previous years.

We will not be communicating our enhanced checks to anyone. We will also be rolling out further changes to our review moderation processes later this year, as these learnings will inform all activities on the site.

Every year our team and I get contacted by companies asking why they did not win. We will not answer these questions. HomeStars has a rigorous process for validating reviews, and that is not something shared with anyone, including most of our own employees.

In closing, the Best of Award is the HomeStars “seal of approval”. As Founder of the company, my first priority is that we only select winners we believe have earned it. We also reserve the right to revoke past awards at any time, without notice, if we suspect fraudulent activity. We want to ensure all winners serve each homeowner to the best of their ability and in the most professional way possible.

I wish you and your business a prosperous 2015.

Nancy Peterson
Founder & CEO

In this week's newsletter: True Stories and New Promotions!