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September 14, 2009

Do You Know a Good Contractor?

Contractors at Work That's a question I get asked every week.  People who've had bad experiences with contractors feel nervous about hiring again. 

My friend Nancy had a powerfully negative experience 4 years ago with a contractor who under-delivered in oh, so many ways. 

When Nancy found out (too late) that her contractor had botched a string of similar jobs, she turned her frustration into inspiration.

Nancy quit her corporate job and founded HomeStars.com, a contractor review and referral web site.  HomeStars is geo-centric, so people in cities all across North America can review the performances of their own local contractors. 

The Homestars site took off, rocket-fueled by pent-up demand for honest, reliable referrals and contractor reviews.

I love the community of enthusiastic homeowners that has formed around this unique forum.  Contractors (the good ones) love it too, and the not-so-good ones are being held accountable, publicly, for the first time ever.  We the people, baby!

If you've got something you'd like to say - whether it's praise or problems - about a contractor, plumber, decorator, handyman or carpenter that you've hired, or a merchant you've purchased home furnishings from - please join the HomeStars conversation as soon as you can.  The more we talk to each other, the better life becomes.  For all of us.


Rob Retter

Tried HoemStar. Found listings, but *none* with reviews in any of five broad categories ("general contractor", etc) in a city of 2.5 million people. It seems to be pretty much nothing more than an advertising site.


Hi Rob,
HomeStars.com is just launching this weekend in Calgary, so that's why there aren't many reviews yet. And that's why Nancy is at the home show collecting as many reviews as she can from local people. Maybe you could add one? The site hasn't got many ads that I can see - where did you find ads? Hope to see you at the show.


Sherry Rosso

Hi Mag, thank you for your interest in my 'union busting' at the Waldorf Astoria carpenter's shop. I am a big fan of yours and very much admire all you do promoting women (all regular folks, really) in the building arts. Your videos are terrific!

It occurred to me that, in your travels, you may find yourself in New York -- where hotels cost a bundle. I live in Manhattan and would like to offer my studio apartment to you for a few days if you need to stay over (it sleeps 2, cozily). I can stay with a friend down the street.

Just kicking in with a little camraderie and suppport. Even though my (paid) carpenter days are over, I still putter a bit around my bungalow upstate.



Nice post. Is there any further details about contractors? I want to do some research over them.


Hi Sherry, you can check MyHome renovation(MyHomeus.com)they are very good.


I found very reliable and competent home remodeling contractors at http://www.channelconstruction.com/
They completed their work on the given time.

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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie