It has been two decades since the idea of a digital marketplace where consumers could go for help with home-related services first debuted as ServiceMagic. Acquired by InterActiveCorp (IAC) in September 2004, the company was expanded and rebranded as HomeAdvisor in 2012.
Not only were the logo and name changed, but site visitors were given additional tools and resources that further expanded the company’s reach.
HomeAdvisor merged with Angie’s List to create ANGI Homeservices Inc. in 2017.
HomeAdvisor has “helped more than 45 million homeowners tackle home projects,” a mission that established “the world’s largest digital marketplace for home services, connecting millions of homeowners across the globe with home service professionals.”
But, like all good ideas, competitors jumped into the market and it’s important to know that not every one of the following companies handles household tasks exclusively.
So let’s see the top alternatives to HomeAdvisor so that you have more options to find local contractors and professionals for any home project imaginable.
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CEO Angie Hicks became the “face” of Angie’s list in 1995. For 25 years, Angie’s List established a firm foothold in the minds of 6 million homeowners seeking assistance in finding local service providers.
What began as just a short list of roofers, plumbers, handymen and other contractors morphed into 720+ service types over time.
Appealing to “real folks looking for a way to find trustworthy companies that perform high-quality work,” the Angie’s List website originally required homeowners to pay a fee for access to contractors but that requirement was removed when competition began offering free services.
Angie’s List staffers regularly scour listings to spot promotional pitches inserted by companies, but the occasional one sneaks through amid member reviews.
Calling itself “the new way to find and research residential home repair and commercial building contractors that fit your needs best,” Homeflock relies upon more than consumer feedback to solicit business, often contacting state and Federal licensing agencies to do background checks on service providers.
Homeflock posts “corporate histor[ies], employee lists, owner information, recent projects and reviews.” Not only can a potential client find plumbers in their neighborhood, but they can verify the quality of work before hiring them.
Consumers are invited to submit names of contractors they have employed in the past and Homeflock will check them out. “We’re sure you will be surprised at what you learn,” they state on their website.
Referring to the ServiceWhale as “Home improvement shopping made easy,” this service-providing resource aims to help homeowners simplify the task of locating contractors, taking the mystery out of everything from price estimates site browsers seek to offering reassurance that ServiceWhale is out to help clients save time and money.
Stating that it takes about 30 hours to comparison shop contractors, ServiceWhale promotes itself as the resource offering the best price comparison services.
Further, contractors affiliated with this business are urged to be honest about their rates. Promoting their patent-pending job quoting technology, this company offers custom quotes for huge projects “instantly” so consumers don’t have to wait long to find out if they can afford the task.
Angie’s List had been up and running for 13 years when Thumbtack debuted in 2008. Founded on a list of questions that include, “Why is it still so hard to hire a plumber? Or a piano teacher? Or any local professional?” Thumbtack states that timesaving is at the foundation of this company’s start up.
Target marketing was and still is the name of the game; Thumbtack caters to people with big plans (and even bigger to-do lists) who need help getting them done.
Relying upon contractors located throughout the nation, Thumbtack reminds potential clients that no job is too odd or unusual for their contractors to handle, so whether you need your house painted or your face painted, rest assured, your job won’t be turned down because it’s too weird.
When last did you visit a website that promised visitors that there were “No Jerks and No Egos” on their list of contractors and resources?
This quirky bit of text on the Porch website (launched in 2013) may give you pause until you learn that Porch is affiliated with retail hardware and construction material powerhouse, Lowe’s.
When founded, Porch had access to 1.5 million professionals; that number has doubled to around 3 million contractors.
Jobs completed since Porch debuted have already surpassed 130 million. Thanks to the Lowe’s connection, your options are numerous, whether you prefer to find the help you need online or by visiting a neighborhood Lowe’s retailer.
If you like the idea of working with company that promotes itself as being down home friendly, consider Handy.
Upon completion of your job, the company will present you with a Handy Happiness Guarantees.
Relying upon a signature “seamless 60-second booking service,” if time is of the essence, you may find this promise irresistible.
Launched in 2012 when two savvy entrepreneurs purchased Handybook with the intention of making it the most expansive online service provider in the world, the company now employs 200 contractors in 28 cities.
No task appears to be too small for Handy and that list includes furniture assembly, home cleaning and TV wall mounting. Need trendy, affordable furniture? You can buy it from this company, too.
For skeptics weary of overblown promises made by online home improvement providers that don’t always follow through, Consumer’s Checkbook (CC) could be the most transparent resource on this list.
Launched 40 years ago as a local rating service for consumers seeking pre-screened service providers, CC is uniquely positioned as an independent nonprofit that won’t accept advertising or referral fees.
This resource uses undercover shoppers to do price comparisons and their reach extends far beyond being a conduit to home service providers.
For example, Checkbook’s SurgeonRatings.org was founded to research and publish information about doctor performance.
In many ways, CC acts as a consumer advocate and watchdog organization, which dramatically differentiates it from other sites profiled here.
