Innovation That Matters

Home-repair bidding site prescreens contractors

Property & Construction

Anyone who’s ever owned a home has probably either heard or experienced their own horror stories involving less-than-entirely-honest building contractors and the havoc they can wreak. Aiming to put an end to the uncertainty involved in such situations, Florida-based BidABuilder now offers a way for homeowners to solicit bids from only the most carefully prescreened contractors. Homeowners with work to be done on their property simply post a project for free on BidABuilder’s site, giving listed contractors an opportunity to bid for the work. Not just any contractor can participate on the site, however—to be included, they must provide photo ID, license and insurance info, as well as submit to a criminal background check revealing all infractions. Those who pass BidABuilder’s stringent requirements are notified of new projects in real time via email, mobile and the web; from there, they can submit bids or request site inspections. After a one-time setup fee of USD 29.95, contractors pay bid prices based on the estimated value of the project, starting at USD 4. Once all the bids are in, the homeowner then chooses the contractor he or she would like to do the work. After the work is done, the homeowner can then rate the contractor to help guide other users of the site. A forthcoming reward-point system, meanwhile, will offer homeowners discounts and prizes for frequent use. In a world that’s positively flooded with directories and bidding boards for construction jobs—but little in the way of formal evaluation—BidABuilder’s focus on prescreening is a smart strategy that offers considerable benefits for both contractors and for homeowners. Currently, however, the site serves only US users; one to partner with or emulate in other parts of the world? (Related: Handywomen take on construction.) Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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