I happen to love watching HGTV’s Property Brothers. I like to see the reaction of potential homeowners when Drew shows them houses that don’t seem to meet any of their “must haves”, only to have Jonathan show them what can be done to these eyesores, within their budget! What this show proves is that you can do amazing things to even the most outdated properties, if you just have a little imagination.
It is extremely difficult for most people to visualize what something can really be when they are looking at a blank canvas of a property. The good news for homeowners is that many manufacturers now offer online design tools so that you can visualize what a specific door, window, siding, or roofing material will look like on your own home. Sure beats looking at a picture in a catalog or even a sample in a showroom, trying to decide if something will look right on your house!
When you are thinking about a home renovation project, take a few minutes to search online for a design tool for your specific project. For instance, in just a few minutes I found door designers for ProVia, Therma Tru, and Rogue Valley, siding design tools for Hardie, Norandex, and Alside, and window visualization programs for Anderson and Pella, and those are just a few samples. Some of these programs require downloading or signing up, but some can be used immediately. You can either select a basic home style that closest matches yours, or, in some cases, you can even upload a picture of your own home to get a true visual!
Even if you don’t want to take the time to do all this work yourself (some of these programs are a little complicated, true), ask your contractor if they can walk you through the process. Most of them have access to design tools from the manufacturers they represent. And, if you have a lot of projects on your list, check out some of the design software available from your local library – everything from basis visualizations to advanced design applications. I’ve played with HGTV home design software from our own library, and I like it for the most part, although it is a little difficult to work with in some areas. I’ve also worked with some other programs specifically for landscaping and interior design, which helps make decisions on what will work and what won’t.
Whatever your dream project, big or small, it’s worth your while to check out design software, whether online, from the library, or from your contractor, to see your dream come true before you spend a dime!
Rae the Renovator