Frequently Asked Questions
How is the Home Owners Club® different from other contractor referral services?
Contractor referral services have been around for many years in a variety of different forms. The most popular type has been the "pay-for-listing" model. Contractors pay a fee to the service in return for the promise of referrals. Any contractor willing to pay can participate.
The Home Owners Club is different. There are no up-front fees that contractors pay, nor any fees for referrals. This allows the Club to evaluate contractors on the quality of their service and the competitiveness of their pricing, without any obligation to provide job leads.
The Home Owners Club also follows each job from beginning to end, and is available for assistance throughout the process.
Does the Club accept advertising or payment from the contractors or vendors it recommends?
No. The Home Owners Club is an independent, objective, member-focused referral service and, therefore, does not ask for any referral fees or accept any advertising.
How are the Club's contractors screened and authorized?
To do work for the Club's members, a contractor must have already been in business for at least three years and have a solid track-record of performance.
The screening process consists of checking that all of the required insurance coverage is in order, ensuring the contractor license is current and the firm is financially stable, and researching whether there are any claims against the firm's bond.
When companies successfully pass the screening process, the Club begins recommending them for appropriate projects.
Why do these contractors choose to work with the Club?
The Club provides time-tested solutions to the problems most contractors face, such as securing work, helping clients plan their projects, collecting payment for work successfully completed and more.
Ours is a mutually beneficial relationship that's still delivering real results more than five decades since the Club's founding.
How many contractors will bid on my project?
For smaller jobs and emergency repairs — where prompt service is the top priority — the Club will dispatch one contractor to handle the project.
For major projects — such as painting, remodeling, installing a new roof or flooring — the Club, upon request, can send multiple contractors to bid on the work, and even provide free inspections and consultations by the Club's staff, as needed.
How do I know I'll be satisfied with the work?
Thanks to the Club's prudent billing process (you pay the Club, the Club pays the contractor), you have plenty of time to ensure the work has been done to your satisfaction before final payment needs to be made.
After your job is completed, the contractor will send the invoice to the Club, not to you. Someone from the Club will review the bill, then contact you to make sure you're satisfied with the work and the service provided. Should you have concerns about the completeness of the project, the Club's Field Inspector can meet with you on-site and personally review the details.
It's a time-tested process that allows the Club to guarantee your satisfaction.
What if the contractor goes out of business?
The Club honors any contractor's guarantee on work completed through the Home Owners Club — even in cases where the contractor has gone out of business.
How is the Club compensated for the services it provides members and contractors?
Unlike other referral services, the Club does not charge contractors any up-front fees, or any fees for referrals. The Club's only financial agreement with contractors is that all work successfully completed for members be billed through the Club. The Club then pays the contractor a discounted amount (as if it were charged on a credit card), while collecting the full invoiced amount from the member. In banking terms, this is called "factoring the invoice."
In addition, your annual membership dues help to cover some of the administrative costs the Club incurs.
Do the Club's authorized contractors charge members higher rates?
No. Each HOC-authorized contractor has signed an agreement with the Club that states they will "perform all work referred by the Club at current, competitive prices ...." This means that Club members will be charged the contractor's regular hourly rates.
Plus, the Club regularly monitors the going rates for a wide variety of projects to ensure that the rates charged by HOC-authorized contractors are competitive, fair and reasonable.
Can I pay with a credit card or PayPal?
Unfortunately, no. Businesses that accept credit card and PayPal payments must add the accompanying processing fees to the prices of their services. If the Home Owners Club were to accept credit card payments, an additional 2 to 4 percent would need to be added to each contractor's invoice to cover the processing costs. Avoiding credit cards and keeping prices low has always seemed like the better option.
What types of projects can the Club help me with?
The Club has authorized contractors who can help with virtually everything having to do with the repair, upkeep and modernization of your house and grounds. For example:
Doors and locks
Fences and gates
Furnace / heating system
Garage doors and openers
Phone and cable wiring
Roofs and gutters
Water damage cleanup
How do most members hear about the club?
Word-of-mouth referrals have always been the best way for homeowners to hear about the Club. Approximately 95 percent of the Club's new members are referred by their friends, colleagues and family members.
Other than the annual membership dues, are there any other fees for members?
No. Members only pay the low annual dues and, of course, for any work satisfactorily completed by authorized contractors. Membership in the Home Owners Club is one of the most economical options available.
Does the Club sell its membership list to marketing companies?
No. None of the information you provide when applying for membership is ever sold or given to any outside party. Only the Home Owners Club staff and the contractors you work with have access to your basic contact information. You can take comfort in knowing that any personally identifiable information will be securely stored and kept strictly confidential.