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Home Improvement Help Online

Techstination feature for Thursday, November 2, 2000

When it comes to finding help for home improvement... turn to the Web. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. An Internet niche that makes sense. Using the Web to find the right contractors for all kinds of home improvement. Improvenet is now four years old... and CEO Ron Cooper says it's winning lots of loyal customers. How does it work?

"If you're a consumer and let's say you want to remodel your kitchen you can get onto our Web site ... either directly or through any of eighty companies that we work with... and get information to help you design the project. If you need help finding a contractor, we screen over six hundred thousand of them for quality. About a third of them pass our quality screen so we can send your job typically out to thirty contractors or architects or designers... depending upon the type of job and then we will assign a person who will guide you through the project. They'll give you information and tips... sometimes just an ear to bend."

It can take a lot of the angst about finding reliable and capable contractors out of the job... and says Cooper over 98 percent of Improvenet users would recommend the service to their family and friends. Contractors are screened through legal records..reference checks and in person...

"Because you learn a lot when you're in their office for an hour. And it's all part of helping ensure that you get a high quality contractor."

It's free to the user. Contractors pay referral fees. Up next for Improvenet... .contractors for businesses as well as homeowners. You can find us on the Web at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg News.