The Internet is a great resource for home improvement ideas. Seemingly endless, there are thousands of sites with how-to information, contacts for local contractors, reviews of services in your area and web communities devoted to home improvement and renovation projects. Unfortunately, it can be an overwhelming amount of information to sort through. Keep reading to learn about different sources of home improvement information on the Internet as well as how to access them.
1. Business Finders
You can use mapping sites like GoogleMaps or MapQuest to find local contractors and hardware stores near you. From there, you can browse their web sites, get a feel for the business or also look for reviews. If you’re curious what other consumers had to say concerning a prospective plumber, try using a search engine to search for his name or business name along with the word “review.” For example, if his name is Bob Smith, try searching for “Bob +Smith +Plumber +Review” to get accurate results.
2. Online Quotations
Many providers offer online quoting services. This can be a great way to gain an idea of a project’s price along with an estimated cost of materials. Even if you’re just in the budget and drafting stage, online quotes are a great tool to provide you a fairly accurate idea about cost.
3. How-To’s and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Information
Many web sites offer expertise articles or step-by-step DIY instructions for everything from how to hang a picture to how to frame a house. Before investing in information from an online source, check a few different pages just to cross check their opinions and recommendations as well.
4. Product Reviews
If you’re thinking about buying new home improvement equipment -like a new set of power tools or a table saw – online product reviews are great. Written by customers like you, they tell you the pros and cons of each product while rating factors such as price, durability, power and ease of use. Before you purchase a new home improvement tool, check the online product reviews.
5. Web Communities
Message boards, forums and web communities are all great ways to connect with other home improvement enthusiasts. They’re also fantastic for getting a specific question answered. Think of posting a question on a forum as similar to walking into a busy hardware store and asking everybody there for advice. You’ll get a lot of answers from people with varying levels of home improvement experience, ranging from experts to home improvement DIY hobbyists.