The Best Essential Apps for Contractors and Handymen in 2021

October 12, 2021

Running a contracting business means juggling dozens of different tasks. With the right arsenal of mobile apps, you can streamline how you manage job costs, travel expenses, invoicing and more. Here are our readers' choices for the best contracting apps available today.

As a contractor or handyman, you have a lot to keep track of as you manage your business. From getting the most efficient work done at the job site to managing travel costs to billing and invoicing, running a contracting business can take up a monumental amount of time and energy.

If you’re looking to focus less on the mundane management task and put more effort into growing your business, it’s time to boost your arsenal of contracting apps. There are enough apps out there to turn your smartphone into a digital construction management office and assist you in every facet of your business.

We reached out to our Thimble readers to find out which contracting and handymen apps worked best for them, and they delivered! Here are the results.

And if you lean strongly toward one of these apps, be sure to vote for your favorite at the end!

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Perhaps best thought of as “Uber for a handyman,” registering with this app will help you find more jobs. Something of a clearinghouse, Handy Pro is more like an agent than an employer. This is because you still work for yourself; Handy just directs you to job opportunities. You’ll be screened to ensure you’re experienced, licenced, bonded, and insured. With Handy, you can make up to $45 per hour per job as a handyman or $62 per hour as a lawn care pro. In exchange for directing you to jobs, Handy takes a percentage of the fee. Payment for your services is directly deposited into your account upon completion of a job.

Pros:

  • Access to high-payings gigs
  • Great if you need to find quick work
  • Variety of home service jobs are in demand on the platform
  • Set your schedule, claim gigs and message customers all within the app

Cons:

  • Handy charges you for a background check
  • Workers can get penalized for mundane things (like being stuck in traffic)
  • Workers can’t read reviews written about them
  • Job descriptions can often lack key information

Price: Free

App store rating: 4.6

Thumbtack understands that handymen want to fix things, not get bogged down with all of the new technologies and online marketing strategies. That’s why they created an app that introduces you to customers. Simply tell them a little bit about your business, including the type of jobs you want and where and when you want to work. Once you’re listed, customers will be able to find you. Like a dating site, the app then asks customers specific questions about the job they want done and then matches them with the right handyman. There’s no need for digital ads, door knocking, or cold calling—just sign up to get started.

Pros:

  • Creating a profile is a breeze
  • Customers reach out to you
  • Huge variety of types of jobs available
  • Great for more seasoned professionals

Cons:

  • You’ll be charged per lead, even if they don’t result in a job
  • Pros can’t send personalized messages to prospects
  • Some users can be inundated with irrelevant leads

Price: Free to download, pros are charged per lead

App store rating: 4.4

TaskRabbit is the easiest way you can knock out your daily to-do list. It connects people with talented “taskers” to handle anything from errands to handiwork. Sign up to be a tasker and get started in minutes. Search for gigs, choose your rates, and build a schedule that fits you. It’s that simple.

Pros:

  • Great for handy people looking for maximum schedule flexibility
  • Reliable payments
  • Over 200 tasks to choose from

Cons:

  • Requires a background check
  • Not viable if you don’t live in a major metropolitan area
  • Gigs have a tendency to be lower-paying than on other gig platforms

Price: $25 registration fee, 15% fee per gig

App Store rating: 4.1

Formerly Home Advisor, Angi is the most popular home improvement app on the market. Every day, thousands of people use it to hire an expert to help with their home improvement project(s), whether it’s for remodeling, landscaping services, or plumbing. Signing up is free. However, you will have to pay a slight fee for leads. Once you’re on, you can list your services, bid on projects, and instantly connect with customers.

Pros:

  • Angi has a huge audience of potential customers and clients
  • Free to join—users only pay for leads
  • Robust review system

Cons:

  • Can be difficult for new users to compete with seasoned Angi professionals
  • Limited job categories compared to other apps like Thumbtack
  • You have to pay for leads even if you don’t get the job

Price: Free (Green plan), $24.99/month (Silver plan), $99.99/month (Gold plan)

App Store rating: 3.9

Staying competitive in today’s contracting world means investing in digital tools just as much as physical tools. With the Bosch Toolbox, you have multiple digital tools at your disposal, from a measurement camera and distance calculator to unit conversions and building documentation. Report sheet features include travel, work and materials details; acceptance procedure with digital signature and export to PDF functionality.

Pros:

  • Incredibly precise measurements
  • Helps perform complex mathematical operations on the go
  • Bluetooth functionality connects to Bosch power tools
  • Quick documentation and reporting tools

Cons:

  • Not available for iPads
  • Missing GPS functions
  • Steep learning curve for some users

Price: Free

App Store rating: 4.7

Home Depot has made shopping for the supplies you need easier. With its mobile app, you can find products through image or voice search. Use the bar scanner to see what other customers have said about a product. If you become a Pro user, you can save money and stretch your project budget with bulk purchasing options, pro-exclusive offers and lower prices.

