FREE is always good to get people to your site...premium services lets people know your site as substance. Your service is a pretty tight niche...you should try to see what kind of market there is for your service. Post a survey here...it helps.
As for your idea, Google it and I`m sure you`ll get a pretty good feel on what has already been done. A very good FREE practice site for your project is www.weebly.com Takes minimal effort and if anything, allows you to mock it all up.
Best of luck to you!
There is a site (mfg.com, I think) that offers purchasing departments to post outsourcing work to small manufacturing companies to bid on. They offer a free level, but to bid on work the manufactures need to "buy in" a membership.
I joined the free level awhile ago, and judging by the amount of work available to bid on they seem to be growing rapidly.
thanks good advice all: I`m going to mock it up in dreamweaver probably since we have to "design and build` it ourselves for class.
I like the craiglist idea craig. (no pun inteded) I`m suprised there hasn`t been a better solution yet for contractors in general. SUN seems to be doing a good job but a lot of sites I`ve seen are bloated, and almost overwhelming for first time users.