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- The Good
- More than 24 home improvement categories
- Cost guide offers comparison pricing
- Quick matching guide
- The Bad
- Must provide contact information to get provider list
Home Advisor is a solid matching service that will put you in touch with highly rated home improvement professionals. It’s free for property owners, but service providers pay for leads, so their marketing budget pays a role in the service providers matched to your job.
There’s no cost to consumer users for Home Advisor. All of the cost is paid by the professional contractors using the listing service to generate business. Cost to businesses is unpublished and only available during account setup.
- Top Services
- Architects and engineering
- Central vacuum installation and service
- Disaster recovery
- Sign making services
- Solar installment
- Water treatment systems
These are just a few of the options available through Home Advisor. This listing service covers just about everything you could imagine for both residential and business customers, including organizational services and cleaning. It really is a one-stop shop for all your home improvement needs.
- Screening Process
- Licensing check
- State business filings review
- Identity verification for business principles
- Search for civil judgments
- Criminal records search
- Sex offender search
Home Advisor does fairly extensive background checks on their service professionals. Keep in mind that some of the checks are limited in scope. For example, the search for civil judgments that may wave a red flag only go back a year. Older issues may not show up on such a limited search. You should still perform your own verification to ensure that nothing has changed since the business signed up for Home Advisor.
- No guarantee offered
HomeAdvisor does not provide any direct home improvement services. Instead, they offer a completely free matching service to help you find a local service provider to handle your project. Since they are not responsible for the service, they do not guarantee it. You can discuss service guarantees with individual professionals.
- Email, phone or live chat
HomeAdvisor offers two different support streams: one for business users offering services and one for consumers looking for a service provider. For businesses, support includes options like budget and lead management. This is also the avenue you would use to report bad leads and ask for a refund. For consumers, you can get in touch to get contact information for a local service provider, ask questions or offer feedback.
HomeAdvisor: User Reviews
Home Advisor is one of the top sites in the home repair services marketplace.
How Does HomeAdvisor Work?
HomeAdvisor is a home services marketplace that helps you find local professionals for all of your home construction and maintenance needs. Using HomeAdvisor is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is:
- Find the category that matches the work you need.
- Answer a few simple questions.
- Wait to see which service providers can fit you in.
- Work directly with one of up to four local service providers to get a quote.
Once you have a list of potential service providers, you do all the negotiating directly with the professional. HomeAdvisor simply streamlines the process of finding qualified professionals to work around your home or office.
When selecting a professional, you should still do all of the normal checks you would perform on any contractor. That includes a reference check, confirming that their license is current, and verifying that the company is insured and bonded. Then, you’ll want to make sure the entire scope of work is spelled out in writing. A work order that only covers half the job might leave you very disappointed. Make sure all the terms are spelled out completely and signed off on by both parties.
If you have a home warranty company like Select Home Warranty, make sure you check with them before you hire a home improvement professional, since they may have rules around picking an option.
What Makes HomeAdvisor Stand Out?
There are many home service marketplaces out there, but what really makes HomeAdvisor a solid choice is the extensive screening process and price tag. As a free service, you still get all the vetting you might expect from a paid service. Plus, you get the peace of mind knowing that 30 million other users have successfully found and worked with a contractor through HomeAdvisor. That’s a lot of satisfied customers.
The easy access to reviews is another big plus. Before you start vetting candidates for work, you can see their online reviews. That means you can find a company that has already built up a solid reputation with multiple five-star reviews. You can avoid companies with no reviews or some questionable reviews. The more you know about a contractor, the more likely you are to find and be satisfied with the work at the end of the contract. HomeAdvisor is:
- Free for you to use
- Easy to navigate
- Under your control and allows you to select contractors directly
- Transparent and makes reviews available without collecting contact information
While it is true that dissatisfied customers are more likely to leave a review than happy customers, you might be a little nervous if you just look at the total scores for HomeAdvisor. At the Better Business Bureau site, while it has an A+ rating, its composite score is only 3.9 stars. Why does HomeAdvisor have so many negative reviews? Remember, while HomeAdvisor is free for consumers, contractors and professionals that use the service pay for leads. When those leads don’t turn into paying work, negative reviews are a common side effect.
In order to generate the best service for consumers, HomeAdvisor always has multiple contractors respond on a single quote request. That ensures healthy competition for every job. It also means that contractors are often looking at a lower conversion rate. So, the reviews from consumers are often five-stars, but business users may have a different opinion. It takes time and expertise to make a lead generation service pay, and some small business users don’t have that expertise in-house.
Many consumers will use these marketplaces as a starting point but never finalize a contract. Unfortunately, this can result in lead charges for the business. A bad lead costs just as much as a good one, but that doesn’t mean HomeAdvisor doesn’t provide a valuable service that works for thousands of local contractors.
Is HomeAdvisor for Me?
If you are a consumer and need help with a home improvement project, HomeAdvisor could be a great place to get started. Not only will you be able to use their calculator to estimate costs, you can also start looking at the different local service providers and their customer ratings. Plus, since HomeAdvisor does a fairly comprehensive background check when listing professionals, you can start contacting pros before you do your own due diligence and reference checks.
If you’re a business, the price might be a big factor in your decision-making. HomeAdvisor does not publish the rates for their lead generation services. That means you have to contact the company and go through the process of setting up a profile to see what the charges would be for your business. Ultimately, small businesses that find it difficult to maintain a steady workflow might benefit from a service like HomeAdvisor, but you’ll want to set careful limits on the marketing budget for the account.