When the contractor she hired to help renovate her house over the summer stopped showing up, there wasn’t much Wendy Cacilhas could do to get back the $5,000 she’d already paid him.
“He never finished the job — I had a hole in my roof,” she said. He’d left after Cacilhas and her husband raised concerns with him about the quality of the work.
They lodged a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. But the contractor’s company dissolved. There was no accountability, she said. “Once there was a conflict, I didn’t know how I could go about resolving my issue.”
The rest of the work had to be done “piecemeal,” with contractors found through friends, family and contractor rating site HomeStars.com. She says she found HomeStars frustrating to use because reviews didn’t always appear genuine.
Toronto-based app Jiffy launched last year claims to be the fixer-upper solution to the patchy home maintenance system Cacilhas faced.
It connects you with trades — ranging from appliance repair, to plumbing, pest control, junk removal and general fixer and maintenance services — within a day.
Each has a minimum price, which covers a certain amount of time, space or appliances, and a per unit cost if it takes more. Most offer after-hour and weekend services, which some charge at a premium. For example, plumbers and electricians’ base price is $180 for two hours of work, but they charge 1.5 times more on evenings and weekends.
They are vetted by Jiffy to…