Arlington

Firm maps out contractors on DFW home improvement projects

BuildZoom used 133,000 building permits to create an interactive map of Arlington that shows addresses where remodeling and other construction projects are going on or have occurred in the past 10 years. The San Francisco company has mapped about 40 percent of the country and has 85 million construction project permits in its data base.
BuildZoom used 133,000 building permits to create an interactive map of Arlington that shows addresses where remodeling and other construction projects are going on or have occurred in the past 10 years. The San Francisco company has mapped about 40 percent of the country and has 85 million construction project permits in its data base. BuildZoom

Curious about the hammering and drilling going on next door but don’t want to be the nosy neighbor? Turns out there’s a map for that.

BuildZoom, a San Francisco-based contractor-referral service, has rolled out a digital map of Arlington that pinpoints every address it could find where remodeling projects and other new construction project are going on or have occurred in the past decade. With one click, it lists details of each project, including the type of work, permit date, status, thorough contractor details and often the project costs.

Enter any address for information, or your own address to find out what your neighbors are up to. You can even sign up for alerts when permits are filed at a particular address or an entire ZIP code.

BuildZoom, founded in 2013, has construction data maps covering 40 percent of the U.S. so far, drawing 85 million permits from 500 cities and 100 counties. Arlington and Fort Worth are among 12 Tarrant County cities the company has mapped using permit data published by those entities.

BuildZoom pulled and analyzed 133,000 Arlington permits going back to 2006 to create its map. Fort Worth’s map, completed earlier, was based on 1.1 million permits, said Jack Cookson, lead data analyst for BuildZoom.

He said an algorithm developed by the company sorts through permit data from the 3.5 million licensed contractors to help match the right one for the job.

But Cookson says the biggest competitor out there is word of mouth.

“Most people who hire contractors based on what their neighbor said, or what their sibling said,” Cookson said. “But we’re kind of like a word of mouth on steroids. If you asked everyone of your neighbors about your remodeling project, and went out and collected and analyzed all building permit and contractor licensing data — we do that instantly for you.

Robert Cadwallader: 817-390-7186, @Kaddmann_ST

Tarrant County cities mapped by BuildZoom

Arlington, Grand Prairie, Flower Mound, Keller, Colleyville, Southlake, Euless, Grapevine, Watauga, Hurst and Mansfield.

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