Monday, April 20, 2015

Websites, apps make home improvements easier

Glenn Haege

You have heard me say that it is important to visit showrooms to see products and get ideas for your home remodeling projects. But today, the showroom may actually be online or on an app. Here are some websites and apps that can help you plan and visualize your home improvement projects:


DIY Network ( HGTV’s sister network has a website loaded with home remodeling and decorating ideas, along with tips on how to actual do the projects yourself.

HGTV ( The cable network that provides plenty of home remodeling inspiration also has a good website that supplies lots of decorating tips and allows you to browse decorating and remodeling ideas and photos room by room based on styles and color schemes to help you with your home remodeling projects. You also can check out designs by your favorite HGTV hosts and other top designers. HGTV also has a Folio app for iPad designed to provide additional home decor ideas.

Houzz ( Houzz was started as a side project by a couple when they were remodeling their home but has become a community of more than 25 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals. The site provides a place to find photos of various home projects for every room in the house and even enables users to buy products for a project. Houzz also has an app to make it easy to use on a smartphone or tablet. ( One of the most popular home remodeling projects is re-doing the kitchen. So this website dedicated to that room provides lots of design ideas, articles, blogs, photos and a product guide section to help you plan a kitchen remodeling project.

Pinterest ( Sometimes the best inspiration for a home project are other people’s finished renovations. Pinterest, a content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images to their pinboard, features a Home Decor section that is filled with photos of decorating ideas and projects from experts or plain old do-it-yourselfers. You can also download the Pinterest Apple or Android app.

Zillow ( Many people go to Zillow to check on the price of homes in their area, but the website also offers a Home Design section with home decorating photos and ideas from professionals and home stores. You can look at ideas for various rooms in the home based on style, color and cost, and you can also click on various products in the photos of rooms to learn more about the products. Zillow also has a Zillow Digs app available for iPhone and iPad to let you access home design ideas on the go.


Color Snap (Sherwin Williams), Color Capture (Benjamin Moore) and Color Smart (Behr) apps from these major paint manufacturers can help you match up color combinations to your project without having to bring home paint samples. The apps are available for both Apple and Android-based devices.

Home Design 3D: This Apple and Android app allows users to import any architectural or hand-drawn design plan and then change every element of the house (walls, objects, furniture)

Homestyler Interior Design: With this app you can use your iPhone or iPad to snap a photo of the room you want to transform and then use its 3D features to see how furniture and decor products will look in the space before you buy them.

Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards: All of these stores has its own app that allows you to do everything from search the store's inventory, scan UPC symbols and watch how-to videos. The apps are available for both Apple and Android-based devices.

Of course, when you are looking for valuable online information for your home projects, don’t forget my website at With all the prior planning you can do from the comfort of your kitchen table or favorite coffee shop using your laptop, tablet or smartphone, it is easier than ever to move to the front of the home improvement class.

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