When it’s time to start remodeling or repairing major issues with your home, it’s essential to find the right service provider. Too many contractors focus on taking your money and giving you as little as possible in return; this can put you at risk for failures if the quality of work is poor.
Finding people to complete a service is easy. Finding people who are trustworthy enough to do the job. That’s harder – but it isn’t impossible. You have to know where to look.
Finding the right contractor or service provider to handle home renovations and repairs isn’t easy, but it is possible to know where to look. Sites like Checkbook, Angie’s List, NAEA, Taskrabbit, Car Talk, Home Advisor, and Glassdoor are all invaluable in judging whether someone is trustworthy and reliable enough to be trusted. Catch a glimpse of these sites and discover how to use them in this post.
Take the Risk Out of Hiring Service Providers with These Websites
Checkbook isn’t only about finding home repair service providers; it lets you search through high-quality small businesses across most industries in nearly all major U.S. cities. Unlike other sites, this platform independently investigates and rates businesses, giving them a seal of approval or listing potential warnings.
Checkbook promises “unbiased” advice, which means you can probably trust their assessments more than user reviews on sites like Yelp. In fact, the site is so well-loved, they’ve been repeatedly listed in newspapers like the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.
Unfortunately, there is a catch: Checkbook isn’t free. You’ll pay around $28 to subscribe to the site’s ratings for a full year. All-in-all, that’s not a bad investment for peace of mind, especially if you have a major repair coming up.
One could argue that most of the country has at least heard of Angie’s List, even if they haven’t used the site personally. The site contains an extensive collection of local businesses, including many home contractors, construction specialists, and handy people who know how to unclog a drain in a pinch. That’s really useful when you have a minor job or need a quick response.
At Angie’s List, companies create and manage their own profiles. Users rate and write reviews about companies right on their profile, giving their advice to others potentially considering them for service. It’s a very structured and trustworthy website you can use to find nearly any service you need.
Taskrabbit is a platform that allows independent contractors to connect with people who need home remodeling and repair assistance. Unlike other websites, this site is all about supporting freelance workers instead of businesses, making it fairly ideal for finding specific experts for specific tasks. Need a cabinet maker? Need someone to install an in-wall aquarium? You can find that service on Taskrabbit.
TaskRabbit’s flexibility where it truly shines. Just enter your zip, define how large the project is, and search your local area for people offering services. You can search and review ratings or books instantly once you find someone you like.
But can you really trust the people you find? Taskrabbit says yes. At the top of every page, a banner alerts you that “all Taskers are fully vetted & background checked.” This is critical in an industry where you often won’t know you’ve been scammed until after you hire, affording you some reassurance before you book.
This is similar to Angie’s List, but it solely provides access to and ratings for home repair and renovation specialists. It’s a fantastic place for professional handymen to sign up and offer their services, all while being a handy review tool for homeowners.
At Home Advisor, each listing is intensively screened before being approved. The site’s goal is to provide consumers with only the most reputable and skilled professionals, but they really go over and above with screening. According to the site’s screening process FAQ, they review every pro for licensing requirements, sex offender registry entries, criminal records, civil judgments, and more.
Here’s how to make the most of Home Advisor. First, use the “ProFinder” search at the top of the page to find the best of the best; this is the “cream of the crop” for Home Advisor’s available pros. Then, manually browse through professionals based on a certain category instead. Options exist for everything from carpet installation to excavation jobs. The TruePrice section gives quick budget recommendations, ensuring you really make the most of your money when you hire.
Your State Consumer Protection Agency
If you find a contractor or business, yet something feels slightly off – or you want a bit of extra reassurance before you hire – turn to your state Consumer Protection Agency. You can’t hire a contractor through them, but they will be able to look up the business’s name or the professional to see if anyone else has registered a complaint about them in the past. They can also tell you what kind of licensing your potential contractor needs so you can verify the contractor has it before you move forward with your project.
Been burned by a contractor? Your Consumer Protection Agency may be able to guide how to move forward, as can the FTC or your local Home Builder’s Association. But in this case, prevention is worth a pound of cure; don’t pay out the contract in full until it is completed, and always do your research before you hire.