Pro.com partners with Build.com to provide home improvement project cost estimates

Consumers can research costs of materials and labor

Pro.com, a startup that helps consumers price projects and connect with professionals, has partnered with the home improvement retailer Build.com to help consumers estimate the full cost of a home remodeling project.

Pro.com offers a natural-language search engine that lets people generate “pre-estimates” of the labor costs of projects, and then schedule those projects with vetted professionals.

The service, headed by a group of Amazon veterans, launched in May with $3.5 million in seed funding. It’s one of a growing crop of startups that are trying to make it painless for buyers to find and book professionals — a process that some services like TaskRabbit and HouseCall are trying to make as easy as hailing a driver on Uber.

Build.com offers over 700,000 home improvement products along with free shipping, tools for project inspiration, buying guides, shopping tools and installation services.

As part of the partnership, Build.com now displays a Pro.com-powered widget that lets people perusing products on the site generate estimates for the cost of using a professional to install those products.

Pro.com, meanwhile, will refer people to Build.com to buy products for projects. It’s also offering a 5 percent discount off Build.com products to its users.

“With our Pro.com partnership we offer an integrated experience for customers to plan their home improvement projects with confidence,” said Chris Friedland, president and founder of Build.com, in a statement. “By ensuring product selection and providing a reliable job cost estimate, we can keep customers on time and on budget.”

The partnership somewhat resembles one made between Porch and Lowe’s earlier this year. The deal equipped Lowe’s employees with an app to use to refer customers to local professionals part of Porch’s network.