HomePainter offers estimates for painting projects online

During his time studying business at Iowa State University, Jacob McClarnon was also running his own residential painting business called Painter’s Promise. While running the business, Mclarnon consistently ran into the same problem—the inefficient and time-consuming process of in-house estimates for paint projects.

“I quickly came across the fact that there are many issues on both sides of the industry that all really begin with the inefficient process of scheduling in-person estimates,” Mclarnon said. “In-person estimates are a pain for contractors because it takes hours of labor to maybe get the job booked. And it’s annoying for homeowners to have people come out and provide you with those estimates.”

Mclarnon’s solution was to build a platform that would allow customers to get estimates online without having to send an estimator to their home. To help him build the platform, Mclarnon teamed up with Anthony House, a software engineering student at Iowa State University who owns a business called The Design GUIs.

“Once we began development, we quickly found that this idea could not just benefit my company but companies everywhere,” Mclarnon said.

That platform quickly turned into what is now known as HomePainter, an online subcontracting platform for both homeowners and painters.

Homeowners answer a series of questions about what they need painted such as how many rooms, size of the rooms and paint color. They then receive a quoted price. If the homeowner accepts the price, HomePainter then selects a vetted painter for the project.

The duo spent ten weeks last summer in the Pappajohn Center’s CYstarters accelerator program and were recently accepted into the ISU Startup Factory’s sixth cohort.

Just last week HomePainter won first place at the Ivey Business Plan Competition and took home $15,000. The international competition had over eighteen teams of undergraduate and graduate students from the United States, Mexico, and Canada compete in several rounds of presentations.

HomePainter will officially launch their platform this week at the Des Moines Home & Garden Expo. The platform will initially be available in the Greater Des Moines area with plans to expand into other cities in late 2019.

“Our goal is to prove the concept in the area, bring in revenue and show that we can do this elsewhere,” Mclarnon said. “By the end of the summer, we’d like to start scaling to other Midwestern cities like Minneapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago.”

Previous coverage

ISU Startup Factory announces twelve new teams for its sixth cohort -Jan. 23, 2019

Middle Bit: LunchSox and HomePainter win the 90 Seconds for $900 Business Pitch Competition -Nov. 9, 2018