I first heard of ServiceMagic a few years ago, when the ridge vent on my roof blew off, the weather forecast predicted torrential rains, and I needed someone to come fix my roof and fast. A neighbor recommended I put in a request through ServiceMagic’s website–a site that helps regular folks like you and me find contractors, like someone to fix my roof. I took my neighbor’s advice and within minutes of hitting the “send” button, I had roofers calling me to bid on my job. The guy we hired to fix the roof was out by 6:00 that night and before the first rain drop fell.
In case you’re not familiar with it, ServiceMagic is a free service that you use when you need to hire someone for a job around the house. You click through the ServiceMagic site to describe what you need to get done, how quickly you’re looking to start the job, and then ServiceMagic gives you a list of recommended contractors–all of which pay to be on ServiceMagic and which ServiceMagic pre-screens before adding to their list.
Like eBay you can read the contractor’s feedback so you have a good sense from other consumers what the people are like to work with. At this point ServiceMagic sends these contractors your contact information and the good ones know to call right way. In most instances I’ve hired the first contractor that called–not that I didn’t meet with the second, third and fourth people who called, but I found that based on personality and professionalism, the first person to get in touch was usually the winner.
Since that roof emergency I’ve used ServiceMagic nearly a dozen times–when our water heater stopped working, when our sump pump went on the fritz, when our washing machine stopped washing (and the manufacturer couldn’t get someone out to my house for a month, I called in a ServiceMagic-recommended technician instead), when I needed my gutters cleaned and, most recently when we needed to have our hardwood floors refinished. I’ve even used ServiceMagic when the company that our home warranty program sent did a so-so job fixing our air conditioning. (I ended up letting the home warranty expire, knowing that ServiceMagic had my back.)
I know that many people swear by Angie’s List, but I’m too frugal to pay for a service of recommended contractors when I can get them for free via ServiceMagic. And speaking of money I’ve always felt that the contractors I’ve hired charged fair and affordable fees. More importantly they did a great job. That’s why, though it’s been months since I’ve given one of these out, I’m giving ServiceMagic my Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval.