The Internet makes it easier than ever before to find home improvement inspiration. Social networking sites have taken the place of word of mouth between neighbors, and popular sites like Houzz and Pinterest let users share ideas and opinions on home trends with a seemingly endless social network.
“It is impossible to ignore the impact of social media and digital tools on home design trends,” says Jeff Kaliner, Power Home Remodeling Group’s Founding Partner. “Whether their motivation is to keep up with the Joneses or to give their home some personality, these sites spark the imagination of homeowners looking to improve their home’s appearance — and the sky’s the limit when it comes to inspiration.”
Below are four areas where the Internet helps homeowners turn their home improvement inspiration into reality:
• Social media – Consumers stay tuned to home improvement news and trends by following their favorite companies on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These sites provide an opportunity for customers to build relationships with contractors and retailers, have direct access to a company’s knowledge and expertise, and quickly spread the word about home improvement projects to their family and friends.
• Inspiration boards – New sites like Houzz and Pinterest are examples of the visual trend in social networking. Users cull through thousands of images with the ability to save their favorites into personalized categories called ‘ideabooks’ or ‘pinboards.’ For example, if a homeowner is in the market for a new entry door, they can visit Houzz, search for entry door inspiration and save their favorites. Later when they are meeting with a contractor, they can revisit these choices to easily communicate what they are looking for. Similarly, home improvement professionals can use the site to highlight their work as inspiration for others. The most popular content is heavily shared among users and home design trends begin to emerge.
• Virtual home remodelers and home management websites – Home improvement companies are making it easier than ever for homeowners to manage their home on the web. Popular big box retailers have designed complex home management websites to help homeowners store paint colors, product numbers and other detailed information as a way to capture consumers’ attention online and cultivate customer loyalty. Similarly, Power customers are encouraged to test the look of Power products on their home’s facade with the company’s virtual home remodeler. The tool, which can be accessed through Power’s Facebook page and website, allows homeowners to select a variety of siding, roofing, window and door styles and colors to see what their remodeled home would look like.
• Do-it-yourself and design blogs – The popularity of home improvement, design and do-it-yourself bloggers has grown exponentially in recent years. Loyal readers follow blogs for trends, ideas and inspiration by reading through the trials and tribulations of bloggers who document a variety of home-related projects.