Beyond a quick Google search of local handymen in your area, finding an affordable and trustworthy company or contractor can be quite a process. Rather than reviewing Google’s top 10, try out these 3 handyman resources to find the right guy (or lady) for the job.
Pros: If you’re familiar with Groupon, Angie’s List will feel like home. This website showcases service packages, from home electrical re-wiring to grout cleaning and sealing packages, at discounted prices. If you have a specific project in mind, like painting the exterior of your rental, then this might be the way to go. Their 10 million verified reviews from other users can help give you some peace of mind that the project will be done. The company also performs annual background checks on the owner/manager of all A and B rated companies.
Cons: If you’re just looking for a new plumber or general handyman, then Angie’s List is not for you. Additionally, Angie’s List is membership based and while the Green Plan is free, it doesn’t offer the same protections as the Basic or Silver memberships. Unless you pay for a higher membership plan, protections like their “Fair Price Guarantee” and “Service Quality Guarantee” will be unavailable to you. While Angie’s List does perform background checks on the owner or manager, they leave it up to the company to screen their employees.
Pros: On the flip-side of Angie’s List, Thumbtack can connect you with independent contractors and handymen (as well as DJs, wedding planners, and personal trainers). If you need someone to remove mold or change out your locks, but don’t have a specific project in mind, this is the place to go. After you answer a few questions about what you need, the contractors that are interested will send you custom quotes (up to 5). Before you pay a handyman, you can use Thumbtack’s messaging system to vet the service provider yourself. Thumbtack’s cost estimate tool also allows you to compare your current costs with potential contractors. For example, the national average cost for lawn care is $40, while the average cost in Los Angeles is $70.
Cons: Like most service-linking websites, a big portion of the vetting process depends on reviews. While Thumbtack has created profile badges (bronze, silver, or gold) to indicate how complete a handyman’s profile is, confirming that they have the credentials to do your project rests on your shoulders. Although the website also shows background check badges and public licensing badges, these are not present for everyone (not all contractors require credentials and not all contractors have opted to do a background check).
Pros: If you’re looking for ease, Neighborly is a great app to connect with your neighbors for recommendations and handymen in your local area. Although Angie’s List and Thumbtack both have apps, Neighborly is exclusively app-based. The best thing about Neighborly is that for most of the services they offer, the prices are right on the app. No waiting for a quote and no buying pre-priced packages. For example, 2 hours of work for a handyman is just $98. While the app offers memberships (gaining you discounted service credits), you can simply pay as you go with no commitment. Every contractor (or “helper”) under goes an in-person interview with reference check, criminal background check, and Neighborly training.
Cons: For the most part, this app is limited to small projects around your rental like cleaning a vacancy, yardwork, and installing new hardware and replacing light fixtures. Neighborly also has a limited service area—focusing primarily on Seattle, WA and parts of the east coast.
Additional Handyman websites not mentioned:
Finding a handyman or contractor that you trust can be difficult but not impossible. Whether you use one of these websites or find someone through word of mouth, make sure that they have the appropriate certifications to do the job by checking your state’s business licensing division, checking the Better Business Bureau, and discussing with them about whether or not they perform background checks on their employees (and don’t forget to do your own background checks on potential renters as well!). You can also check the business’ credit profile from Experian which will list any lawsuits and their financial stability.
Have you used any of these websites before – any good or bad experiences? Let us know your experiences in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe!