Are you planning a home remodeling project? Where do you start gathering information and ideas? Two of the most common options are the internet and home shows. Both venues can offer great insight to projects, companies, products and design ideas. While both are viable, they have a different set of pros and cons and may cater to different audiences. Home shows are a group of company exhibits set up in a building, typically for a weekend, for consumers to visit and view. Admission for an adult will range from free to perhaps $12. Often there are coupons or discounts available from either the show promoter or individual exhibitors. While attending, homeowners can see the displays of the companies that may range from full service, general contractors to individual trades people like painters, electricians, architects, designers, siding installers…etc. There may also be suppliers there displaying products that may include appliances, tile, windows, generators…etc. The individual displays allow a homeowner to create a first impression of the company as far as being neat, professional and engaging. You should never judge a book by its cover, but an interesting cover often gets the consumer to look at the book to consider purchasing and reading. The second impression is the company’s staff. Hopefully, the company has people in the booth that are upbeat, friendly, not obnoxious, and knowledgeable. At the booth, a homeowner should be able to handle products and/or view images of products and projects. Consumers should quickly learn about the company “who they are, what they do, and how they do it” to determine if potentially they are a good fit for them and their planned project. From there, contact info may be exchanged and a meeting for a consultation and/or estimate may also be scheduled. CLICK HERE to view Design Build Planners home show schedule in New Jersey. The internet is also a great resource for planning a project. While there are many sites, in our opinion, Houzz.com is the premier website for homeowners planning a full home renovation project such as a bathroom or kitchen remodel, basement finishing, an outdoor living space, or building an addition. The Houzz platform offers articles, questions/answers, millions of searchable images, and company bios and portfolios for contractors, designers, architects and product/service providers. Houzz is free to use and “open” 24/7. There is both a web browser version and an app for added convenience. A user can set up ideabooks for various different projects or rooms to save their favorite images. Another great Houzz feature is the ability to place custom notes with the saved images. Then you can choose to give your contractor your user ID so they can view the ideabooks and read the notes. Previously, a homeowner would have to buy magazines and clip out photos to help convey their vision for the planned space. CLICK HERE to view Design Build Planners bio and portfolio on Houzz. Home Shows vs Houzz. Houzz offers free, shop at home convenience. Home Shows offer personal contact and interaction. Given these choices which venue would YOU start with? Of the many Design Build Planners clients, those we meet at home shows also get set up on Houzz, but those that we meet initially through Houzz typically do not attend home shows.