Photo by Josh Semans

Update: The number of websites dedicated to home remodeling has exploded in recent years. Rather than just being extensions of television shows or print magazines, many sites exist solely online and are maintained  by remodeling professionals. There are also many forums where homeowners can get together to give home improvement advice and swap top tips with each other. Online videos provide tutorials in everything from repairing basic wear and tear to building a whole house from scratch!

Websites have appeared to provide information, advice and products for almost every human interest. With the popularity of remodeling and house additions in a time of a depressed housing market, it is not surprising to find home improvement websites popping up with some regularity. We are also seeing more and more general interest sites including sections or pages on home improvement topics.

Many home improvement websites are essentially the same — just more examples of people jumping on the bandwagon. Some home improvement sites are an outgrowth of print magazines or television programs. Remodeling magazine, for example, as you might expect, has a website that offers information and advice on remodeling topics. But you can even find home improvement ideas today on sites for magazines like Reader’s Digest and other general magazines. Reader’s Digest, however, has a long history of publishing home improvement books.

If you explore or surf the web a bit, you will find that virtually all of the remodeling, home improvement, and home decorating television programs also have websites. Many simply offer video replays of past episodes of the shows. Some also offer articles on trends and design ideas.

There are also sites designed specifically for the needs and interests of people who want to do their own home repair and remodeling. These do-it-yourself sites generally provide step-by-step instructions for various kinds of repairs, remodeling projects and other home improvements.

The other category of sites is the cost estimator. These sites are based on an unseen program that allows the user to type in the details of a planned remodeling project, upgrade or even a house addition. Once all of the information — which can be quite extensive — is entered, the site offers an estimated cost of the project. One of the best sites for estimates is This site asks a lot of questions about your planned remodel. But the accuracy of the estimate it provides is well worth the time. The estimate you receive will take into account your location (in which region of the country you live), how much of the work you plan to do yourself, and other factors that can have a big effect on the accuracy of the cost estimate. The site also offers articles on remodeling. This site was created by someone who has done a lot of remodeling and home improvement and knows the cost variations. He also knows how to help you save money on a remodel without compromising quality.

There is another home improvement website that is, as far as I can tell, unique. It helps you evaluate the factors that enter into a decision about whether you are better off to remodel or to move to a new house. This site has a calculator that factors in all of the costs of moving (including a few it is easy to forget) and factors in all of the costs associated with remodeling your home in a way that enables your home to meet your needs, even down to a house addition. It’s amazing!

I am inclined to agree with the founder, Dan Fritschen, that many people make a decision to move or remodel with insufficient information. This site is a real service to homeowners, and that is the purpose of the site. But, this site also helps homeowners find ways to achieve their goals without completely breaking the bank. There are articles on why one should remodel or why one should move. But there are terrific articles on various types of remodeling 101 Ways to Save Money When by by Dan Fritschen projects that will help you make your home work better for your family. Best of all, the site has a large number of articles on ways you can save big money when you remodel or build an addition to your house. And, finally, there are resources available on how to save money, how to plan and manage a project, and even how to protect yourself and your money in the process. You can actually find almost everything on this site that you’ll find on other sites, except a connection to a TV show.

There are other sites on the web that offer information, advice, and even how-to instructions. My first stop, however, will be to these two sites for the insight, the guidance, the money-saving advice that doesn’t sacrifice quality, and the accurate cost estimates.