With the raft of home services digital marketplaces flooding the internet, it can be difficult for homeowners to choose which platform to use when searching for contractors and professionals to complete necessary tasks. Most shoppers seek a reputable platform that can provide strong references for qualified professionals with as little hassle for the customer as possible. HomeAdvisor and Angi (formerly Angie’s List) are two of the most recognizable names in the business, but their association with each other can further complicate the decision-making process for customers: Angi and HomeAdvisor are now both under the umbrella of the same parent corporation, called Angi, Inc. (formerly ANGI Homeservices). This relationship may make it seem as if these two companies are providing the same offerings under two different names, but that’s not actually the case. Each marketplace has strengths in different areas that may make it more or less appealing to customers in different circumstances. Comparing the two on the basis of selected criteria will help make choosing the best marketplace for a project (or general home improvement and maintenance management) a little easier for homeowners.
How We Compared Home Services Websites
- Available services: All online home improvement marketplaces promise connections with an abundance of service providers, but the types of services provided often differ. We compared the options available at HomeAdvisor vs. Angi.
- Signup and quote process: This is one of the most important interfaces in an online marketplace: Most customers are looking to divulge as little personal information as possible to gain access to recommendations and pricing, while the marketplaces want to gather as much information as possible for marketing campaigns. We examined the sign up, sign in, and price estimate processes for both HomeAdvisor and Angi.
- Membership and cost: Few things are worse when shopping online than finding out that a membership is necessary to browse or shop and being locked into a contract unexpectedly. While contractors should generally expect there to be some cost in exchange for the advertising and business that comes their way via these marketplaces, customers rightly question where costs are appropriate and where they are not, and want them clearly stated up front. We’ve considered all of the costs associated with both of these companies.
- Contractor certification and licensing: What exactly constitutes a “professional”? Platforms such as Angi and HomeAdvisor pitch contractors to customers searching for their services, but how deeply do the companies actually vet the contractors they recommend? What kind of validation is done to say with certainty that the contractors have the certifications and licenses they claim?
- Contractor background checks: Inviting someone unknown into a home to do work can be intimidating for many people, especially those who live alone or have young children. Some customers may assume that home service marketplaces have checked into the backgrounds of the contractors on their site to ensure that there’s no history of criminal behavior, but that’s not always the case. In fairness, extensive background checks of every person advertising on a site would be prohibitively time consuming and expensive, but the marketplaces need to be clear and up front about their policies. We checked out both Angi’s and HomeAdvisor’s position on this.
- Customer support: Especially when dealing with an online service provider, it’s important to know that there’s someone to call or email if there’s a problem with the work or payments—customers need to know that someone has their back. Every marketplace has different accessibility and policies regarding customer service and guarantees, so we examined the level of service available at both Angi and HomeAdvisor.
HomeAdvisor vs. Angi: Pros and Cons
In many ways, HomeAdvisor and Angi are similar services. When the two companies merged under the Angi name, most of the policies and procedures were standardized across the company. However, there are still some differences that may make one or the other a better fit, and some strengths and weaknesses apply to both services.
HomeAdvisor vs. Angi: Available Services
What kinds of contractors are available for hire on home improvement services marketplaces? In all honesty, if a homeowner or renter can think of something they need done, they will likely find someone willing and able to do the task (for a fee, of course) on Angi or HomeAdvisor. In fact, a quick browse of the categories of available services might help generate a list of potential projects that the homeowner didn’t even realize needed to be done until they discovered there was someone willing to do them.
Angi boasts that it lists contractors in more than 500 service categories, and a perusal of the search function indicates that this is correct. Angi breaks down the categories into interior services, exterior services, lawn and garden, and a catchall “more” category. Some of the categories are for straightforward home repair or renovation projects, and likely the reason customers come to a marketplace to begin with: house cleaning, landscaping, roof repair, bathroom remodels, plumbing services, and electrical services. Others catch the eye of customers who may have arrived at the site but then discovered additional services they need, such as childproofing, energy audits, closet design, and basketball hoop installation.
HomeAdvisor also breaks its services down into categories, but then creates even smaller subcategories. The website is organized like a series of cards, with each card bearing a focused category title then listing subcategories underneath. For example, the architects, builders, and engineers category includes links to land surveyors, developers, permit services, and construction managers. There’s a whole category just for garage services that could lead to project creep and a really tricked-out garage when the customer just needed a new door, so the focused categories may be dangerous for some. The kitchen remodeling category includes links for all of the searches and services that might be needed to complete a kitchen remodel. It’s worth noting that this style of organization means that subcategories might repeat; as an example, “tile” appears in the kitchen remodeling, flooring, concrete brick, and stone categories, as well as several others. This isn’t a problem, but if the list of options looks overwhelming, it’s good for homeowners to remember that some options are doubled up.
