The Top 11 Online Sites to Find Your Next Home Contractor

It is easy to decide that your home needs some work.

You now need to find a contractor. Not just any contractor, but someone who can do the work you need. This is not to scare you!

Instead, I want to help you prepare for what might be a very frustrating process.

Finding great contractors is one the most frustrating and difficult parts of any home renovation project."

- Me, after completing my first project.

There are many questions that can be asked.

  • How can you find these top-quality contractors for a high-quality construction or remodeling experience?
  • How can I be sure I won't be screwed?
  • Do I get a callback or a reply?
  • Are they able to do it in the timeframe I require?
  • Are they will actually show up at the job site?
  • Are they will disappear mid-project, or they may delay the project for weeks or even months?

Do not get me wrong, I have excellent relationships with some contractors I found online. Our relationship has been ongoing and many things have gone well. There were also some nightmare situations that I had to go through, so it is important to be prepared early in the process.

I was just moving to the area, had no friends, and wasn't part of any investor or real estate network. So I did what most of you are looking to do now - went online to see who I could find.

How We Rank The Top Online Contractor Website Resources?

This article will cover the top 11 online resources for finding contractors. This is the first half of my list. These are sites that I used on the last project. These resources are ranked in order of their usefulness and value. This is my experience with a home renovation that took six months. Your experience may be different. Although the last half of this list is very well researched, I used them almost never or not at all. I share my experiences with companies that I have worked with. I also offer some tips and tricks to make your journey easier.

1. Thumbtack

Thumbtack was founded in 2008 and is a website for home contractors. It also serves as a platform to connect project-seekers with nearly any type of professional. They offer 500 service types on their website. 

  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Landscaping
  • Full Kitchen Renovation
  • Roof Repair
  • Handyman Services
  • Electrical
  • Flooring
  • Drywall
  • Doors and Windows
  • Finalize Work

Use Thumbtack

Register for a free account to get the most out of Thumbtack. You can register with Thumbtack using either a Google account or a Facebook account. If you don't find what you are looking for, you can use Thumbtack's search tool to enter your zip code and see the results.

Thumbtack's website, despite offering so many services, is organized well. It's easy to find what you're looking for. Thumbtack offers a free app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for those who prefer apps. It is easy to use and clean. You can send out bids and search for contractors directly from the messaging system. You can also set up appointments and phone calls to follow up.

Why Thumbtack Is My Favorite (No, this is not a paid endorsement)?

Thumbtack was the best online resource I used to find contractors for my project. It is estimated that around 80% of my renovations were done by contractors I found through Thumbtack. My Thumbtack profile shows that I completed several projects during the renovation. They seem to have some great contractors, no matter what they do.

Reviews are a key feature of any site that features reviews.

Review sites for contractors online help to hold them accountable.

It's not coincidental that contractors can't be found online or have a good public image, creating an environment where people have little to lose. This means that they can steal your money, disappear on or simply go silent, almost always without any consequence. While I did find some great contractors, there were also those who swindled me out of money, materials, and time.

If your kitchen looks something like the image on the left, and you are in the middle or final stages of your kitchen renovation project, you will want the right contractor. This is the left side of a three-week-long full-time kitchen remodeling project.

2. Google Maps/Google Search

Nearly every legitimate business has a Google presence. Or you will be left behind as a business. This isn't to say that there aren't many great contractors out there. If you aren't a full-time developer, flipper, or builder, you probably don't have the access you need. This is how it is. They're usually booked for months and don't have the time or desire to find more work. Each business model is unique and every company is set up differently. Google is the best search engine for our purposes. These are the ways that I used Google search to locate the right contractor or company.

Use the Regular Google Search

In the search box, type the name of the contractor you are looking for. Although Google tends to narrow down local companies, I prefer to type in my zip code or area. For example, "painting contractors 33901" would be a good choice. "painting contractors Tampa, FL" is another. You should be able to get close enough.

Use Google Maps

It's even more fun to first type the search phrases and then click on the Google Map that appears when you hit the Search button. This will take you to the map so that you can see the people around you. It also shows all the information on the left side panel, including reviews. Scroll down to find contractors you may be interested in a quote. Google Maps is an excellent way to find reliable contractors near you. There are usually lots of companies and reviews to view.

Another Tip For Bidding:

Another tip for getting bids from contractors who are listed online is what I would like to share. Many will tell you that there is a general rule of thumb for how many bids you should get. Many will tell you to get at least three bids, or even five. I'm here to tell you:

Request bids from everyone.

