There's a reason why there are cocktail napkins that say "Do you know where my contractor is."
Hiring someone for ANY size home repair or renovation project can be nail biting for all of us, even those use to talking about it. While all of us have a punch list of projects we'd like to get started on, the process of finding someone really good can send a gal to pop an aspirin. Don't we all worry the estimate will run over? And isn't there hand wringing once we get estimates as to who to pick?? As we know, you get what you pay for but what about if you have no idea what the fair market value is?
HomeAdvisor to the rescue.
This FREE site for consumers can search for pre-screened service professionals using their ProFinder service so let them play PI and look into their criminal record, finances and appropriate licensing. You have better things to do like check the Pro Reviews and read from real customers what their experience was like. Then like match.com, they set up service providers with homeowners based on the homeowners needs. With over 300 different types of projects categories, you'll find your help here.
One thing contractors go on and on about is how the customer doesn't always have realistic expectations and I think it's because most of us haven't ever dealt with a broken water heater before or rewiring a room or whatever needs to be done. To help homeowners, they have a killer new Cost Guide tab that allows you to look at what different services costs from real people around the country. This is sooo helpful because if I get a bid for painting that is way under or over what's listed here, it helps me ask better questions (did you include primer? one coat of paint or two?).
Lastly, because home emergencies never happen at a good time, they have a Home911 app that puts you in touch with someone at HomeAdvisor 24/7 and find the support you need for say... Thanksgiving night when the oven goes out. Just saying...
And there (FREE) tools are coming like a design space that allows homeowners to create a folder full of inspirational images for their contractor to better understand what they want and we'll even be able to create a mood board for each room in just a few months.
This is one site worth shouting about.