Qualified Remodeler Magazine

FEB 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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Designers at Blue Ribbon Construction, Sperath included, use Chief Architect for its design and ren- derings. "They have a method where I can upload to the Chief Architect website a model of the house, and I share that link with the homeowner [who can then] follow that link and do a walk-around or 'fly through' of the 3D model of their project. That's really cool, and customers love it," he says. "We put that link in CoConstruct, so if the site supervisor has any questions about how this soffit should look above the kitchen, they can open that drawing and zoom in and out and rotate whatever they want to see, which prevents field mistakes. We've not quite gotten yet to the VR mode of Chief Architect, but that's something that's on the horizon for sure." Pike of ELM Construction also uses Chief Architect for his designs and thinks both the VR and AR side of things has potential, but it "still has a little ways to go before [they] gets more widely adopted," at least for the design/build process. However, he does see and experience the benefits of some of the digital measuring tools, helping with the estimation and design processes. "There are apps now you can download to your phone that you can measure a room with by basical- ly just pointing the camera to the corner, clicking a button, go all the way around and then it generates a floor plan. And that's fairly accurate considering you're holding a 6-inch camera via your phone in your hand," Pike explains. "Another one we started using like crazy is Hover—I haven't measured a roof in years just because of technology like Hover. What would take us normally half a day or sometimes a full day depending on the size of the house, we can be in and out of there in 30 minutes. It's real money, and it's accurate. When you sit down with a client and I'm showing them these drawings [from Hover], they're typically impressed by the detail. But on the inside, we really don't have a good tool like we have Hover for the exterior. I just don't have a tool that's affordable for the interior." The Next Big Thing There are many speculations about what will be the "next" thing to have an impact on remodeling business processes. Our "Remodel of the Future" survey asked that question, and AR and VR topped the list, followed by mobile project management platforms and online ordering/automated order- ing. We asked each of the remodelers we spoke with to indulge us with their predictions as well. While attending trade shows and reading trade magazines, as well as membership in a NAHB 20 Club, are a few places Pike looks for technology ideas and best practices, he also notes looking at websites like "Engadget" and "TechCrunch." He has discovered technologies available in the com- mercial construction and real estate spaces that bill.' Normally in the past we would have just paid that bill. We've got one guy who is really good at [spotting discrepancies], and he probably has a total of maybe $20,000 of errors that he's found." The Design of It Another area the remodelers we spoke with note is primed for change is the design process, especially with the growing use and awareness surrounding augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). While opinions differ a bit on the future of these solutions, each agree it could be a game-changer. "I'm not super crazy about VR because that requires somebody to have a headset, but I think there's something about the augmented reality of people using their phones, standing in their kitchen or outside their house, and being able to see what it's going to look like, how it would open up into [anoth- er] room or how a house is going to look next to a neighbor's house in scale and proportion. And I think that has the potential, in my opinion, to be a huge game-changer," Kraus from Vujovich says. "With all technology, the bell curve on that is so huge. In a year, that could be mastered. I think it's just a matter of time before the technology catches up to the ideas." "I THINK IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE TECHNOLOGY CATCHES UP TO THE IDEAS." Greg Kraus, Vujovich Design Build Each area of the remodeling process seems to be primed for at least moderate change, according to survey respondents. Estimating/bidding ranks highest as an area respondents see poised for the most change within the next five years. 2019 Qualified Remodeler Remodel of the Future Survey Which Areas of the Remodeling Process Will Change Significantly in the Next Five Years? On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being little or no advancement; 10 being very significant) LEAD GENERATION 5.78 5.38 6.35 6.63 5.93 6.17 4.49 SALES DESIGN ESTIMATING / BIDDING PROJECT MANAGEMENT CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT OTHER SPECIAL REPORT 28 February 2019 QualifiedRemodeler.com

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