Pros:

  • See what’s in stock and at which location in real-time
  • Voice search feature
  • Pro users can benefit from huge savings opportunities

Cons:

  • Poor search functionality
  • App can be a bit clunky at times

Price: Free

App Store rating: 4.8

The free Lowe’s mobile app lets you create a shopping list in collaboration with store personnel to ensure the products you need are in stock. This saves you the trouble of driving to a store only to learn the item you need isn’t available (which often happens when you visit the closest location to the job site). The app allows you to scan barcodes to get more information about products. With it, you can keep track of your purchase history and assign expenses to jobs, or even use the application to pay for items and speed up checkout times.

Pros:

  • Fantastic shopping list feature
  • Barcode scanning
  • Listings contain aisle and shelf information

Cons:

  • Inventory tracking is not up to par with Home Depot
  • Inconsistent product descriptions

Price: Free

App Store rating: 4.7

As a contractor or handyman, taking phone calls from potential customers is a huge part of your business. Handing out your personal cell phone number or getting a second phone are both options you’d rather leave behind. With the Grasshopper app, you can turn your personal smartphone into a business line with a completely separate number. It features a distinctive ringtone so you know what sort of call you’re getting. The app works over WiFi to allow you to take calls in areas with poor cellular service.

Pros:

  • MMS and group messaging support
  • Sign and email faxes and PDFs
  • Set up extensions
  • Group chat feature for teams

Cons:

  • A small number of cosmetic issues stop Grasshopper from being amazing
  • Some users report issues with call quality and dropped calls
  • No mass-select feature for deleting text and voice messages
  • Missing function to send calls to voicemail outside of business hours

Price: Free

App Store Rating: 4.8

One of the biggest hurdles contractors and handymen face is the fact that so much of the business still happens on paper. With one foot in the digital world and the other in the paper world, it can be hard to keep everything in one place. Enter the Scannable app by Evernote. With Scannable, you can instantly create beautiful scans of any paper document and save them to your smartphone. Your scans can then be exported as a JPEG or PDF and saved for later. Best of all, the app is completely free.

Pros:

  • Scannable auto-detects borders and automatically rotates and crops images
  • Can scan, crop, and send an image via email in a matter of minutes
  • Pulls information from business cards and saves to you contacts

Cons:

  • Only available on Apple devices
  • Can become unstable with larger file sizes (multiple pages)
  • Takes some trial and error to learn how to use effectively

Price: Free

App Store Rating: 4.9

Whether you run a team of workers or are a solo handyman, the GasBuddy app will help you save money and keep track of expenses while on the road. With features like a real-time gas prices map, trip cost calculator and fuel logbook, GasBuddy is designed to help you save money on one of your critical business expenses. GasBuddy also offers the GasBuddy gas card, which lets you link your bank account, pay at the pump, and cash in on money-saving deals.

Pros:

  • Displays every gas station in your area and the last reported gas prices
  • Very intuitive and easy to navigate the app
  • Can filter stations by features (like restrooms, service stations, etc.)
  • Reporting gas prices enters you into raffles to win free gas cards

Cons:

  • Banner ads in the app can get tiresome
  • Displayed gas prices aren’t always 100% accurate
  • DIsplayed gas prices don’t differentiate between cash and credit pricing

Price: Free

App Store rating: 4.7

MileIQ is a handy app that tracks your business mileage so you don’t have to do it manually. It automatically logs mileage and estimates the cost of drives for tax reimbursements. The app automatically tracks mileage without you needing to press a button. Simply download and drive—no paperwork required.

Pros:

  • Free unlimited tracking for Microsoft 365 subscribers
  • Simple to use
  • Detailed reporting features

Cons:

  • Lacks expense and tax tracking features
  • Doesn’t integrate with popular tax software like TurboTax
  • Running MileIQ can quickly use up your data and drain your battery

Price: Plans start at $5.99/month

App Store rating: 4.6

The Joist App for Contractors lets you easily create professional quality estimates, draft invoices, accept payments and manage your projects on the go. The free app is well-loved by contractors and handymen for its intuitive functionality and time-saving capabilities. Other features include monthly sales reports, outstanding invoice tracking, payment records and custom invoices with your business logo. Available for desktop, iOS and Android, Joist is an incredible tool no matter what stage your contracting business is in.

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface makes Joist easy to use by just about anyone
  • Ability to save frequently used items
  • Email or text invoices to customers
  • Syncs with Quickbooks

Cons:

  • Some users have had complaints about the tiered pricing system
  • Lacks support for customer credits
  • Users can’t modify and repurpose previous estimates

Price: Free (Starter), $12 per month (Pro), $29 per month (Pro Elite)

App Store rating: 4.6

While all of the above apps can help you save time and money in your contracting business, none of them can protect you from future liability risks. The construction business is rife with risks of third-party injury and property damage, all of which can cost your business thousands of dollars or more.

With Thimble’s Contractor Insurance, you can get general liability coverage for up to $1 million plus Customer Property Protection. General liability protects your business against claims of non-employee bodily injury and third-party property damage. Accidents happen, but they don’t have to set your business back or put you in the red. You can get coverage by the month, day or even by the hour.

Our readers have chosen Bosch Toolbox as their number one app for contractors, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to second opinions. Which app is your personal favorite?

  1. What’s your favorite app?

    • Bosch Toolbox
    • Grasshopper
    • Scannable
    • GasBuddy
    • Joist
    • Other
    • Vote

Written on October 12, 2021

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.

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