Free DIY Home Remodeling Resources
The Internet has a variety of resources available to help with home remodeling and redecorating projects. Technology is making it easier to visualize colors and room layouts before materials are purchased for a home project. Some of the big DIY home improvement stores, like Lowes, now provide online resources for home owners, but there are also other websites and stores that provide help. Here are some of the best free resources available for a DIY home decorating project.
Sherwin-Williams Free Color Consulting
When a customer buys a gift card worth $100 or more, Sherwin Williams offers free in-home consulting for paint colors. The color consultants bring out a box containing all of their color samples. They will show you their recommendations for wall, ceiling, and trim, based on your input and existing materials in the home such as floor coloring, light fixtures, countertops, etc. Generally, they are very good at recommending complementary colors in the same room or between different rooms in the house. The in-home consultant can also help calculate the amount of paint needed for each room. Have measurements available at the time of the Sherwin-Williams consultant visit to receive the paint quantitiy calculation assistance.
Autodesk Homestyler free online home design software
One of the finest CAD software comapnies in the world, Autodesk who produces AutoCAD, also has a free online program for home decorating called Homestyler. Homestyler is completely run online through a web browser so no program requires installation. The Autodesk quality is apparent in the layout design interface. The online program also has specific models from manufacturers built right into the program. The quality of this software might be slightly better than Sweet Home 3D, but there are far fewer models available, and the software is less customizable. Overall, for free this is a top quality program. People familiar with using AutoCAD will likely prefer using Homestyler.
Sweet Home 3D free home design software
Sweet Home 3D is an open-source (free) program that runs through your browser or is downloadable for installation. This is one of the better open-source programs available and does a good job of creating a 3D visualization from a 2D layout. There are preset furnature pieces and other decorating object built into the program, and a growing number of new 3D objects that are created by users. Users also have the ability to create new furnature models. Sweet Home 3D also has a huge library of textures that are very useful for selecting floor types and colors throughout a redecorating project. Once the 2D model is created, a 3D model is built. The qualtiy is very good.
SketchUp free 3D drawing software
The visualization and 3D image software first created by @last software, then purchased by Google, and now owned by Trimble has a completely free version. SketchUp offers some unique tools for developing 3D images of a remodeling project. The program is capable of drawing to a scale, similar to CAD. Drawing and transforming a 2D image to 3D is easy and the controls are intuitive. SketchUp even has the ability to input some types of CAD data or photographs. This is very useful because input of a photograph of a room is possible, then drawing an addition or change to the room is possible. The texture tools and built-in drag-and-drop 3D models make things easy to add people, furnature, landscaping and other objects to a sketch.
GIMP free image editing software
If you have ever heard of the term "Photoshop a drawing", meaning digitally enhancement, then GIMP is for you. GIMP is a free (open-source) image program that has many of the features of Photoshop. Take a photograph of a room, then use these features to quickly change wall or floor colors with only a few mouse clicks. Image enhancement offers a great way to visualize a decorating project before painting the whole room first.
MyLowes is a new part of the Lowes website that helps manage and inspire homeowners with their remodeling project. When you purchase anything a Lowes, have the cashier swipe your MyLowes card and everything on your purchased is tracked in your online account. This helps you keep track of things that are needed for your projects. If you need to return anything, use your MyLowes card and you will not need a receipt (they can even lookup your card information for you). There are also many different tools on the website to track your projects and rooms in your home. In addition, there are over 100,000 design photos on their website to insprie your next home decorating project.