Recommended home services websites for Metro Vancouver
Formerly, for long distance movers, finding home services after you moved into a house meant asking your new neighbours if they knew a good handyman or cleaner. Or perhaps looking at the yellow pages. But the digital age has drastically changed how we shop for just about everything. This includes home services. This ranges from getting plumbing, heating or renovation services to housecleaning. In this article we’ll discuss great places you can find home services online in the Metro Vancouver area.
Before we start, keep in mind learning to find home services online isn’t just valuable after your move. It can be wise to hire a knowledgeable plumber or electrician to inspect a house before you decide to move into your new home. Even hiring an interior designer or decorator to plan your move ahead of time can be a good idea, which we covered in this blog.
Several places to find home services online
Angie’s List — Requires you to sign up for a membership, but offers a good vetting system that helps weed out potentially bad home service providers. The site guarantees real reviews from real reviewers — not companies or other third parties pretending to be customers. Members also have access to a complaint resolution team if a deal goes badly, although the website does not state exactly what the team will do to solve the issue.
Handy.com — Instead of displaying a slew of independent businesses, this website takes your order and then sends a verified professional handyman or cleaner to your house. Simply select the type of job you need done and type the details into the comments box. You’ll receive an estimated cost and if you approve, Handy.com will send a professional right to your doorstep.
Yelp — is a good place to start looking for professional help with your new house. The site sports a review-and-comment system which can help you get a good idea whether or not your potential handyman, house cleaner or moving company will be a good fit. Contact information and self descriptions are also provided.
Craigslist.com — gives a barebones approach to finding a handyman or cleaner. There are no comments or ratings for any provider. Purveyors simply post an ad and wait for people to respond. This site lacks any kind of filtering system that allows customers to see if the companies have provided good service in the past. That’s not to say you can’t find good home services online with Craigslist, but you should be more careful before hiring anyone who cannot provide references or credentials.
Homestars.com — Also uses a review-and-comment system. But this online home service search tool also allows for ‘assisted reviews’ which are collected by the company/provider (not the website!) and approved by the client. This results in a greater volume of reviews, which can make it helpful to see how well the company performs on average. Of course, it can also inflate the amount of positive reviews because it is very unlikely assisted reviews will appear for bad service. That said, there appear to be a lot of unassisted (normal) reviews, so it’s not like the site is running only on comments collected by the home service providers.
Houzz.com — Is like the Yelp, Facebook, Pinterest mashup of higher-end home design. The emphasis here is not on finding everyday home services online such as cleaning, plumbing or electrical wiring. This site caters to people who are looking for renovators, architects, interior designers and landscapers. In other words, if you want an extreme makeover for your home, look here! The site offers the usual rate-and-comment system, but also goes the extra mile in allowing companies to post entire photo albums that showcase their work. The site interface also encourages you to save, email, or even post the shots on social media.
The sites above are just a few examples of where you can find home service providers. There are way too many sites to list, but we’d suggest also looking at Yellow Pages, Google Plus Business profiles, usedvancouver.com, and Kijiji.
Online ratings alone aren’t enough when looking for a good home service!
While many of these sites have rating systems, you cannot rely on user comments alone. There have been reports of businesses masquerading as customers on the various review sites and giving themselves good ratings. Some even go as far as to buy reviews from reputation-enhancement firms that promise to boost ratings on sites such as Yelp. So it’s wise to check with other bodies such as the Better Business Bureau before hiring a company for a home service job.
Vancouver Movers Guide, by Ferguson Moving & Storage
As Vancouver’s longest running moving company, we’ve picked up a few helpful tips for new movers. This blog is where we share our wisdom, tips, and other helpful bits for new movers in the greater Vancouver area.