Angie's List: A Better Alternative to Craigslist for Finding Local Contractors
After so many bad experiences with Craigslist, I finally gave up and bought a subscription to Angie’s List. For those of you who don’t know, Angie’s List is the nation’s largest provider of consumer reviews and ratings on all types of local service providers, from home contractors to doctors / dentists to nannies and babysitters.
Angie’s List has been around for a while (it was launched back in 1995) that has unbiased detailed ratings scorecards for over 240,000 service providers in over 140 US cities and metro areas. The downside of Angie’s List, however, is that you have to pay to access its listings. Membership costs $4.25 per month, or $49 per year, plus a $10 per month initial signup fee - although you can save around 70% off if you sign up for an annual subscription - plus an additional 20% off using the coupon code below). The way I look at it, though, compared to the hundreds if not thousands of dollars you’ll be investing with your contractor, an Angie’s List subscription fee is a small price to pay. Read on for more details on where Angie’s List shines and where it falls short.
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If you hire contractors frequently, it is well worth it to get an annual subscription. If you only need it for one job, I’d recommend going with a one month subscription and use it on a one-off basis. Currently, Angie’s List has over 650,000 subscribers who submit 20,000 reviews each month, so there’s plenty of reviews to help guide your hiring decision. I live in the Minneapolis area, and the coverage of listings and reviews has been great.
So far through the service, I have hired a painter and a plumber - both have been excellent experiences, the communication was great and very professional, and the work completed was superb. I submitted rave reviews for both, and I’m sure they’re both getting great business based on their great work. We also hired our nanny through the service, and she’s been one of our best hires. We really feel that Angie’s List has become an indispensable resource for finding trustworthy professionals and caregivers for our home and family. See a more complete list of provider types covered on Angie’s List.
Here’s a sample report card you’ll see on a typical Angie’s List review:
Is Angie’s List available in your area? During the sign up process, you’ll be able to select your region. If it’s not listed, then you’re out of luck. However, with over 140 cities covered currently, chances are good you’ll be able to find your city. But also here’s a map that provides details on the number of listings in each area.
And if you’re wondering who “Angie” actually is, she’s the company’s founder and you can see her in this TV interview:
While my experiences with Angie’s List thus far have been good, I’d love to hear your experiences as well. Share them here! Learn more about Angie’s List.
Some other good services you might be interested in - Service Magic and Renovation Experts and CalFinder are free home contractor search sites which require a little more homework but can save you money. Sittercity and Care.com are services dedicated to finding great local sitters and nannies.