Chicago startup Fixer.com is the Uber for home repair
Chicago-based Fixer.com is a new startup launched in 2017 to provide a on-demand handyman service to customers. Fixer is led by Grubhub co-founder Mike Evans, wants to bring handyperson services into the on-demand economy. The inspiration for Fixer.com came when Mike Evans tried to get a rain barrel installed on his home last spring. Evans was very frustrated trying to get a handyman to do a small repair job that would have taken a short time to complete. Instead of just complaining about the problem, Evans set out out to do something about it by coming up with a way to make it easy to find handymen to do simple tasks.
What seemed like a simple task quickly became extremely annoying and irritating. “It was just really annoying to try to get somebody to show up to do this job for me,” said Evans, who lives on the North Side. “I was just trying to get a rain barrel installed, and it was a pain in the neck, so I started to think this was a larger problem.” Mike joined Fixer because he is excited about creating a viable career path for gig economy workers to become independent small business owners as they increase their skills in the trades. Prior to Fixer, Mike started GrubHub, rode his bike across the US, and wrote a sci-fi novel. The most complicated thing he’s ever built is a wristwatch.
Unlike Uber, all of their staff, “fixers,” as the company calls them, are full time employees. “All of our fixers, the handymen and handywomen we employ, are full-time employees with benefits,” said Evans, adding that Fixer will also offer equity stakes to employees at every level. Fixer.com’s mission is to offer superior customer experiences while we create skilled employment paths in the building trades for men and women nationwide. For now, their focus is in the following specialties: Home Repairs, Drywall, Painting, Staining, Electrical, Plumbing, Caulking, Tile, Installation, Assembly, To Do Lists, Punch Lists, Customer Service, Handyman, and Home Services.
Using Fixer is also very easy. All a customer has to do is to submit a request via their website. Their pricing is also very affordable compared to the traditional handymen. Fixer charges a rate of $80 – 100 per hour per Fixer, depending on availability. After the first hour, all jobs are prorated by the minute. So, for example, if your job takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to complete, you only pay $86.65. You will always know your guaranteed hourly rate before booking your time slot and can often find lower rates at busy times by looking a few days to a week in advance. You need to contact them pricing for job that may require more than one Fixer.
Through their pre-project communication with the customer, they work to ensure that each Fixer arrives equipped to complete most projects with the right tools and materials already in hand. If a project requires specific materials, the customer can provide those for a Fixer or they can do the shopping for the customer for a flat $50 fee + 20% markup on anything we use for the project. Their hourly clock is always turned off while they get the materials needed and they will click it on only when they are back to work again.
Fixer is changing the world and contributing to the U.S economy by providing jobs to tradesmen and filling the gap left behind by the decline of technical trade schools. “The number of tradespeople being trained in the United States has decreased precipitously in the last few decades,” said Evans. “Just locally, Lane Tech High School used to be a technical school that put people in the trades for most of its existence, but now it’s a college prep school. It’s very hard for high school students to enter into the trades.”
Fixer is currently available in Chicago and the startup expects to expand to some part of Chicago suburbs by the end of the year. The company is also looking to hire new “fixers”.