Another tip for getting bids from contractors who are listed online is what I would like to share. Many will tell you that there is a general rule of thumb for how many bids you should get. Many will tell you to get at least three bids, or even five. I'm here to tell you:

3. Craigslist

It might surprise you to see Craigslist here since you are looking for reliable contractors. But listen up. If you're able to use Craigslist properly, it can be a great site. Craigslist has a strong reputation. It was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995. He then took it online in 1996. Craigslist can seem overwhelming especially if you're a first-timer. There are many contractors who will not only list their services but also seek work and look at your postings.

Using Craigslist

Craigslist can be used in a variety of ways to help you find your next contractor.

  1. 1
    Search the "services" section. Type the desired home contracting service in the search bar. Click on the listing you like, read about it, and then decide whether you want to contact them by text, email, or calling.
  2. 2
    In the "jobs section", post a job description. To keep costs down, you can list your job under multiple categories such as general labor or skilled trade. However, it is best to limit the number of jobs to one or two. Posting in each category is expensive. You may be able to get hits if your city is large enough. However, it will cost you money.
  3. 3
    You can post a gig in the "gigs” section at the bottom of the main screen. I wish this was sooner, and I discovered it at the beginning of my project rather than later. Sometimes, I needed general labor help with landscaping and similar jobs. I would post the gig at $5 at 6 a.m. by 8 a.m. I would have 25 responses emails from people looking for work. This is a good area to concentrate on for general labor assistance, rather than skilled labor.

Although Craigslist is a great option, you will most likely need to feel comfortable using it.

  1. 1
    Cash payments
  2. 2
    You will be on-site all the time.
  3. 3
    Comfortable with strangers in your home, even if you are alone.
  4. 4
    It is not easy to work with crazy timelines and schedules.

It is possible. I have done it for many of my own projects. If you wish, you can verify the ID of the applicant and run a background check at $20-30. You should at least have a contract. I admit that sometimes, the chaos of a complete fix-n-flip renovation combined with the energy efficiency and part of it meant that I didn't have enough energy. Although nothing happened, it was an error in retrospect.

Here are some more points about Craigslist and why it's a good resource:

Craigslist has a hidden email address that is used to search for contractors. This is for safety purposes. This means that you don't need to give out your personal contact information unless you choose to.

Craigslist is not as efficient as the other websites for home contracting that we have discussed and the ones on the rest. If you have used Craigslist for other services in the past, it should be possible to find a contractor using the site.

If you're looking for ultra-localized services, Craigslist delivers. Craigslist will provide you with a search engine that allows you to find local listings. You can also narrow down the results by how far you live. To expand your search, you can search in nearby cities and towns. Craigslist also supports languages like Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

4. HomeAdvisor

HomeAdvisor was created by and merged into Angi (Angie's List). It has almost as long-lasting longevity. HomeAdvisor was originally created in 1998 and was known then as ServiceMagic. Although the name HomeAdvisor didn't stick, the services offered by HomeAdvisor remained the same. Their services are all about connecting homeowners and contractors for home remodeling, home maintenance, and homebuilding. HomeAdvisor prescreens all contractors they accept to ensure that you don't have any concerns about their quality.

You'll see a lot of similarities between HomeAdvisor and Angi. But not enough to say that HomeAdvisor isn't worth your time. It also has a Pro Network that allows contractors to connect.

HomeAdvisor is a great way to find contractors

You can search contractors for a project from the HomeAdvisor homepage without creating an account. You have the following options:

  • Home additions
  • Porches
  • Decks
  • Fences
  • Electrical
  • Gutters
  • Roofing
  • Doors and Windows
  • Tree and Lawn Services
  • Cleaning Services
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Plumbing

If none of these project areas appeal to you, you can use the search bar to search for what you are looking for. HomeAdvisor will even suggest options like HVAC or painting. Next, you will need to go through the process and answer a number of questions just like you would with Thumbtack or Angi.

First, put in your zip code. HomeAdvisor will ask you questions about painting services, such as if your goal is to paint stucco trim or exterior walls, and if you are looking for paint removal. You can view a complete list of contractors along with their pricing for the service that you have requested by answering additional questions and entering your address.

Why HomeAdvisor Is a Good Resource?

Although I didn't use them for my project, other than to solicit bids, the range of projects on HomeAdvisor was impressive. HomeAdvisor allows you to see the information quickly, unlike other contracting sites, which can hide work quotes.

