Home services websites are really taking off, as they can offer you experienced home contractors to do anything and everything around your house. Learn which one is best, and how you can hire workers safely and cheaply online.
Home services websites are one of the most useful innovations to come to the Internet scene. With just a few clicks, these sites bring all your research into one place, recommending the perfect home contractor or service worker for the jobs you need done around your home. Even Facebook is adding business listings to their repertoire now! Three of the most popular on the market today are Thumbtack, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor, but which one is the best?
In this article, we’ll compare Thumbtack, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor, breaking down all the areas of service you care about, and explaining which one will work best based on the type of work you need done, and where you live. We’ll cover many topics, including:
- Thumbtack review
- Angie’s List review
- HomeAdvisor review
- Comparison table: Thumbtack vs HomeAdvisor vs Angie’s List – membership fees, costs, and more
- Winner: most services offered
- Winner: best rating system
- Winner: best for contractors
- 4 Important FAQs to stay safe and save money using business listing websites
- Other helpful home services articles and resources
Sit back, relax, and learn about which home service website will help you find the best contractors, so you no longer have to do any of the work around your home!
The most specialized services offered
- More variety in the types of pros that advertise using Thumbtack
- The app is very user-friendly
- Cost estimates are free
- Many contractors report difficulty understanding the terms of membership
- Because Thumbtack is newer (relatively), it isn’t available in as many areas
Thumbtack.com isn’t just an advertisement platform for handymen and contractors; it’s a one-stop landing platform for entrepreneurs of all kinds. On Thumbtack, you can find any type of professional you’re looking for – from painters to DJs, magicians to landscapers, personal trainers to wedding planners – absolutely anything you need done, you can find on Thumbtack.
Just create a “project” and then check out bids from local professionals who work in that industry. The estimates are free, so you can search through the prices, company reviews, and business profiles from professionals available to you. You can contact anyone with a listing on the site (in the app/on the site), and then just pick the pro you want and schedule your appointments. It’s that easy!
Best Feature: Thumbtack gained popularity by offering more services than typical local ‘find a contractor’ sites, including professionals in the fields of photography, massage, entertainment, and more.
Angie’s List review
More contractors to choose from to get your work done
- Great customer service including phone support
- Verification process eliminates anonymous or illegitimate professional and business reviews
- More professionals to choose from
- Known for typically costing a bit more due to its popularity and verified legitimacy
- Membership fees for contractors can also be expensive if few leads are generated
AngiesList.com is another one of the sites like Thumbtack, but it focuses on the home, and on finding you the perfect pro to get work done on your home. You can find plumbers, roofers, electricians, landscapers, remodelers, house cleaners, and more.
With Angie’s List, just research professionals based on the type of job you want to do, see what others are saying about them, and then choose the right person for the job. They also perform background checks and guarantee the businesses they advertise on their website, and they have an extensive blog and resource center that can be a great resource for home improvements.
Best Feature: Angie’s List is known for having great customer service, and sticking up for their users if anything goes wrong with the arrangements you make.
They take the work of too much research out of it for you
- HomeAdvisor selects up to 4 professionals only for you to look through after answering questions about your project to save you time and effort
- They have pros suitable for emergency repairs on short notice
- True Cost Guide means you see what other people in your area actually paid for the same services
- Not as many options to choose from because they filter out matches that don’t seem as applicable to your project right from the start
- Membership for contractors and professionals is more costly
HomeAdvisor.com is another great option for finding someone to complete work around your house. To hire someone, simply select a project category that matches what you need done, and answer a few additional questions to find the right professional. All people you are matched with are pre-screened, and available immediately to complete your work – so you don’t have to spend hours looking over pros that are booked for the next 6 weeks!
Best Feature: By matching you with only up to 4 professionals that are right for you, HomeAdvisor takes a lot of extra research work out of finding the right person.
Comparison table: Thumbtack vs HomeAdvisor vs Angie’s List – membership fees, costs, and more
These home professional sites work quite differently for users looking to hire someone, and for professionals looking to list their skills and availability. We’ve broken down our comparison into useful info for users and for professionals. If you’re more interested in what these sites can do for you as a professional, jump down here.
Winner: most services offered
More variety means you’ll get longevity out of using the site. Yes, if you find a good painter one time, that’s great. But if you have a site that can also find you a wedding photographer, masseuse, personal trainer, or anything else you need, it will be more useful to you over time.
Thumbtack offers over 900 unique services in 13 distinctive industries, and offers very specialized work you won’t find on the other two websites, including:
- Translation work into other languages
- Powder coating
- Scrapbooking, quilting, airbrushing, and other craft work
- Logo design
- Meditation and spiritual counseling
- Wardrobe consulting
- Printer and copier repair
…and much more! When it comes to Thumbtack vs. Angie’s List vs. HomeAdvisor, strictly in terms of number of services offered, the other two simply can’t compete.
