Making the decision to remodel your home requires a great deal of thought and time. Whether you are adding an addition to your house or simply updating your kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you are hoping to achieve before you begin the process of getting bids from professional contractors. In the past, people would turn to magazines for ideas on home remodeling. While this is still an option, purchasing and thumbing through multiple magazines to gather ideas can be cumbersome and difficult to organize styles you like. Another, significantly simpler method is to find the information you need online.
There are numerous websites designed to provide users with the best advice and information on remodeling their homes, so how do you know which ones to use? Ultimately, it comes down to criteria such as the number and quality of remodeling photos they have, helpful search functions, and does it have features that let you easily add ideas to a favorites ‘bucket’ or ‘board’ of some kind. It’s best to browse several of these websites, and then explore your favorite ones in greater detail. We’ve put together some information on a few of the most popular websites available, and how to make the most of each one.
Houzz is a fantastic resource for anybody interested in design and remodeling. Whether you are looking to redecorate a single room, remodel your whole home, or completely build from scratch, there is an abundance of information available here. In fact, some people actually find that there is too much information, and aren’t sure where to start. Before logging on to Houzz, it is a good idea to establish which rooms you are hoping to remodel, and how much you are willing to spend.
Once you have established this, Houzz can be used to gather ideas about exactly what you are hoping to achieve. You can browse thousands of pictures of other people’s bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room, dining room, office and exterior remodels. This is not as far as it goes though – Houzz lets you connect with industry experts and professionals to seek advice, and even to request their services to make your project happen. Houzz really does make you feel as though you’re part of a club or community, and the endless support and advice will make your remodeling experience so much more enjoyable. What’s more, you can upload photos of your finished projects to the site, and these can then act as inspiration for others to pursue their remodeling dreams. Visit houzz.com.
Many are familiar with Pinterest and know it is as the largest public pin board in the world, where anybody can post or ‘pin’ things they are interested in so that others can view them. You can search for just about anything on Pinterest – recipes, wedding invitations, and of course there is also a huge range of home renovation and remodeling ideas. Viewing remodeling projects that other people have performed will inspire you and also give you lots of ideas for what might work for your home.
Pinterest also allows you to collect images from the internet and collate or “pin” them to your board. This can help you categorize the pages you have pinned, and you can post comments to remind yourself what it was that you liked about a particular image or design. Importantly, these pages often link directly back to the original website, meaning that you can always find the full resource of the page you pinned. Visit pinterest.com.
Zillow is another fantastic resource. Starting as an online home and real estate data base, recently they branched out to create Zillow Digs, which is specifically designed for people interested in home improvement and remodeling. Zillow Digs allows you to collect images from the remodeling projects of others, share the ones you like the most, and also work out what a specific project would roughly cost.
The cost estimate feature of Zillow Digs is what makes it a great website to use when you’re planning a remodel. When it comes to remodeling, most people are limited by their budget, so knowing how far yours will stretch is a key step in the planning stage of your remodeling dream. Zillow Digs also has a fantastic search feature where you can search by style, such as art deco, modern, mediterranean, country etc, and also by color theme or budget, with everything from budget to luxury being on offer. Visit zillow.com/digs.
Each of these websites has a lot to offer the prospective remodeler – now log on and be inspired!
Photo: brad_holt via creative commons, edited