5. Angi (Formerly Angie’s List)

Angie's List is a popular home services website. It was founded in 1995 by William S. Oesterle and Angie Hicks. Angie's List today is Ani. This is not just a name change. You could access Angie's List to read reviews about contractors and other businesses from its inception until 2016. In 2016, Angie's List became a subscription-only site, making it difficult to find the information the site is known for. The good news? Since becoming Angi, its services are now free to use again. Although the Pro Network is still available, it is only for business people.

Using Angi

You can search for the service you need on the Angi homepage. Next, enter your zip code to tell Angi what kind of work you need. For example, if you need electrical work done at your home, you have the option to choose from vehicle charging station installation, lightning protection, telephone systems, or electrical system work. Angi will also ask you questions about your project, such as whether you are interested in financing it and how flexible you are with your deadlines. After answering all these questions, you will be connected to pros in your local area.

Why We Like Them?

Angi remains the same reliable service that it was in 1995, despite the name change. It has been online for more than 25 years, which is a huge accomplishment. It's understandable why they went subscription-only for a while, but even better is the fact that you can access many of the features on Angi's site today without having to be a subscriber. This allows homeowners to compare their options without any strings attached.

6. Houzz

Houzz can help you if you are looking for home design, decoration, or remodeling ideas. The company, which is based in California, was founded in 2009 and boasts more than 17,000,000 users at the time of writing.

Houzz connects you with contractors and can also be used to find the inspiration you need for designing or remodeling the home of your dreams. For the sake of this article, we'll be focusing on their contracting services. Here are a few of the services Houzz is known for:

  • Solar energy
  • HVAC
  • Painting
  • Window treatments
  • Roofing
  • Landscaping
  • Doors
  • Fireplaces
  • Building a home

Using Houzz

Houzz allows you to register on their website or log in with Google. However, browsing on Houzz doesn't require an existing account. You will need an active login if you wish to contact a contractor that you like. Houzz provides a listing of contractors that can help you find the service you are looking for. You can click to expand each contractor listing. It includes their full name, a photo, and a portion of one review. The contractor's star rating, number of reviews, and address can all be viewed. Houzz will reveal the number of the contractor by tapping the "click-to-call" button. You don't need an account to expand any listing and view all reviews, as well as additional photos. To help other homeowners, you can also leave a review.

Why We Like Them?

Houzz makes collaborating with contractors so simple and convenient. Without registering for an account, you can view all information about a contractor such as their address or phone number. You can register for an account free of charge and connect with contractors through Houzz’s messaging system. It's also nice to have a photo collection to look through for ideas on home renovations.

7. Porch

Next up on our list is Porch. It was established in 2013. Porch was home to 1.5 million contractors and other professionals when it went online. It has only grown from there. Porch claims that their reach has grown to more than 8,000 companies each month and to 65 percent of American homebuyers. This is no small feat. Porch's website is simple to use and makes it easy to find a service. Here's a list of services Porch can be used for:

  • Concrete contracting
  • Roofing
  • Homebuilding
  • Carpet cleaning
  • HVAC
  • Cabinetry
  • House cleaning
  • Extermination and pest control
  • Fencing
  • Landscaping
  • Tree services
  • Deck building
  • Paving and asphalt work
  • Plumbing
  • House painting
  • Lawn care
  • General contracting
  • Electricians
  • Locksmiths

Porch offers a wide range of categories to help you find the right contractor for your project.

Using Porch

You can also search for contractors in other areas using the search bar at Porch's homepage. When you search, you will be asked for your zip code. After you provide some details about the project, contractors will be connected to you. Porch offers a Property Protection Plan, which uses personalized matching to make connections with professionals of higher quality. Porch staff can reach out to you via Home Assistance to check on your project or answer any questions. Porch can be reached by phone if you prefer to speak with someone rather than answering questions via their website.

Why We Like Them?

Porch is a popular website among homeowners. It's easy to see why. Porch is a great way to find contractors without having to log in. Porch allows you to talk to the team by phone, unlike other home contracting sites we have discussed.

8. Yelp

Yelp is a popular directory that's well-known for its restaurants and other services. However, they also offer a solid list of contractors who can help you with your home. You can search for contractors by typing "contractors" in Yelp. Depending on where you live, there will be contractors who are able to assist you.

  • General contractors
  • Remodeling
  • Fences
  • Countertops
  • Concrete
  • Swimming Pools
  • Closets & Cabinets
  • Kitchen
  • Decks
  • Paving Services

How to Use Yelp?

