Taking the confusion homeowners may have about getting work done around the house is the concept behind Sidekick, a home project-management company started last summer by Hingham businessmen Alex Arata and David Dombroski. It’s a concierge-style service they say connects homeowners with vetted contractors in a convenient and efficient way. We spoke to Arata for this story.
Q. How does this service work?
A. It pretty much answers that old question of “Does anybody have a good . . . ?” If you have a household project, a renovation, painting a room, raking leaves, you send us a message and we take care of it. We manage the bids, schedule the job, make sure it’s done to your satisfaction, handle the payment, and provide project support and resolution. We look at ourselves as being your own personal project manager, using technology with a personal touch to connect homeowners with a prequalified community of contractors.
Q. How many local contractors do you work with?
A. We have about 40 plus, and it’s growing, with landscapers, electricians, plumbers, and other specialists like pest-removal experts and tree-removal companies. It’s not open to everyone; we curate and pre-qualify the contractors we work with. For example, there are probably 30 painters in Hingham, but we want only four or five that fit our standards. We vet every single one of our contractors. We want to change the way home improvement is done to make it easier and more convenient, reliable and professional.
Q. What makes what you do different than a general contractor?
A. We take care of everything, all the billing, scheduling, etc. If you have a general contractor, you’re getting that guy’s guys to do the work, and he may not have a community of people to work from like we do. And he’s setting the price; the more he sets, the more he makes. And usually, people in affluent areas pay more, but not with us. I like to use the expression “We bill the job, not the address.” We take a percentage of the job, and we’re building on volume and client relationships to make us money.
Q. Where do you do business?
A. We’ve started out in a single town – Hingham – but we’re already bleeding over into Metrowest, with some contractors in the Needham and Brighton areas. We plan some ambitious growth in 2017 throughout the South Shore and north.
Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at email@example.com.