Using Digital Tools During Renovation

Technological advances have drastically changed the way homeowners do their renovations. Not only is it easy to Google “How to paint a wall” or “Best contractors in town,” you can also do idea generation using apps and tools like Pinterest. And it’s not only homeowners who are benefiting from the changing times, designers are using new digital tools as well.

Designers Use Pinterest
Stephen Treffinger, writer for magazine House Beautiful, said, “While many social-networking sites are not much more than platforms for chatter, others have evolved into fantastic tools for renovation, building, and decorating projects.” Even designers are using Pinterest to gather design ideas and share them with clients. Jayne Michaels, one such designer, said, “The boards keep us organized and create a dynamic dialogue.

Dering Hall is another website where people can browse through a design gallery categorized by room to find interior design ideas, learn where to buy home decor pieces, and choose from a list of experienced interior designers. Cultivate is a similar site, except it focuses on kitchen renovations and has community boards that allow users to communicate with one another, seeking advice and participating in forums.

Mobile Device Design Apps
Homezada (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android) is a home management app that deals with keeping your home in working order. It will remind you when certain tasks need done and maintenance issues need taken care of, give you access to owner’s manuals for key appliances, and help you keep track of your home improvement and renovation spending. But perhaps the most useful part of this app is its ability to record lists of your possessions, save pictures of them, and store them securely online so in the event of a disaster, the lists will be safe and sound and help you be able to replace all you lost. This makes the process of reimbursing you accurately much easier for insurance companies, too.

Magicplan (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android) is another helpful app for people who want to record the details of their home. By taking a few pictures and a couple measurements, you can recreate your floor plan in the app, which will then allow you to visualize more clearly how certain renovations would work. How big would the space be if you took out a wall? Is there room to add a bathroom? Your answers come easily when you use this app.

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