Without logging in, you can search the homepage for contractors and the type of work that you need. After you have selected your project type and location, the directory will show you a list of well-reviewed, experienced contractors along with a map. You can request a quote from each contractor by clicking the Request a Quote button. Each contractor will have a typical response time so that you can reach out to whomever you wish.

Why We Like Them?

It was founded in 2004 and has been around for a while. It is easy to use and quick. It looks like they have recently added nice badges to display to the contractors.

  • Verified License
  • Veteran-owned & operated
  • Certified Professionals
  • Locally owned & operated
  • Emergency services
  • Family-owned & operated
  • Virtual estimates

9. Pro Referral

You likely do a lot of home improvement shopping at Home Depot. You might be interested in Pro Referral, which is a service offered by Home Depot (previously, it was Red Beacon, Inc.).

Pro Referral is a company whose goal is to help homeowners find contractors for their next home improvement projects. Pro Referral has only three steps. First, describe the type of contracting service that you are looking for. This could include landscaping, glass replacements, carpentry or painting.

How to Use Pro Referral?

Pro Referral will then connect you with contractors in your local area. Review their credentials and see the reviews left by other Pro Referral users. After you have selected a few contractors that you like, submit a request for Pro Referral. You'll hear back from the contractor(s), sometimes within 24 hours, and sometimes sooner.

Pro Referral will keep your information safe until you hire a contractor. The contractor can only see the most pertinent information about you and nothing else. Pro Referral is completely free but you will need to create an account in order to connect with pros.

Why We Like Them?

Pro Referral is backed by Home Depot which makes them more reliable. You have the option to choose how you want to contact contractors, via email or by phone.

10. Homeflock

Ever wish you could view a contractor's public records, including any blemishes. Homeflock is the best option. Their website is designed to give you a complete picture of home contractors. Homeflock staff has searched through building permit data and linked up with state licensing agencies to bring you this information. This data allows you to review contractor reviews, information about the owner, employee numbers, corporate history, and other relevant information. Homeflock allows you to reach out to an old client before you hire them. A contractor's customer satisfaction index can be viewed on Homeflock.

To get started, you just need to search for the contracting category that best matches your project. These are the options available to you:

  • Plumbing
  • Landscaping
  • Handyman work
  • Electrical
  • Plastering
  • General contracting
  • Carpentry
  • Wood flooring
  • Painting
  • HVAC
  • Home design

Using Homeflock

You will need to know the name of the contractor and their state if you want to use Homeflock’s search function. You can also search permits in these categories by choosing your state or city. You don't need to log in to Homeflock to use it.

Why We Like Them?

Homeflock offers a new way to search for information about home contractors. It's possible to get the details of any contractor that Houzz or Angi doesn't provide. We recommend that you use Homeflock with the other sites to get all the information about a contractor.

11. ServiceWhale

ServiceWhale is the last website that I recommend for finding trustworthy contractors. They say that homeowners can spend as much as 30 hours searching for contractors and comparing quotes. This is something I can attest to, and would probably estimate more for larger projects. ServiceWhale was established to help homeowners save more time. ServiceWhale uses quoting technology to give faster quotes and make quicker decisions.

Using ServiceWhale

Once you have received a few quotes, ServiceWhale allows you to organize them according to the criteria you care about, such as contractor rating, location, and most expensive quotes. You can also call a contractor to clarify any questions about project pricing through ServiceWhale.

Don't be discouraged if a contractor doesn't give you a great quote. ServiceWhale allows you to negotiate quotes. Their website states that "every price" on ServiceWhale can be negotiated. You can negotiate a better deal if you feel you have the best offer.

ServiceWhale offers its customers a ServiceWhale guarantee that will pay the difference if the contractor raises the cost of service after they have already provided a quote.

Why We Like Them?

ServiceWhale is about simplifying your life to make it easier for you to complete your home remodeling and home building projects faster. If you prefer to track your quotes directly from your smartphone, they offer a free app in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You can also negotiate for a lower price, which is something that you don't see very often on these types of websites.

These 11 websites are great for finding reliable contractors. You can use more than one of these websites to simplify your search for contractors. Each project is unique, each situation and every person's needs are different. Although there was much to be done and many resources available, these should give you a good start.

Last, I want to mention that you might need to map out your plans and specific needs before you begin this process. You'll find the best contractor online if you are as specific as possible and do your research.