ROOFS, GUTTERS, A FENCE? A NEW WEBSITE MIGHT BE YOUR ANSWER
Izzy DiChiara doesn’t fix broken windows or damaged roofs, but his newly launched website aims to make it easier for homeowners to connect with contractors who can.
Called Happier House, the website takes a different approach to finding a contractor. He said the traditional method of homeowners gathering estimates and vetting contractors is akin to going dealership to dealership to haggle over a new car.
“It’s a no-brainer for [the homeowner], having to deal with one point of contact versus four points of contact.”
– Izzy DiChiara
“All these storms, everyone’s looking for a contractor, someone to fix their window, gutters, roof, fence,” DiChiara said. “It just becomes overwhelming.”
Happier House uses its own quoting formula to generate an upfront, all-inclusive price for the homeowner. That’s then presented to a network of contractors who agree to honor that price if they want the project. The contractor them pays a percentage of the cost to Happier House.
Happier House can take bids on several projects at once, for example, if a homeowner has multiple projects that need to be done simultaneously, DiChiara said.
“It’s a no-brainer for [the homeowner], having to deal with one point of contact versus four points of contact,” DiChiara said.
His brother was a contractor in the Houston area after Hurricane Ike came through in 2008. His brother struggled to market himself while homeowners stressed out about who to hire to repair the damage.
HAPPIER HOUSE USES BONDED, INSURED, CERTIFIED CONTRACTORS
There had to be a better way, which led to the creation of Happier House.
The contractors are all bonded, insured and certified. The contractors pay a fee to be included in Happier House’s network but DiChiara said it’s cheaper than advertising and marketing.
“They’re cutting all that as well,” he said. “They’re saving a lot of money and time. It’s not a lead. It’s a job.”
Since launching three weeks ago, the website has gathered 12 quotes worth a total of $70,000. So far, it’s available in Dallas and Miami, where one of the partners lives.
His goal now is to get more contractors in his network and raise awareness of the website. The recent storm outbreak has many workers putting in overtime so it’s been hard to schedule meetings, he said.
DiChiara is also the mind behind the Ubidock, a portable battery docking station.
“Right now, I’m having a hard time finding guys who can do windows,” he said.
DiChiara is also the mind behind the Ubidock, a cool concept where bars, restaurants and hotels give customers a portable battery docking station to recharge their mobile device.
Much like the origin of Happier House, DiChiara experienced the frustration of meeting up with a friend whose phone had run out of charge.
“There’s got to be a better way that we can sit here at the bar and charge our phones and enjoy our beer,” he said.
The wireless chargers are in several hotels and restaurants, including the Hyatt Regency at DFW and Bob’s Steak and Chop House. It’s offered as an amenity like free WiFi or valet parking.
Photo from iStockPhoto
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