TheSweeten is essentially a filter for contractors. Founded by a Bed-Stuy resident and architect named Jean Brownhill Lauer, it works like this: You post your proposed project—a new kitchen, an apartment combination, a wall of custom-built bookcases, a mural—and each is matched with three to five hand-selected, preapproved local contractors, carpenters, interior designers, artists, or architects. You then check out a prospective match’s profile page to size up past projects, then get in touch to negotiate details. It’s free to the customers; the contractors pay to be listed, and because the site is a trusted referral source, your chances of getting the old do-the-demolition-and-disappear move are minimal. (Unlike Angie’s List, it doesn’t depend primarily on user reviews.) It’s curiously similar to cruising OkCupid—and is nearly as much fun on a lazy afternoon.
Best Contractor Locator
From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine