After ten years of living in our family home we are starting to make some improvements and updates. (Thank you Jason Farris, Mr. FresYes himself, for getting us into our perfect home!) If you’re not a highly skilled DIYer, a big part of the work of home improvement comes into play before the physical work even begins. That is, finding, negotiating with, and booking experts for your home projects.
In the past month, I’ve successfully had new rain gutters installed, the exterior of our house painted, replaced our flooring, had outdoor lighting replaced, and completed a few other smaller tasks. In the past, my preference has been to ask people I know personally who they’ve used for these services. However, as a busy person I’ve realized I appreciate internet based vetting and booking tools immensely.
While navigating the process of having my most recent improvements completed, I’ve discovered three tools. These made finding skilled and trusted tradespeople much easier, and getting estimates more efficient. In hopes of helping you do the same, I’m sharing my three best sources with you here.
Find Experts on Yelp
When it comes to Yelp, most people think restaurants and entertainment. However, it’s also a great source for finding locally reviewed and vetted businesses within the service & trades industries. You can simply search for the task you need done and find a list of highly reviewed businesses in seconds.
What’s really great though, is their Yelp’s online estimate and messaging service. Any business with the button, “Request a Quote”, will allow you to answer a few questions about your needs. In return you will receive either a customized estimate or next steps from the business you contacted.
The feature that is really helpful is the option to request estimates from multiple businesses during the same request process. Sometimes, the first business I contact isn’t the fastest to respond, but one of the other 2 are. Then I can read their reviews, consider their estimate, and potentially get my job done faster.
Find Experts on Thumbtack
There may be people who already know about Thumbtack in our area, but it was totally new to me. When I chose painters for our home, I had found them on Yelp. They only had one review and that made me slightly wary. However, the one review was very promising. Their price was the best, and they were kind, knowledgeable, and responsive so I moved ahead with booking their services.
I mentioned that I saw one review on Yelp and they told me that most of their reviews are on Thumbtack. I looked it up and found an entirely free app. It allows you to search, message, get estimates, and read reviews. These listings are even more robust that those currently on Yelp. (Though that number is growing.)
Using Thumbtack is intuitive, easy, and so far I’ve booked an electrician (who came out same day, on a Saturday, solved a major problem, and charged us less than we expected!) and a junk hauler (who arrived on time, also charged less than expected, and was super responsive, and did great work). You can use the service on the web, or download the Thumbtack app for free from the Google Play or iTunes store on your mobile device.
Find Experts on Local Facebook Marketplace Groups
Local Buy, Sell, Trade groups on Facebook are also a great place to find reviewed tradespeople. Many post their services in those groups, as the advertising is free, but what I also see are a lot of people posting in search of help with a specific task. They do get a ton of great comments from others either recommending someone they used (and usually tagging them) or people who can provide the service themselves offering their work (typically with links to proof of their past work quality or their own Facebook pages with additional information).
Home improvements can be a headache while in progress, however, when you find great experts, the projects are completed faster, done right the first time, and you can enjoy the results for years to come. I hope the tools I’ve found that made my improvements easier, can be of help to you too!
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