Watch out, Angie, you and your list have some competition. Last week, Lowe's announced it was expanding its partnership with Porch.com, a site that recommends local painters, plumbers and a wide variety of home construction and repair professionals to the chain's 1,700+ stores across the U.S.
Every Lowe's will have an in-store area devoted to assisting customers find help when a pro is needed. It will also offer local subcontractors the ability to sign up for listings on the Porch.com service.
"While we have already been able to help our customers with projects like installing flooring or remodeling a kitchen, our partnership with Porch means we can now guide customers to find help for nearly any home improvement service, from routine maintenance to dream projects," said Jay Rebello, vice president new business development and corporate innovation at Lowe's, in a statement. "Homeowners trust Lowe's products and project expertise, and now that relationship can extend to the search for home improvement pros by providing a highly personal, localized experience through Porch."
The Porch.com service, which was first introduced at Lowe's locations in the Carolinas and the Seattle market, boasts more than 1.5 million professionals across the U.S. It allows users to find experts based on a wide variety of criteria, including neighborhood favorites, relevant experience, project and cost history, and more. On Porch.com, users can also see actual projects completed by companies and gain access to advice and home management tools.
While there could be some downside to Lowe's associating itself so closely with a service that could lead to a bad experience for consumers, the retailer's management feels Porch is the right service to enable the company to help its customers where and when they need it.
"A core reason for Porch's interest to us was their data-based approach," Richard Maltsbarger, who heads up business development for Lowe's, told Fortune. "They're bringing to the services marketplace a much more advanced use of actual project data, and they have project profiles of the pros that are in your local market."
How likely is Lowe's association with Porch.com to bring the DIY chain more customers?