Using the Internet for Your Next Renovation



    Using the Internet for Your Next Renovation


    If you’re like most people, the thought of a major home renovation is both thrilling and nerve-wracking.  It’s exciting to consider how much more functional, spacious and modern your home may become, but the amount of choices out there can be flat out overwhelming – and carry a hefty price tag to boot!

    Years ago, in the pre-Internet age, contractors and homeowners searched for ideas by attending open houses, going to home shows and reading “Architectural Digest” among other home design magazines they could find at the newsstand.  Now, of course, you can find more information than you can ever possibly sift through on websites like and For the inexperienced, these sites let you research home design projects in a variety of ways:  you can look at photos posted by other consumers; read about renovation projects accomplished by others; and even see a simulation of the project you are imagining for your home. Both sites cover the entire residential home market – providing ideas on everything from architectural style to interior design options to home accessorizing. 

    You may think that these sites useful in helping you out with your roofing considerations, but you might be missing a great opportunity to get creative with your renovation. Like everything else in home design, roofing has become much more sophisticated over the years, with the advent of new materials, colors and styles that might surprise you. You may be working with an architect that can clue you in to the various roofing options to consider, but always do your own research. Visit a site like Houzz and use their filtering feature to view photos showing a staggering 18 different roofing styles – varying from your traditional craftsman or Victorian to newer categories, such as shabby-chic, contemporary or eclectic.  On Pinterest, you can search on the word “roof” and select from a broad menu of categories, including “metal,” “colors” and “shingles,” to view photos and read additional product and project information. 

    The best place to learn about roofing, however, is the website of a company that specializes in roofing, like CertainTeed.   If you look at their website, you can educate yourself on the variety of roofing materials, colors and styles available, as well as read professional blogs that offer roofing insight and advice.  When you’re ready to start getting creative, you can take your research to the next level by visiting the CertainTeed Design & Inspiration Center.  As with the design sites mentioned above, you can use filters here to hone in on the roofing types and specific features that you like the most.  

    The benefit of visiting a major manufacturer’s site is that you will be getting your information from a trusted retailer that has been in the business for over 100 years.  Instead of picking up scraps of information from a consumer with limited roofing knowledge, or a retailer who may not directly deal with roofing, you will be learning from professionals who know roofing inside and out.  The information on the CertainTeed site is presented in a well-organized manner, so you can be confident you’re not missing anything  In addition, there are plenty of blogs available on the site that provide you the background information you need to get started.

    As always, do what works best for you during the planning stages of your renovation.  Are you comfortable being limited to open houses and design magazines to determine your style?   Would you prefer to work on you lap top from the comfort of your own living room?  Or, do you want the personal touch offered by working with an architect, but risking blowing your budget?  As you move through the process, begin to narrow down the photographs, designs and projects that get you most excited.  Once you’ve your research, it’s OK to relax and let your budget, new-found knowledge and heart guide you.

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