With more than 250,000 talented pros providing services in 1,000+ categories throughout the U.S., Thumbtack is the go-to place for every project on your list. For every request you send, Thumbtack matches you with up to five great pros in your area who are qualified for the job.
But how do you pick the best pro for your job? Dozens of Thumbtack’s most qualified pros weighed in to provide these three rules for hiring like a pro on Thumbtack.
✓ Rule 1: Do Your Research
The beginning of a project can seem daunting, and you might feel tempted to race through your Thumbtack request just to get it out of the way. The pros we talked to were clear on this one— don’t.
Pros use the information in your request to tailor your quote, so the more detail you provide the better pros can address the exact needs of your job—and, according to general contractor Steve Csurbak, the less likely you are to run into issues down the line. (Here are his tips for picking a great kitchen remodel contractor.)
Local laws and regulations can also affect how (and if) your Thumbtack project gets done. This is especially true of home improvement projects on Thumbtack. Ken Burkhardt of Homestead Remodeling & Consulting suggests that you study up on local laws ahead of time so you’re sure that your pro is prepared to move through the proper procedures. (Here are his tips for hiring a bathroom remodel contractor.)
✓ Rule 2: Read the Quote Carefully
Now the fun part: choosing your pro. You’ll receive quotes from up to five Thumbtack pros in the 24 hours after you submit your request. Carefully consider each quote before you make your decision, and hold sticker shock at bay—there’s more to finding a great pro than choosing the lowest price.
The more detail you read in a quote, the better prepared you are to make your choice. As handyman Chris Grimes explains, “A lot of my customers tell me they chose me because of how specific I am in my quote. Other pros send a flat number and tell customers to call them for more information. I think that’s asking for a lot from a busy customer.”
What should you spend time on? According to fence and gate installation specialist Alex Lucero, the best way to understand a pro’s work is to invest time in reading their reviews. It’s no surprise that pros with one or more review on Thumbtack get hired 70 percent more—very little speaks more to the quality of a pro’s work than what customers just like you have said.
✓ Rule 3: Check Out the Profile
The decision process is on—but where to start? Every Thumbtack pro’s profile tells you the number of years a pros has been in business, how many times they’ve been hired on Thumbtack, the size of their operation, and whether or not they hold industry credentials.
Certain jobs will require specific licenses, insurance or permits. Luckily, Thumbtack makes these easy for you to track. The credentials section of a pro’s Thumbtack profile shows you details about their past experience on Thumbtack, including whether or not they’ve completed a background check through Thumbtack or provided their license details to be verified in a public database.
Quality pros will also provide visual proof of their work, with photo testimonials and before-and-after pictures of past work. Take some time to look through pros’ photos, and keep an eye out for projects that are similar to your own. If you’re still on the fence, don’t hesitate to ask your pro for more examples. The right pro will go out of their way to make your vision a reality.
Ask Questions if You Get Stuck
If you just can’t decide, take some time to talk it out. Get a feel for what working with a specific pro might be like by messaging them, talking on the phone, or even meeting in person. And as Miami-based landscaper RJ urges, don’t hesitate to ask tough questions.
Do they offer free estimates? Do they charge by the hour or by the project? What’s included in the initial quote, and are there any potential add-on costs?
Quality pros won’t hesitate to address even the most challenging questions, and will respond quickly and professionally to your requests. If your pro isn’t willing to talk through the details with you, they may not be the right person for the job.
Thumbtack is Here to Help
Thumbtack is here to support you as you find and hire a pro for your project. If you’re ever unclear about the process or are having trouble getting on the same page as a pro, we encourage you to contact our Thumbtack Support team for help. The Thumbtack Guarantee may also provide up to $1 million to protect against certain types of property damage (terms apply). Above all, know that we’re here to ensure you have an outstanding experience on Thumbtack every time you check a project off your list.
For more tips on how to hire smart check out our Thumbtack hiring guide here.