For construction projects big and small, the right contractor is crucial to success. While for decades finding a contractor was a word-of-mouth game built on personal references, today’s modern world is filled with seemingly endless online apps and platforms that give users almost instant access to contractors.
But not every app is built the same. These online job providers, from TaskRabbit to Fiverr to Home Advisor, have different pros and cons. Depending on a consumer’s need, one of these online job providers may prove to be better than another. Whether a consumer is simply looking for a short-term handyman or a contractor for a long-term project, based on consumer and industry reviews, take a look at some of the differences between five of the major online job providers in the construction industry to see which platforms you may consider participating in.
TaskRabbit matches clients with a wide range of contract workers. According to TaskRabbit, consumers have a bigger pool of contractors to choose from, whether they’re looking for services like house painting, repairs, installations, or beyond. Plus, all freelance workers on TaskRabbit are given a background check.
One of the major cons for TaskRabbit is price. Though using the platform is free (a consumer can do so on a web browser or on mobile device), a number of fees are added on to the base hourly rate of contractors. One of these fees goes towards the safety vetting process, however, so clients may find this additional payment worthwhile.
Another popular platform is Angi, which can be used for construction needs as well as a large variety of tasks such as childcare, pet sitting, event planning, and beyond. Free to use (though a paid membership option is available), Angi allows consumers to browse through contractors for any job. They have a verified review system that allows consumers to see others’ experiences with those contractors as well.
There are some negatives to browsing with Angi — the platform even offers free resources such as a pricing guide, to see average pricing on a project. Some find the variety of options presented overwhelming, considering it isn’t a construction-specific platform, but it’s used quite a bit by contractors in every niche.
Fiverr is often brought up as an alternative to TaskRabbit, as it’s a platform for freelancers across all types of industries. It is free to use — but unfortunately, there’s very little screening of candidates at this free level. Additionally, while Fiverr can be a great starting point for design services (landscaping or interior design), construction and handyman projects aren’t a key focus on Fiverr.
Thumbtack is another online platform — available on mobile or on desktop — that connects consumers with professionals on a variety of projects, including home improvement. It offers an up to $1,000 money-back guarantee on projects, and assigns a “Top Pro” badge to trusted contractors who pay for a higher level of verified account. Consumers can also explore verified reviews of contractors before hiring.
Similarly to Angi, Thumbtack provides free resources as well such as project cost estimates and how-to guides, to empower clients throughout any project. There is also a lot of competition on the app, which can be beneficial for contractors whose work gets top reviews.
Finally, Home Advisor, another online platform, is free to use, and a key selling point is the specificity of projects. Home Advisor focuses solely on services for the home, making it the place to look for niche needs such as garage door installations, repairing a furnace, building a deck, and beyond. It provides cost estimates for thousands of projects, and pre-screens the professionals in its network. Clients can rate and review contractors after a service as well.
On the flip side, however, not having a paywall means that many consumers visiting Home Advisor may not be serious about looking for services. They may just be looking for inspiration and ideas for a project.