This free online service aims to help homeowners find reputable resources by linking site visitors to 2 million companies and “hundreds of thousands of reviews.”
But don’t get too excited if you live in the U.S. HomeStars is currently only operating in Canada. If you live across the border, this resource could become your favorite one.
HomeStars founder Nancy Peterson currently counts “1,290,168 registered users” and her business model is one you could relate to: While renovating her own home, she grew frustrated at what she found and committed to launching “an online source of reviews written by homeowners like me.”
Her idea has blossomed. If you live in Canada, this could be the star resource you seek to handle your home repair and renovation jobs.
Houzz employs familiar celebrities to promote a variety of services on their website and touts an eclectic menu of home-related services.
Need interior design experts? How about furnishings? If it relates to sprucing up your home you’ll find resources for your unique project right here.
Launched by a couple weary of trying to find an online hub where consumers could browse beautiful home photos and find design and construction professionals capable of delivering on the designs depicted, the Houzz community now numbers around “40 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals.”
Not only can you get help with your project, but you can be inspired by everything you see, too.
HomeServe was established in 2003 with a single objective: freeing customers from the worry and inconvenience of home-related emergency repairs.
The operative word is “emergency,” and it’s what sets this resource apart from others. As the North American branch of the UK’s HomeServe PLC, the U.S. division focuses on crisis-driven dilemmas a homeowner could face.
Their 24/7 hotline is staffed by local, licensed and insured technicians and every job comes with a one-year guarantee on covered repairs.
Partnering with 600+ agencies throughtout the U.S. and Canada, HomeServe maintains an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and serves 4 million clients.
Prioritizing transparency and offering affordable rates throughout the U.S. and Canada, HomeServe continues to grow internationally and now has a presence in France, Spain and Italy.
If you appreciate the AFLAC duck, the GEICO gecko and other fun symbols identified with brands, having a resource like Hello Alfred at your fingertips gives you “A trained and trusted hospitality superhero dedicated to crushing your weekly to-do’s.”
Hello Alfred offers “trusted help” that includes contacts with real estate developers on the site’s resource list.
Need help juggling weekly tasks because you’re overwhelmed? Hello Alfred’s list of 200 team members, 50 years of “member time saved” and 4.5 million “to-do’s done for members” to the rescue.
Hello Alfred handles errands like picking up groceries and dry cleaning, the firm will find a moving company for your relocation or a pet groomer if that’s your current need.
Yes, Alfred will get you the right contractor for your repair and construction projects. Finding a task Alfred won’t do for you could be difficult!
Mr. Handyman won’t pick up your groceries or dry cleaning but if you need a one-call solution to handle your repair or home maintenance tasks, uniformed, fully-insured technicians will arrive on your doorstep ready to tackle your problem.
Mr. Handyman management only hires techs able to prove that they’ve got 10 years’ experience under their tool belts, so you’re assured of contractors who aren’t new to their specialty.
Founded in 1996, this is one of the oldest resources in this industry and boasts 1 million North American customers.
Mr. Handyman clients rely upon one-call scheduling, on-time arrival, quality workmanship and the assurance every homeowner loves: “We promise to clean up after we’re done.” Plenty of homeowners have picked this resource based on that promise alone!
The Homefixers’ aim is to “provide homeowners with a free and simple way of comparing local contractors for any home improvement project they are considering” while minimizing the hassle often associated with construction projects.
Advocating on behalf of contractors on this service provider’s roster, HomeFixers helps contractors advertise their services so they don’t have to do so on their own.
You’ll be able read every contractor’s company profile and check out photos of jobs they’ve done. While consumers are likely to find competent and professional contractors through The Home Fixers, you’re going to have to drill down into the website to learn about services and products since more emphasis is placed on contractors than consumers seeking help with projects.
It’s anybody’s guess why founders Andrew Michael and Kai Feller named their business Bark, but the unusual name has stuck in the minds of people looking for help throughout the globe.
Citing 5 million customers in 6 nations, contractors affiliating with this international entity offer eclectic resources.
Bark’s first customer turned to them to find a personal trainer and they did so within the hour. Lest you think that your need for a contractor to undertake repairs and remodeling projects won’t be addressed, Bark’s first U.S. contractor was a carpenter in Iowa.
Called one of the fastest-growing UK companies headquartered in Paddington, Bark could be your go-to resource if you’re seeking international representation or need help with unusual projects.
Whether you need a ceiling fan hung, an electrical wiring job handled, a house painted, or gutters cleaned out, Pro Referral can help you find the ideal local contractor for that job and even recommend a place to get tools if you intend to do the job yourself.
As part of the Home Depot family, Pro Referral was founded as Redbeacon in 2008, absorbed several other home services firms over time and was officially re-branded as Pro Referral in 2016.
Must you patronize Home Depot to hire a contractor? Of course not. Just go online, select the service you need, state your deadline and request estimates. If you want to buy the supplies for your job, you know where to go, right?
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