Tackling a major renovation or a big DIY project on your own can be challenging—but fortunately, technology is here to help. A fresh crop of design start-ups can help you through every step of the process—from sourcing inspiration and organizing your project to finding the perfect contractor or interior designer to lend a hand. Read on for six technology start-ups that can help you push through your next big project with flying colors.
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design
Sweeten is a free service that matches renovators to the best, vetted general contractors, providing support until the job is completed. Home renovators share their budget, location, and project details; Sweeten will then suggest three contractors and monitor the project every step of the way.
The company was founded by Jean Brownhill, an industry vet with over 15 years of experience in construction, residential and commercial architecture, project management, and systems. She’s one of only 11 African-American female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to raise more than $1 million in venture capital, and the company will be in five metro areas by the summer of 2019: New York City (including all of New Jersey, Westchester, Rockland County, Long Island, and Fairfield County, Connecticut), Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.
Cubit is perfect for the DIY-er who is sick of fiddling around with a tape measure or struggles to envision a design within a space. Using extended reality (combining real and virtual environments), Cubit uses your smart phone to measure a space, then allows you to arrange it to your liking and outlines the steps to get there.
If you've ever scratched your head and wondered why renovating a small, simple space like a bathroom can become so expensive and complicated, you may want to look into Block—an all-inclusive renovation platform that combines architect-grade design, construction labor, fixtures, and materials into affordable renovation packages. Currently available in the greater New York and Northern New Jersey area, the company seeks to take the guesswork out of home renovation while simultaneously opening up access to elegant, high-end design.
The company was founded by Luke Sherwin, cofounder of Casper, and Koda Wang, formerly chief customer officer at Rent the Runway and chief operating officer at HuffPost. Unlike traditional renovation projects that are completed by individuals carrying out different services, Block offers complete renovations in a single package at an up-front, transparent price.
Whether you’re managing your own home renovation or are a design professional, Buildshop can help organize your home improvement projects. With both web and mobile apps, the company allows you to plan, budget, organize inspiration photos and ideas, work through checklists, create to-do lists, and then find and connect with building professionals.
They also provide more advanced organization options that help develop schedules, track employees, and improve customer satisfaction. The app is free for homeowners with upgrades available for trade professionals looking for more powerful features.
If you’ve written off hiring an interior designer a luxury reserved for the rich and famous, Homepolish may change your mind. The startup provides clear standardization and price transparency by matching local interior designers with clients. The service provides in-home and video consultations; designer consultations are free, and designers are then available for hire on an hourly or flat fee basis depending on the project scope.
The company was established in New York in 2012, and has since expanded into major cities across the U.S. You can find Homepolish designers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Long Island, Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Richmond, Salt Lake City, and beyond.
Hometalk is an online platform that provides home improvement tutorials in categories like kitchen design, gardening, and bedroom design. Geared for the DIY crowd, the platform covers everything from drain traps to paint color selection. Its guides, videos, and articles are generated by its users, making it particularly homeowner-friendly and community-centered.
The site boasts more than 10 million monthly users, so you’re likely to find the answer to your question, no matter how esoteric. It’s typically used for both technical tutorials and design inspiration, and is free to use.
Related Reading: 6 Questions You Should Always Ask Before Hiring a General Contractor