HomeAdvisor vs. Angi: Signup and Quote Process
One of the positive aspects of both Angi and HomeAdvisor is that they don’t blind quote. Customers can’t just click “carpet cleaning” then “3 rooms” and expect a recommendation and a quote that will likely be inaccurate because the system doesn’t have enough information to build a solid estimate. On the other hand, in order to provide solid recommendations and create an accurate quote, the search engines need some information.
The search process on both Angi and HomeAdvisor uses the same interface—since the companies came under the same umbrella, HomeAdvisor’s tagline is “HomeAdvisor Powered By Angi,” and the search and quote process is one area where the process is standardized across both platforms. This process guides the customer through a series of click-to-answer questions that will limit the search results to contractors who specialize in the service the customer is seeking. Upon clicking on a category, the user is asked for their ZIP code, which makes sense: Limiting the results to contractors in the immediate area can narrow the search and will save customers money on travel costs and potential hauling fees. In some cases, the next question is whether or not the situation is an emergency, and this answer may change the trajectory of the inquiry. The system then asks if the customer is simply budgeting or planning, and then asks about timing, whether the location is a home or commercial building, and insurance considerations. It then provides a box for the customer to input some project details about the scope of the home improvement project.
Next, the search feature asks for an address and contact information, including a phone number and email address, which may cause some customers to balk. Those who just want to browse through local contractors before selecting some from whom they would like quotes may not want to input contact information yet, especially since there’s no clear indication of where the information is going or how it will be used. Additionally, there is a release on the bottom of the phone and email request screen that forces the customer to acknowledge they are giving the companies and their contractors the right to send automated or prerecorded texts, calls, or emails. Some customers may not be bothered by this request, but for others it might be a deal-breaker, or at least a reason to click off the window and check out another site. There is no way to get to the contractor listings or matches without clearing this screen. As both Angi reviews and HomeAdvisor reviews show that the companies have reputations for excessive follow-up emails and telephone calls, sometimes from contractors in whom the customer never displayed interest, this is a concern to consider.
The quote process is fairly simple: The user simply enters the desired information, chooses from the matched contractors, and receives a quote or is contacted by the pro for more details or an on-site estimate appointment. Both Angi and HomeAdvisor (again through a standardized portal) also offer a fixed-price option. Customers can select a job they need done and enter the information and time frame. Angi will select a contractor with appropriate expertise and availability, and will then provide a set price and option to schedule the job. This takes the hassle out of selecting a specific contractor, haggling over a price, and trying to coordinate schedules. Many customer reviewers on ConsumerAffairs noted how useful they found the speed and efficiency of the quote and scheduling process online and through the mobile apps for HomeAdvisor and Angi as well.
HomeAdvisor vs. Angi: Membership and Cost
On both Angi and HomeAdvisor, prices are set by the contractors. Customers can certainly deal with the individual contractor to adjust a quoted cost, but the fees that cover a company’s operating costs are paid on the contractor’s side of the balance sheet, not the customer’s. Comparing the quotes offered by Angi and HomeAdvisor for similar jobs indicates that the quotes are pretty similar across both platforms; the contractors know their audience.
As noted, both marketplaces have fixed- or flat-price services where the customer identifies the job and the time frame, and Angi or HomeAdvisor coordinates, selects a contractor to match the price and availability, and produces a no-haggle quote. It is worth noting that neither HomeAdvisor’s Better Business Bureau rating nor Angi’s BBB rating is particularly strong (C+ for Angi and F for HomeAdvisor), with a fair number of complaints for both regarding billing and cancellation charges, though neither is actually accredited by the BBB. On the upside, both companies appear to be quite responsive to the complaints and attempt to deal with them properly.
There’s no cost to create an account at either site, which is great because there are some benefits to having an account: Account holders can keep track of projects, budget and plan ahead, and keep payments all in one place. Frequent users of the services, however, will want to consider an Angi Key membership, which is available at both Angi and HomeAdvisor. The membership comes at a cost of $29.99 per year. In exchange, members get 20 percent off in certain categories of service—as long as the customer uses one of the prepriced options. Member-exclusive deals and promos pop up throughout the year. For customers planning a series of projects, this can offer potentially huge savings. In addition, members have access to a dedicated home specialist to guide them through the process via text or on the app. Members can cancel at any time.
Verdict: The price a customer pays for a service on Angi or HomeAdvisor will ultimately depend on the provider they hire and their project, and price ranges for prepriced services are comparable on both sites. Angi and HomeAdvisor both offer the same Angi Key membership, which allows customers to get 20 percent off prepriced services.
