Category Archives: Home Design & Improvements

Smart Homes: The Real Deal for Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

OBX Smart Home Technology

The Internet of Things (IOT) has been discussed for years; the connection and control of all kinds of devices through the internet.  It is now easier than ever to employ home automation in your Outer Banks home using a smart phone or tablet.

Vacation rental properties are an ideal application for home automation.  Precisely due to the distance most owners are from their property, the Internet of Things provides peace of mind that the property is safe and secure by being able to monitor the property remotely. 

Now, more than ever, technology can help remote owners’ manager their vacation rental as a VRBO without the use of a dedicated Property Manager.  As a home owner, there are many systems and platforms available to use to manage and monitor your home systems.  

OBX Smart Home Features

If your home is professionally managed by a Property Management Company, you will typically have to use most, if not all of the systems they use to allow them to manage all the properties from a central console.  If you do not use a Property Management Company then you have more home automation devices to choose from. Nevertheless, even if your property is actively managed by a company, they can’t be everywhere all the time.  Security and remote monitoring of your vacation property is a key benefit of these systems.  If you use VRBO, Airbnb or other vacation hosting services to rent to guests, being able to control the home remotely provides a key advantage.  You can adjust the thermostat right before the guests’ arrival, welcoming them to a warm or cool home while also saving energy.

Home automation can help your vacation rental stand out among the competition.  Guests that don’t have automated devices in their home are curious to try out the technology and are likely to choose your home over an unconnected alternative. 

There are several categories of home automation useful to the owner who manages their own property.  Many of these are also useful to an owner occupied home.  If you plan to automate several areas then you must select devices compatible with each other and connected to a hub, like Wink Hub2 or Apple’s HomeKit platform that provides voice control through Siri.

Keyless Entry – Smart Locks

A keyless entry system is essential.  Your guests will appreciate not having to stop and pick up keys.  You will appreciate the simplicity of generating a code rather than arranging delivery of keys for an afterhours check-in.  Many of these systems work with wifi, so you should have reliable internet to avoid any Snafus (or a backup key for emergencies).  A keyless entry system also allows you to control entry for cleaners, maintenance technicians and any other service personnel.  Many will also create a log showing entry and exits.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats will save you money.  One of the leading products available at big box stores is Nest.  These systems are designed to achieve the preferred temperature in the most efficient manner.  You can set a range of values allowed to provide comfort to guests without exceeded a reasonable temperature.  These systems allow you to turn down the setting when the home is not occupied and turn it up to welcome guests before their arrival.  Many systems will monitor the humidity levels and allow you to check the status of the system remotely.  No longer will you wonder if the cleaner remembered to re-set the thermostat once they finished cleaning.  They can also prompt you to perform maintenance like changing filters. 

Sensors

Sensors are used to monitor a range of conditions.  For example, a sensor on a doors or windows can trigger when left open to turn off the HVAC for heating or cooling.  How often do renters leave the door open with the A/C running full blast?  Often enough that installing a sensor to tell the thermostat to turn off after x minutes of the door being left open can save a significant amount of money.

Sensors can also be used to detect flooding or freezing conditions and will then alert you to the condition of the home after a storm or other event.

Some of these devices will also allow you to monitor noise levels, air quality and listen for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.  This could alert homeowners that guests were smoking in the home or having a loud party.

OBX Smart Home Features

Smart Lighting

One advantage to smart lighting is being able to turn the lights on for guests who are arriving late.  These systems also allow guests to control the intensity, direction, pattern and color of the lighting.  One “gee wiz” feature is the ability to sync lighting to music. 

Home Security

Home security systems allow you to protect your home while it is vacant.  Crime and break-ins are more likely to happen during the off-season and having a security system can provide tremendous peace of mind to homeowners.  These systems usually require a hub and can also notify you when there is a fire, carbon monoxide leak, flood and other issues.

