Technology has drastically changed the way we live our lives, not always for the good.
For homeowners, there are new and better ways to plan renovations and we thought we would post some of the best digital tools any homeowner can use to maximize return on investment AND curb appeal of their most valuable asset. Here are some FREE tools to aid in exterior renovations, from roof to deck to garden:
colourVIEW from CertainTeed
This useful tool lets you see what your home will look like with siding, roofing and trim products – all before installing. Just want to check out how your colour ideas look together? You can do that too. Select a preloaded house style then begin exploring the various colour, styles and textures. Still not entirely sure? You can upload a photo of your home and turn it into a template you can manipulate directly – or for a small fee, a designer will do it for you (recommended). Remember, siding and roofing are not products that you change often so you want to choose wisely. When you’ve got the look you want, click view your selections then find a pro and the tool will put you in touch with a CertainTeed credentialed installer in your area.
For everything from colour of... well just EVERYTHING, this site has an online designer that will not only allow you to choose from many home styles, it will even allow you to upload a photo of YOUR home and play with different exterior finishes to walls, roof, windows. For example, if you have ever thought of adding shutters and want to see what your home would look like with different styles and colours, this is the place to go.
Not free to download your rendering but it IS free to go online and play with designs. Pretty cool features:
New home buyers can now design their new homes online - like they do with new cars! Real-Time Rendering Engine instantly renders thousands of colour schemes of a house - for the same price as a still rendering! No more generic brown houses!
PLAN A GARDEN from Better Homes and Gardens
Use drag and drop functionality to design a gorgeous outdoor landscape. Choose from 15 preloaded exteriors or upload a picture of your home then add trees, bushes, flowers, even garden accents and structures like gazebos, planters and patio tables. There are a lot more options available if you decide to upgrade but this free version is a good place to start. They’ll even hook you up with a landscaper in your neighborhood if after a few tries you decide to call in a pro.
iDreambookTM from CertainTeed®.
This comprehensive Apple® iBook tool allows you to plan all the pieces of your exterior renovation from colours and trim to roofing materials. Flip through the extensive idea book for design inspiration. Each picture, video and interactive tool in the idea book provides different ways to help you recreate the exact look for your own home. Available through iTunes for your Mac or iOS device.
DECK DESIGNER from Lowe's
Use this easy planner tool to create a custom design. When you’re finished you’ll receive your 3-D design and detailed building report. Going to DIY? You can bring the plan to Lowes and get help gathering together all your materials. The tool only allows you to select from composite, pressure treated or cedar materials. If you would prefer to use a low maintenance vinyl or other decking material, you’ll need to take the design to your local distributor or discuss modifications with a contractor.