The "sharing economy" is spreading beyond Uber and Airbnb, to include home remodeling, carpentry and even closets. San Francisco-based TaskRabbit, funded by $40 million in venture capital, now connects consumers to home services and remodelers in 19 cities.
Also known as "the gig economy" - so called because service providers clock in and out when they want to be available, and work on a project at a time - this new approach to finding service professionals for home remodeling and improvement can be seen as an extension of more well established services locaters like Pro.com, Porch.com, HomeAdvisor, or Angie's List.
HomeAdvisor, with more than 1 million completed home remodeling jobs in its database, launched a professional services scheduling app at KBIS 2015.
Closets and home organization, furniture assembly (typically IKEA furniture) and carpentry and handyman work, as well as plumbing, electrical and painting, are among the home remodeling services offered by TaskRabbit. Other services include gardening, shopping, laundry, bartending and even waiting in line to buy tickets.
TaskRabbit says it verifies credentials and insures its service providers, who are categorized into "Elite Taskers" and regular ones. While available services vary by city, a typical "Elite Tasker" would be Steve (only first names are shown during booking) in Chicago who has worked with TaskRabbit since 2014 and has done 240 jobs for clients with a 99 percent approval rating.
Steve does carpentry and construction work for $65 an hour, assembles or moves furniture around (also at $65 an hour), organize your home ($58 an hour) and mount a television or other item on the wall ($86 and hour). Similarly, Heber R. in Los Angeles is registered with TaskRabbit does RTA furniture assembly for $42 an hour, and home and garage organization for $45 an hour.
Another TaskRabbit service provider is Bill Daub, former medical lab equipment salesman who joined up nine months ago following a layoff. Based in New York, Daub designs and installs home offices and small offices, and does RTA furniture assembly - for which he charges $49 an hour.
A search for "Closets" professionals at TaskRabbit in my home Zipcode in Chicago calls up a dozen individuals providing decluttering or home organization services, generally priced at 25 per hour. About half had completed one or more home organization projects and so their profiles carried a customer ranking for their work. One, Robert, had completed 8 organizing jobs at $25 and hour - some were mostly moving furniture around - but all gave positive reviews. Another, Linda D, had completed two organization tasks at $45 and hour.
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