Winner: best rating system
Ratings are critically important to choosing a person who will come into your home to do any kind of work. The majority of people using home services websites make their decision based on good ratings from previous customers.
All three rating systems are essentially the same: after a customer receives a service, they rate the professional out of 5 stars, and then leave written feedback about their experience. However, HomeAdvisor is the winner here, because they make their contractor and business reviews available for viewing immediately, without needing to provide any information about your project.
You can simply go to the HomeAdvisor directory and choose a service you are interested in, and immediately see which pros are available in your area without needing to answer question after question about what it is you are doing with your home. Just head to the website and shop around at your own leisure.
Winner: best for contractors
Actual quality of contractors is one of the most significant factors to deciding which website to use; when it really
comes down to it, you want to find contractors and professionals who are experienced, and who you know you can trust.
Winner: Angie’s List
Angie’s List is better than Thumbtack and HomeAdvisor in this respect, mainly because it has been around since 1995. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, they have learned how to properly verify workers and match them with users correctly. They also verify all reviews, so that only customers who have actually worked with the professionals listed on the site can provide feedback – not the bother of the painter you want to hire. They also weed out anonymous comments and bots so that you are only every interacting with real humans – 100% of the time.
4 Important FAQs to stay safe and save money using business listing websites
1. Are home services websites always safe to use?
In short – yes, it is safe to use home service websites and hire professionals from a site like Angie’s List, Thumbtack, or HomeAdvisor. The companies listed on that site have to pay to generate business, so they are always serious about the work. They are also verified, and reviewed by other users.
Having said that, there are a few things you should watch out for, to make sure you don’t get taken for a ride, including:
- Professionals with no reviews – Some people using the site might be new, but if they haven’t been reviewed yet – unless you’re in a bind – you may want to consider someone else with some feedback.
- Professionals with bad reviews – Even worse is someone with overly negative feedback, so be sure to avoid anyone with less than 3 stars, and look for people who get 4 or 5-star reviews consistently.
- A person with little to no information on their profile – People who want your business will tell you as much as they can about what they can do for you. If they offer little information or are unspecific about what they do, stay away!
- A contractor who seeks additional payment after you’ve settled things – Though this won’t be clear until after they begin, you can always go back to the website to deal with issues you have with a contractor. Don’t just give out money if something doesn’t seem right!
2. How can I be sure one contractor is better than another?
Reviews are KING on these websites, so be sure to make use of them. You always want to read every business review possible for the professionals and companies you’re considering, both good and bad, to get a good sense of what your experience will be like with them. If you need some help figuring out which reviews are most helpful, check out this article on how to determine if an online review is legitimate.
3. 3 ways to get a deal when finding a contractor
1. Shop around and do your research
Make sure you take a look at both the low-end and high-end of quotes for the service you’re asking for, and in your local area. That way you’ll know what to expect from quotes, and have a good idea of what a deal would actually be. Without that preliminary info, you won’t be able to figure out how to get the best deal.
2. Try more than one website
Make sure you check out multiple sites to see what the going rates are. For various reasons, the average amounts charged for services in your area can be lower or higher on other websites; this is typically due to popularity – as contractors on one website get busier, their prices go up. You can probably find a comparable company listing on another website, and for a little less money.
3. Negotiate directly with the contractor
Just because you received a “quote” from a professional, that doesn’t mean it is set in stone. Once you contact them, give them specific details about the job you need them to do, and ask if they will do it for a little less than they said. If they know you are serious about hiring them, they might consider a lower price.
4. What happens if my contractor cheats me? How do I report foul play?
This depends on the website you’re using specifically, but in general, these are the steps you should take to get an issue resolved, in this order:
- Contact the professional and attempt to resolve it directly with them – If you had an arrangement and they aren’t sticking to it, prove it, and ask them to reconsider.
- Explain your position – Because you hired them through a website, you do have some power. Explain that you will have to report them to attempt to resolve with the professional one more time.
- Contact customer service on the website – Use the phone or chat support available to you (chat if you want a written record) and explain your issue. Provide proof of what has happened so the customer service rep can provide as much help as possible.
- Wait for a response and be vigilant – Make sure to give it time – even up to a few weeks – for the website to sort out the issue. They will likely contract the professional and threaten to shut down the account, so your problem should be resolved once customer service intervenes.
- Take legal action – If all else fails, contact a lawyer or law enforcement (depending on the issue) and try to get it resolved that way.
Other helpful home service articles and resources
- How to Get Your Business on Angie’s List – If you’re a contractor, professional, or company, and want to get listed on a popular business listing website, this step-by-step tutorial will show you how + give you some tips for getting the job done.
- Hiring a Contractor – From the Federal Trade Commission, tips and tricks from a legal standpoint about hiring a contractor for your home.
- 17 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Next Contractor – Ask these questions when doing your research on any home services website. It will save you a lot of trouble in the long-run!
- Best 5 Sites Like Angie’s List to Hire Home Contractors – If none of these sites help you find exactly what you need, check out these additional sites to find what you’re looking for.