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Why the Do-It-Yourselfers' First Home Improvement Tool of Choice is the Internet

An Increasing Number Of Homeowners Turn To Online Shopping Before Tackling Improvement Projects Or Making Purchases For The Home


How many hours did you spend at the local home improvement store last weekend? If you're like many do-it-yourselfers, you've likely spent countless hours searching the aisles looking for ideas and the items needed to complete that long overdue home improvement project. But for every homeowner that went through the hassle of searching the shelves, there's another who accomplished the exact same task in less time, thanks to a bit of high-tech research.

According to Jay Shatz, producer for the Do It Yourself (DIY) Television Network, more consumers than ever before are logging onto home improvement web sites. In fact, in response to increasing consumer demand for online product and contact information, as well as instructions on various home improvement projects, the DIY Network now offers "web-extras" on its site at www.diynet.com.

"These web-extras consist of additional instructional video footage that appears only online," says Shatz. "The majority of the site's additional information focuses on the two most popular areas of home improvement--gardening and indoor projects."

INDOOR PROJECTS

So, whether remodeling inside or out, the Internet offers numerous resources. Let's start inside the home and work our way to outdoor projects.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is likely the most popular room in the house, and also the most frequently remodeled. Kitchens serve as gathering places for dinner, as well as the room where family members often times chat, complete homework and pay bills. That said, proper lighting is an essential part of a well-designed kitchen.

Homeowners looking to change the lighting in their kitchen or to improve the décor can visit GE Lighting's Virtual House at www.GELighting.com/virtualhouse. The site allows consumers to identify ways to incorporate better light into their own homes by taking an e-tour.

This exclusive concept house - designed by a top lighting specialist at GE - offers a number of interactive features, including advanced 360 degree IPIX? technology, which gives viewers a real-time room-by-room experience. The Designer Notes section offers a detailed account of the design process, tips and an overview of the final lighting effect. Or for those who would like to try out different techniques for themselves, visitors can click on the Virtual Lighting Designer option to compare lighting options through on-line, interactive product demonstrations.

If you are less interested in aesthetics and more concerned about saving money on your electric bills can obtain energy-efficient information using several online tools, such as the new online GE Lighting Auditor or GELA (gee-lah). With a few simple keystrokes, consumers using the GELA program can calculate lighting usage, compile a personalized report of more energy-efficient options, and discover how much money they could save by implementing the suggested energy tips.

The Bathroom

As the second most often remodeled room in a home, a bathroom makeover is all about luxury. In fact, consumers spend about $4.8 billion each year on bathroom remodeling projects and accessories. So, if you're thinking about tackling a bathroom project, a great place to turn for help and advice is the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Their site, www.nkba.org, concentrates on remodeling tips and ideas for the bathroom and serves as an excellent source for first-time homeowners.

And, if you're dreaming of remodeling your bathroom but don't want to spend hours at the store searching for those perfect fixtures, Moen's web site module called, 'Design Your Own Bathroom, allows users to create several different design and color schemes for the bathroom from the convenience of their own homes. Located at www.moen.com, this module complements existing sections for consumers to 'Design Your Own Kitchen,' 'Design Your Own Vertical Spa,' 'Design Your Own Faucet,' as well as view other tips and trends in kitchen and bath remodeling.

OUTDOOR PROJECTS

Once you have completed your indoor projects, it's time to move on to the outdoor improvements. These tasks can range from, painting an entire home, to building a deck, to installing a driveway or even installing a security system. Consumers can obtain helpful information and tips from the following online sources:

Painting

Imagine your home painted in over 100,000 different color combinations. Sounds impossible, right? Well it isn't thanks to www.doityourself.com. With help from this site and a photograph of your home, you can see first-hand, without ever picking up a paintbrush, exactly what your home would look like by utilizing the Power Painting(TM) feature. Also, home improvement repair experts host community forums where they share valuable home improvement tips and information.

Security

When it comes to protecting property, many consumers feel the hassle and expense of installing a complicated security system outweigh the benefits. However, easy-to-use, easy-to-install GE Security and Surveillance devices offer consumers the ability to create their own level of security by using several units together or separately, in one room of the house, or throughout the entire home. Cameras transmit up to 300 feet, allowing consumers to monitor the driveway, see who is at the door or even watch children playing, all from one location. The small lightweight device can also easily be mounted on a desk, wall or ceiling. For more information, visit www.GELighting.com.

Decks

In recent years, the popularity of home decks and gazebos has grown enormously. However, rather than hiring a professional to build a dream deck, many homeowners are taking on the project themselves. For step-by-step guidance throughout a gazebo or deck building project, including specific help in areas like sizing footings, selecting lumber, multi-level decks and roof framing, www.bestdecksite.com offers plenty of information.

So remember, before tackling that home improvement project it pays to log onto the Internet. The web is constantly evolving and proving to be an instant library of endless information that can serve all age groups, genders and interests.

Courtesy of ARA Content



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