HomeAdvisor vs. Angi: Contractor Certification and Licensing
In most states, consumers can check on the licensure and certification of individual contractors via the state licensure board, either on a web interface or by phone. This is a critical step in the hiring process, because if a customer hires an unlicensed contractor there’s no guarantee that permits will be cleared or homeowners insurance will cover any damage that ensues. It’s not OK to guess here, and this is one area where HomeAdvisor and Angi differ.
Angi lists the licenses and certifications that contractors provide on their application to be listed on Angi. All licensing, certification, bonding, and insurance information is self-reported: Angi does not independently verify that the information is, in effect, accurate and honest. The website does provide a license check tool, where customers can input their state and click the type of contractor they’re hiring, and then the platform will provide a link to the individual state licensing board for that industry to aid customers in doing their own research.
HomeAdvisor goes a bit further. The company verifies any state-level licensing claimed by the list of companies on the site, though it does not verify local licensing. HomeAdvisor also verifies state business filings and incorporations. This can add to a customer’s confidence that the contractor actually carries the licensing that they claim to. However, they’ll want to bear in mind that some due diligence is still required and that if there’s any doubt in the customer’s mind, they should still investigate via contractor reviews or independent licensing boards as necessary to protect themselves.
Verdict: Angi asks its contractors if they are appropriately licensed, and all information is self-reported. HomeAdvisor goes a step further by verifying any state-level licensing, giving customers more peace of mind that service providers are adhering to regulations.
HomeAdvisor vs. Angi: Contractor Background Checks
This is another area where customers need to be careful about assuming that the platform is doing more work than it is. When hiring any contractor, customers need to do a little research, using online reviews and local social media sites, checking with the Better Business Bureau as appropriate, and interviewing the actual contractor to make sure they’re comfortable with the person they’re inviting into their home to work. Formal background checks are too expensive for most people to request themselves.
HomeAdvisor performs a background check on the owner or principal of every company listed on its platform, with the exception of corporate accounts. Angi’s process is similar, though the site’s explanation notes that it requires the background checks of featured contractors granted the Angi Certified label or the Super Service Award badge and isn’t terribly clear on whether or not the owners of businesses without these designations are checked. This sounds OK—presumably a business owner without a criminal background isn’t going to risk their reputation by hiring employees who do have criminal records—but neither platform claims to perform background checks on every actual contractor or worker who may be hired on its platform. These background checks are also limited by individual state restrictions, and neither company will exclude a contractor unless the background check reveals a crime charged and convicted at the felony level.
What does this mean for customers? It means that the background-check policies at both platforms can add a measure of security but that carefully vetting a contractor independently is still extremely important to a customer’s safety and security.
Verdict: Angi and HomeAdvisor both perform criminal background checks on every company owner (though there may be some exception with Angi); however, the companies cannot perform background checks on every employee or technician that may enter a home and perform work.
HomeAdvisor vs. Angi: Customer Support
The parent company of Angi and HomeAdvisor has worked hard to make customer service a focus, so there are several options when a customer needs some help. The customer service department is provided from the same hub for both companies, so they’re one and the same in this regard.
The customer service page lists corporate contacts, media contact information, and contacts via telephone, email, and the United States Postal Service. Direct and immediate access comes in the form of a toll-free telephone number that is common between both platforms. In addition, both platforms include a well-answered FAQ page (though many of the answers date back to 2021, when the companies merged, so it’s tough to know if the answers are still correct). Several reviews on Trustpilot reference the excellent customer service provided by HomeAdvisor when trouble presented itself. Angi’s Trustpilot reviews are a bit more mixed, with customers being either extremely happy or extremely unhappy with the customer services provided, but since both companies are serviced by one department, it appears that this is a balanced situation between the two.
Verdict: Both HomeAdvisor and Angi are standout options for those looking to hire professionals for a wide range of home services. Depending on the customer’s location, either Angi or HomeAdvisor may have more service providers listed or different pricing.
Both Angi and HomeAdvisor offer a wealth of service providers for all of the services most homeowners and renters can imagine. While they’re not perfect—the inability to browse through listings before providing personal contact information may be a deal-breaker for some, and the persistent follow-up communications may be a little over the top—the fact is that these two services are the best of the best in a relatively new industry trying to keep up with the technology it built. So how are customers to choose? The best option is for them to search both and discover which platform feels the most user-friendly (it may be different for everyone) and see which has the best volume of contractors in their area. The processes, customer service, and general interface are all common between the two, so customers will want to look for the differences among contractors by seeking multiple quotes and using the free accounts at each site to keep track of the quotes until they’ve made the decision to move forward.