Top 10 Resources for Homeowners Planning to Remodel
(Including ones you might not have heard about!)
The initial excitement of a remodel can quickly turn into a feeling of being overwhelmed by the entire process. Luckily, we have been able to find the most valuable and up-to-date resources for homeowners to help them get past the panic.
While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites and social media platforms right now in the digital age, we have narrowed it down to our top 10. Here, we lay them out in order of the process…from vetting, to design ideas and inspiration.
Planning and Vetting
Arguably, the most painstaking part of the remodeling process is finding the right company to complete your home renovation or remodel. These resources are available to you to vet companies to get a better understanding of how their company operates, and to help gauge if they will be the right fit for your project. By putting in this grunt work in the beginning, you are greatly reducing the chance for potential problems in the long run.
This national organization with regional chapters is a perfect place to start your search. Per the NARI website: each member is pledged to observe high standards of honesty, integrity, and responsibility in the conduct of business by:
Promoting in good faith only those products and services which are known to be functionally and economically sound, and which are known to be consistent with objective standards of health and safety.
Making all advertising and sales promotion factually accurate, avoiding those practices which tend to mislead or deceive the customer.
Writing all contracts and warranties such that they comply with federal, state, and local laws.
Promptly acknowledging and taking appropriate action on all customer complaints.
Refraining from any act intended to restrain trade or suppress competition.
Obtaining and retaining insurance as required by federal, state, and local authorities.
Obtaining and retaining licensing and/or registration as required by federal, state, and local authorities.
Taking appropriate action to preserve the health and safety of employees, trade contractors, and clients.
GuildQuality is an industry specific, independent, 3rd party review system that contractors all over the United States utilize to help them gain candid responses from their clients. Statistics show that homeowners are much more likely to be forthright with GuildQuality surveyors than they would face-to-face with the contractor. This platform provides priceless information to these companies so that they can keep providing exceptional customer service and make adjustments if needed. Continually adapting to feedback is what separates the reputable contractors from the pack.
Most Chamber of Commerce websites have a list of their active members. By joining a Chamber of Commerce, a contractor is joining a network of other local, reputable businesses. This shows that they are interested in investing their time and resources into building up the local economy, and possibly even volunteering to help better their community.
In order to become BBB accredited, a business must fill out an application and adhere to the following standards: build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor promises, be responsive, safeguard privacy, and embody integrity. The BBB’s “purpose is not to act as an advocate for businesses or consumers but to act as a mutually trusted intermediary to resolve disputes and provide information to assist consumers in making wise buying decisions.”
5.) Angie’s List
Angie’s List is one of the most recognizable names in the home improvement and services industry. This (now free) online directory rates companies on an F-A scale based on the following criteria: price, quality, responsiveness, punctuality, and professionalism. Here, you can also find reviews from real customers as well as ways to contact the company via messaging, or directing you straight to their website. Lastly, Angie’s List has their own review system of client reviews, which means fake reviews are less likely.
Home shows are excellent ways to not only find reputable contractors, but also to be able to interact with them to assess compatibility, which is crucial in the infancy of your client-contractor relationship. These shows are also very educational, oftentimes hosting presentations and seminars on interior design, trends, and other home improvement curriculum.
(OK, shameless plug.) But here at Odell, we pride ourselves in setting expectations, being transparent and honest, and overall helping homeowners make educated home remodeling and renovation decisions. We try to generalize the information as much as possible in order to be a relatable source for consumers. We also have project photo galleries on our website to help you gather design inspiration, and a blog full of educational content.
Most remodeling contractors, even those with interior designers on staff, like to have a general understanding of a homeowner’s design aesthetic prior to starting the design process. This way, they can make educated selection and design recommendations catered to you. The following resources will help you stay organized with your project planning, as well as make your design ideas easily accessible to you and the remodeling company.
Houzz was created exactly for this reason. Husband and wife founders, Adi and Alon, were planning to remodel their home. According to the website, the couple’s stacks of magazine articles weren’t cutting it, so they created the Houzz platform to help homeowners just like them with planning their remodels. Whether it’s a full gut of your kitchen or bathroom, or just redecorating an existing space, Houzz is packed with design ideas, creative material and product selections, and can even help connect you with a professional to help complete the remodel…you can even share your ideas with them!
2.) Home Bunch Blog
This interior design blog is across most social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. This blog features interior design ideas submitted by interior designers, builders, remodelers, and even real homeowners that want to show off their latest projects. Home Bunch is an enormous compilation of luxury homes, including each individual room of the home in order to allow the reader to gain an overall perspective of the space. They also go to the great length of listing what paint colors and brands were used in the remodels and custom homes.
Organize all of your ideas with this one-of-a-kind social platform. Users can upload their own photos to albums on Pinterest called “pinboards”, as well as use it as a search engine. Whether you’re saving pins from external or internal sources, Pinterest helps you keep your thoughts in order and helps develop and overall design aesthetic. Follow popular interior design blogs, TV shows, or industry related brands to build up a portfolio.
There are several other sources to reference, whether it be online, on TV, or even your neighbor’s newly-remodeled house! Anything that helps you feel more confident in your renovation is worth the time and research. Best of luck, and please comment if you have any questions or additional tips!