Handy with tools? If you can do any type of construction work, from painting to putting together IKEA furniture, you can find plenty of jobs in the gig economy.

Know, however, that some of the better-known choices, such as Thumbtack, Porch, and HomeAdvisor, stink. That’s because they charge contractors handsomely for “qualified leads” which lead to disconnected phone numbers and confused and disgruntled non-customers. (You can click on any of the names above to find our reviews of these sites, which detail contractor’s most common complaints.) 

Good construction work sites

The good news is that some lesser-known sites provide great ways to find construction work. And the best of them even let you list your services for free. Those sites:

ToolBelt

ToolBelt connects contractors and tradesmen with individuals and other contractors who need help. The site has both a free plan and a pro plan. The free plan plan provides as many as two leads a week. If you want more, the pro plan costs $99 a month. But it you’re getting more than two leads a week, it may be worth it. More about ToolBelt here.

TaskRabbit

Once criticized for strong-arming freelancers into taking rotten jobs, TaskRabbit has reformed and now is among the most freelancer-friendly sites in the country. Construction and handyman services is a well-trafficked category where you can break down your services as granularly as you’d like. Want to assemble furniture for $20 and hour; paint for $30 an hour; tape and mud drywall for $40 an hour? It’s up to you.

TaskRabbit charges nothing to freelancers who list and sell here. All of the site’s fees outside of a one-time $25 registration fee, are paid by customers not workers. Find out more about TaskRabbit here.

Houzz

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. 

JiffyOnDemand

JiffyOnDemand helps contractors provide a wide array of services, from yard work to plumbing, at rates of pay that range from about $40 to $85 per hour. The rates are set by the site, which takes a commission on each sale. However, Jiffy is only available in a few cities, such as Boston and Chicago. Find details about Jiffy here.

Handy

Handy connects freelancers providing cleaning and repair services with clients. However, it has a number of troubling terms that you should be aware of before you sign up here. Specifically, the site penalizes contractors for showing up late or having to cancel appointments — even if the reason for the cancellation is that the job was misrepresented. Learn more about Handy here.

Nextdoor

Nextdoor is officially a neighborhood social media site that’s used for everything from trying to find lost dogs to reporting local crimes. However, it’s a great place for local contractors to find work through referrals.

If you have a satisfied customer in your neighborhood, ask if he or she would be willing to post a recommendation for you here. While the site does charge for advertising, neighbor recommendations are arguably more powerful than advertisements. And, at least for the moment, they can be posted for free.  Learn more about Nextdoor here

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