What: Houzz provides a forum for designers, contractors, architects and other building professionals to advertise their services, but beware the paid plan

Expected pay: set by you

Husl$core: $$$$ (for the free plan); $ (for the paid plan).

Where: Nationwide

Commissions & fees: 0 (free listing);  (paid pro+) hundreds per month. 

Requirements: 18 or over

Review:

Houzz is a beautiful website that provides information and resources on everything house related — furniture, design, contractors and remodeling. It also has a “Pro” network, where providers of everything from general contracting to landscaping and interior design can sign up and post a profile on the site. It’s free to sign up and post this profile. The site also makes it easy to get your past customers to review you; connect your Houzz profile to your Facebook profile, etc. 

These are valuable freebies and account for our high rating for the site’s free services.

The problems arise when contractors decide to pay for premium pro services on Houzz, which is supposed to result in business leads. Hundreds of contractors have complained that Houzz’ paid product is worthless, expensive and practically impossible to cancel. The site says (in a response to a BBB complaint) that Houzz has the right to auto-renew customers and charge them cancelation fees equal to four month’s membership to get out of their contracts early. These contracts appear to have variable pricing, but typically cost hundreds of dollards each month.

Our advice: Post a free profile, but don’t answer the phone when Houzz’ sales representatives start calling. 

Better options for contractors:

The professional network offered through ManagedbyQ or JiffyOnDemand.  Also consider listing your contractor/handyman/design services on a neighborhood website like Nextdoor.

What their users say (from SiteJabber):

I prepaid for a full year and never received one lead. After the year was up they charged me $250 per month and would not refund my money. I’m now having to pay a 4 month fee.

I’m a contractor working with (actually trying to work with) houzz.com pro services. Worst experience ever. They lock you in for another year with a twisted so-called contract, and charge you without consent. Don’t go pro with houzz.com. Not worth it. Really. Go spend that money on SEO.

My service contract for the advertising was up and I forgot the fine print that said you need a written cancelation 30 days prior or you will automatically be enrolled in another year of the program. So I called and canceled and after discussions with my Houzz client manager, I was billed for four months of fees for early termination. Fine. I was not happy but it was my fault. Five months later they are still billing me; they won’t return emails or phone messages. Would recommend memorizing the contract Houzz makes you sign before proceeding. And just to be fair I was on Houzz for over 6 years and loved the platform, but I will probably be closing my profile since this is how they do business.

From the Better Business Bureau

Tried to cancel my one year contract for a Houzz Pro account after my one year commitment. I only signed up for a 1 year contract with Houzz Pro. After my 1 year contract I didn’t receive any good leads so I contacted my account manager and he said that I was obligated for another year because I didn’t cancel my 1st year contract 30 days after the contract was finished. I asked where I agreed to this but he couldn’t show me.