You probably already know that I am not much of a handyman. Or much of a decorator. Or very organized. I’m such a DIY reject, I should probably call it DISE – Do-it-someone-else!
Usually when something even slightly DIY needs to get done, I rely on friends who are handier than I am. Or on Mom and Buried, who is also handier than I am. Because I’m a useless man-baby. I can’t even baby-proof my house without destroying the things I’m trying to protect. I need help.
Unfortunately, I’m too lazy to do the research necessary to find the proper resources to handle this stuff for me. I’d heard good things about using Angie’s List to find that kind of help – apparently it’s like a non-sketchy Craigslist, or maybe a Yelp where the reviewers aren’t scumbags? – but you needed to pay to join, so I never explored it.
Did I mention I was a cheap man-baby?
Full disclosure: I was recently invited to a swanky little house party for Angie’s List. It was to celebrate the popular website’s new subscription levels, which now include a free option, so you don’t have to pay to access their 10 million verified reviews of services ranging from housecleaning and pet care to roofers and plumbers and people who can do the stuff your wife has been begging you to do for months. They must have seen this post, or maybe Mom and Buried emailed them to ask for help.
For someone like me, who despises DIY projects – whether this is because I’m terrible at them or I’m terrible at them because I despise them is a matter for the philosophers – it’s a resource that likely could have saved me some headaches, especially when Mom and Buried and I moved back from Raleigh and into our new neighborhood. It’s hard to find reliable help these days, especially when you’re not interested in paying money just to access reviews!
The event was focused on sharing the website’s three new membership levels: green, which offers free-of-charge access to all 700 (!) member companies, verified consumer reviews, and the digital magazine; silver, which is essentially the green membership plus fair price and service quality guarantees, exclusive discounts, and chat/email customer support, for $24.99 a year, and; gold, which is all of the above plus phone support and additional savings, for $99 a year.
I spent most of my time exploring the swanky Greenwich Village apartment they’d rented to display some of their top vendors’ skills, and the rest of my time trying to convince the interior decorator there to give my home a makeover and tell Mom and Buried I did it all by myself. I don’t think they liked me very much but then I showed them some pictures of The Hammer and all of a sudden they wanted to visit my place and see what they could do.
I decided to hold them off, though, because there’s no point in using an interior decorator to spruce up my home until Detective Munch moves out and takes all his toys with him. Or at least until The Hammer stops spitting up on everything.
Funnily enough, the coolest part of the event – not including the free mojito the bartender made me, or the ridiculously intricate peacock I watched the caterer make out of watermelon and kiwis, or the bizarre photo I spotted that showed George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola goofing around together (I can only assume they know the owner of the house) – was the little home-improvement tips that were scattered around. There was one about the cost of baby-proofing, which made me want to sell my kids, another about getting stains out of your carpet, which made me want to sell my kids.
I have no idea whether I’ll ever actually use Angie’s List to hire anyone, but now that there’s no cost to join, I might. The site also has a bunch of how-to articles, which I’m pretty sure are there to trick people like me into trying a project, having it go disastrously wrong, and then needing to use the site to find someone to fix it.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Angie’s List, but all opinions are my own. Out of respect, I didn’t say anything about the prequels.