Home Advisor vs Angie's List vs Thumbtack vs Redbeacon: Local Home Improvement Professional Sites Compared
If you’re looking for help from a local home improvement professional, there are a handful of sites out there that can help you with this. Here are just a few of them so you can compare.
Home Advisor has more than 2 million pro reviews available. The main aspects of the site are often free. The service has also been used by more than 30 million homeowners over the site’s history. The site is focused on making it easier to find people quickly. They even have an orange “get started” button to make everything more intuitive.
- Intuitive Site Design-It’s easy to navigate the site because the buttons are prominently displayed so you know where to go next each time.
- Easy Matching Questions-After you decide that you want a particular home improvement type, such as bathroom remodeling, all you have to do then is fill out the questionnaire which asks a lot of “yes or no” questions, so you can get through it all quickly.
- Search by City-Once you’re in a particular topic, like bathroom remodeling, you can click on one of the cities at the bottom of the page, or just enter your zip code. You can then hit “Get a Quote” in orange for any of the companies listed to get started.
Angie’s List is easily one of the more famous sites for finding local home improvement companies. The site claims over 3 million members. There’s a small fee for getting started with the site, but there are often a lot of listings.
- 20% Off Coupons-If you hang out on the front page for a minute, you’ll often get coupons coming up like 20% off your order. This is through coupon, though, so it’s worth checking and writing it down.
- Live Concierge Support-The site will actually actively help you find a pro that works for your particular situation. They will also help to fix any trouble you have with the pro and schedule all of the work.
- 110% Money Back Guarantee-You’ll get more than your initial money back if you’re unsatisfied with your subscription.
Thumbtack has a modern site with some emphasis on mobile solutions through the Apple Store. The site gets 3.2 million requests a year, and they have more than 400,000 pros to choose from.
- Mobile App-You can get an app for Thumbtack on the iPhone through the Apple store, and there’s even a way to text a link to yourself through the main site towards the bottom. You can send requests and get quotes right through your mobile device.
- Quick Contact Button-The “Contact us” link is in orange in the bottom left corner at the top of the site. You have to put in a question there, and then you’ll get sent to an FAQ page based on the question. At this point, you can contact someone with the “none of these are helpful, get in touch” button at the bottom of the box that pops up. This won’t be live chat, but rather it will be an email form.
- Emphasis on Safety-The site tries to remind you to make sure you check pictures, credentials, and so on before agreeing to anything.
Redbeacon has been listed on the New York Times, Tech Crunch, and the San Francisco Chronicle. RedBeacon was acquired by Home Depot in January 2012, and is now called Pro Referral, and is available everywhere.
- Advice from Pros in 24 Hours-If you click this link with the same text on the same page, you can get free advice on any home improvement topic, including even uploading an image if you want. They’ll get it to you in a day.
- Q & A Knowledge Section-If you click on this section from the menu in the top right, you can see other Q & A questions posted online that could relate to a question that you have. This will include pictures many times. This is likely why you can ask an expert for free, they use these questions to help other people.
- Android and iPhone Apps-You have your choice of either Android or iPhone for using an app through the service.
Head to Head
Using the service for Home Advisor is always free, and they usually have at least half a dozen companies for any one category and city.
Angie’s List is definitely a bit annoying about price in that they make you message them with your information and the “get price” button before they’ll give it to you on the site. The plans are usually around a little over $3 per month for the most basic plans. This also can sometimes include a $5 startup fee, though this is sometimes waived based on longer term subscriptions. This is often cut to as low as $10 per year. The exact price fluctuates based on what listings you want in specific.
The pricing on Thumbtack is pretty specific. You have to fill out exactly what home improvement service you want. Signing up initially is completely free, and it remains so for customers. What you pay for is at least partially listing a business if you’re on that side of things. This seems to indicate that the site makes money mostly on the professional side.
Making requests through RedBeacon (Pro Referral) also appears to be free if you’re a customer.
Home Advisor lets you search by categories, and it shows you the top categories to make things easier. This includes bathrooms, carpet, landscape, kitchens and many other areas related to home improvement.
The support team for Angie’s List is available until 9 PM ET on normal hours, and until 5 on Saturday. They offer extensive help with pros.
Thumbtack emphasizes safety, both with an entire link dedicated to this at the bottom of the main page, and also through the extensive info you can get one each person, including pictures, credentials and other data.
Redbeacon lets you ask experts questions for free and get a response within 24 hours. This makes it a good choice for beginners.