Where Do You Go to Find a Contractor?

A new study shows digital-age home owners most often rely on old-fashioned means to find home improvement contractors.

In the digital world of Craigslist and Angie’s List, how do home owners prefer to find andhire contractors?

In a very non-digital way: by personal referral. In addition, to make their final hiring decision, consumers rank client references as most important.

The results come from a two-part consumer survey conducted in May 2012 by Buildzoom.com, a contractor-finding service.

Survey says

During the discovery phase, when consumers “create a pool of prospective options,” home owners most often find contractors through (in order of preference):

  • Personal referrals
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Google
  • Yellow Pages
  • Angie’s List
  • Yelp
  • Craigslist
  • ServiceMagic

Interestingly, those consumers who were highly dissatisfied with their final choices were more likely to have used the Yellow Pages and Craigslist during the discovery phase. But among those who relied on the most trusted third-party source, the Better Business Bureau, more were dissatisfied than satisfied with their contractor.

When evaluating the recommendations, consumers most often trust:

  • Personal referrals
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Angie’s List
  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Yellow Pages
  • ServiceMagic
  • Craigslist

When it comes to hiring contractors, these consumers base their decisions on:

  • Client references
  • Active license
  • Work samples
  • Price
  • Review site ratings
  • Third-party rating

How do you make decisions on hiring a contractor? Has it paid off for you?