The first eight months or so of being a homeowner are filled with repairs, remodels and upgrades needed to make the house into a home. There are few options available to homeowners when they begin looking for reliable people to take on all of these tasks. Traditional sources, including online research and fumbling through the Yellow Pages, don't guarantee good, quality work.

This is where Verified Consumer Reports comes in. It's an annual publication based out of St. Louis, Mo., and it will be released throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area in July. The publishers of Verified Consumer Reports said they are dedicated to easing the process of finding companies capable of tackling home improvement projects.

"Arizona is such a great market with thousands of new homeowners coming in providing a great opportunity for our product," said Tony White, co-founder and president of Verified Consumer Reports.

He said he is bringing with him the knowledge of launching and managing various publications. White said he took what he learned from those publications and improved upon them, along with co-founder and Vice President Beth DeVoto, to create Verified Consumer Reports. The publication contains 50 to 60 categories ranging from pool maintenance to air ducts, each with up to four local businesses that have been screened and verified by the publication to be providing quality services.

White stresses that there are a lot of scams that have taken place in the Arizona market, which sets the venue for Verified Consumer Reports to go in and clean out the bad business providers.

"There are up to four different choices of people in your area that are licensed, that carry the workman's comp insurance and that you can trust," he said, adding that what sets his publication apart is the strenuous screening process businesses have to go through in order to be included.

DeVoto and White said they research every potential business and survey each of their clients through an independent auditing firm to find out who has the highest rate of customer satisfaction, and then only the best make it into the annual issue.

"Their own customers have let us know that yes we used them, yes we liked them, yes we would use them again or refer them to our friends," DeVoto said, adding that no business goes unchecked and it's the personal recommendation from real people that give homeowners a sense of security with the product.

"We don't bombard the homeowners with a bunch of advertisements," White said. "You won't see any full-page, flashy displays. We want this to be viewed by the homeowners as a quality resource with factual information."

For more information on Verified Consumer Reports, visit

Vanja Veric is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a freshman at Arizona State University.

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