Video

Vacation home owners who rent their property should use caution when implementing video.  Many guests would object to being videoed while using the pool and other spaces.  Front-entry cameras are best for playing it safe.  State laws vary, but most have some type of “video voyeurism” laws ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. One option is to remove the cameras during the rental season and re-install during the off season.  In most instances, you won’t have to deal with any trouble over a Front-Entry IP Camera.

More Devices

The smart home or home automation trend is quickly gaining traction.  New devices are coming to market every day with no end in sight.  Chances are, there is already a device out there to meet your need.

Smart switches can allow you to turn just about anything you plug into them to be “smart”.  You will have to use IFTTT (If this, then that) to create the automation script for items plugged in.

There are smart devices for cooking, like the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker or the Char-broil digital electric smoker to the Perfect Bake Pro.

There are devices for cleaning.  Robot vacuums have been around for a while but now provide prospects with quite the selection, including some that will even mop your floor. There are sprinkler controllers, even lawn mowers.

Increasingly, when shopping for replacement items for your home like garage doors, smoke detectors, or flood lights, you will be confronted with smart home options at almost the same price point as their non-smart counterparts.  As the technology advances and artificial intelligence is integrated, our devices will learn to adapt to our needs and learn about their environment for even more efficient operation.

Interested in a smart home but don’t know how to get started?  Don’t hesitate to contact your Outer Banks Boutique Real Estate Team at Eillu to discuss your needs and explore your alternatives.  All Homes by Eillu are built with the latest Smart Home Technology. We incorporate energy efficiency and smart home technology with timeless style for a home that will remain comfortable and elegant for decades to come. With the help of accomplished designers, engineers and an experienced construction team, we continue to develop and build the most desired homes in the Outer Banks. Exquisite style and taste are apparent in each home, distinctively designed and built with the care our clients deserve. All our homes are provided with construction warranties to give our customer “peace of mind” with their most important investment.


7 Reasons to Choose Granite Countertops for Your Home

                                    7 reasons to choose granite countertops

Granite is a premium building material that stands out for its long-lasting beauty. When installed as countertops or flooring, granite provides distinction few other materials are able to. Their classic elegance exudes distinction in the kitchen and bathroom, and matched with outstanding durability, the granite countertops you select might be the last countertops your home will ever need.7 reasons to choose granite countertops

Granite countertops take a high-quality home to the next level visually and often become the centerpiece of the room. 

Installing granite countertops is a big decision for homeowners to consider, as the project is more expensive than it would be if other materials were used, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Granite is the highest quality stone material you can choose for your countertops, bottom line. Deriving from hot magma, granite is one of the strongest and hardest natural materials, second only to diamonds. Here are a few reasons why it would be wise to make the investment in granite countertops for your home:

  1. Granite is forever, or close to it at least

Although granite itself is expensive and the extensive labor involved in installing it can sometimes cost 3 times as much as the countertop itself in some cases, it is worth the one-time cost as you will likely never have to replace your countertops again. With that said, make sure you enjoy the granite pattern you choose, because you could potentially be looking at it for decades to come.

7 reasons to choose granite countertops

  1. Adds Value to Your Home

When comparing, granite may be more expensive than other materials, but when you consider its longevity and durability, it costs less over time. Also—the high cost of installing a granite countertop in your home is actually offset due to the fact that the countertop itself, which does not depreciate over time, actually adds overall value to your home, making granite countertops a cost-effective investment for homeowners.

  1. One-of-a-Kind Design

Your options are nearly limitless. One of the best qualities of granite is that no two pieces are exactly the same, providing your home with a unique, one-of-a-kind design, as well as a sleek, luminous appearance. 7 reasons to choose granite countertopsGranite is comprised of a many different minerals that give each countertop slab a unique and attractive appearance. For example, granite high in feldspar will have rich red or pink highlights. Mica produces brown or black veining while quartz gives pink, white or black hues to the stone. The variations throughout the stone are considered desirable since they give the slab character and differentiate it from others. Granite has a rich beauty that few other countertops materials can match.

  1. Extremely Sanitary

Granite countertops are one of the most sanitary surfaces you can choose for your kitchen as they are waterproof and therefore bacteria and mold contamination is not a problem. Their extremely non-porous surface is the perfect countertop for a kitchen, where many cross-contamination problems can occur.

  1. It Can Take the Heat

Granite is an ingenious rock that is formed at extreme conditions under the earth’s crust. This makes it one of the hardest materials that can easily withstand the heat of your hot pots and pans (up to 900°F), is virtually impervious to water when sealed and can easily sustain the wear and tear of everyday use in the kitchen without losing its luster. 7 reasons to choose granite countertopsIt is also not easily scratched, blistered or cracked, making it a durable choice for one of the most high-traffic areas of the home that will keep the shine and richness for years to come.

  1. Easy to Clean

 The non-porous, slick surface of granite makes it an easy surface to clean up just about any spill. Granite countertops are very easy to maintain. The likelihood of needing to be repaired or resurfaced is low. Sealers have come a long way over the years and many will last decades before needing to be reapplied. Simply use warm water and mild detergent to easily clean granite countertops. For harder to remove stains there are specific granite cleaners that can be purchased, just be sure they are right for your type of countertop. Sealing is always recommended for granite countertops, as it will help to prevent any staining in the future.

  1. Economical Alternative

Oftentimes homeowners want the look of a particular countertop but would rather enjoy the benefits provided by another. A great example of this is marble. Marble is a classically beautiful stone that is highly sought after for upscale kitchens and bathrooms. However, marble is much softer than granite, so it can be damaged more easily. However, that doesn’t have to stop you from having that beautiful ‘marble look’. As an added bonus, granite that looks like marble has a lower price tag and requires less maintenance, so you get more for your money.

Whether you’re interested in purchasing a new home or remodeling, granite offers you unparalleled beauty, permanence, uniqueness and adds true value to your home.

What better way to express yourself and enjoy the lifestyle you have longed for than owning a new home on the Outer Banks? Let us guide you through the process to smooth the path to your new dream home!

Here is a list of all new available Homes By Eillu featuring granite countertops:

846 Golden Bluff Way, Corolla, NC

1257 Crystal Lake Court, Corolla, NC

853 Seascape Court, Corolla, NC

1085 Hampton Street, Corolla, NC

864 Ivory Court, Corolla, NC

1011B Cruz Bay Lane, Corolla, NC

 

For more information or to purchase your very own granite-instilled dream home, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Eillu, your Outer Banks Boutique Real Estate Team. We are happy to help you on your journey to the house of your dreams!

Buying a home is a major endeavor and enjoying a successful real estate transaction requires knowledge and experience. Here at Eillu, we understand your perspective and are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

 


How to Buy and Customize a New Home Without the Hassle and Expense of Multiple Closings

New home construction outer banks corolla

Homes by Eillu has several new homes under construction in desirable Outer Banks neighborhoods

These Corolla listings in Monteray Shores, Corolla Light, Soundfront at Corolla Bay and Villages at Ocean Hill, are in demand by vacationers and are enjoyed by second homeowners.  If you act now, there is time for you to customize the homes and select the finishes you prefer.

These homes are fully funded by the developer.  This means there is only one closing after the home is complete.  This will save you money and it also allows you to avoid the stress that many buyers frequently feel during the custom home buying process.

Lot Loan

Buyers of a custom home will frequently select and purchase a lot.  The purchase of the lot can be financed with a loan. 

From a lenders point of view, this loan will be riskier and will tend to have a higher interest rate.  These loans are considered non-conforming loans and the bank can’t sell the loan on the secondary market. Corolla New Homes by Eillu

It is more difficult for buyers to qualify for a land loan than for a mortgage and the terms can sometimes be onerous.  Once the home is completed, the land loan amount can be included in the amount of the mortgage.

Homes by Eillu does NOT require our buyers to obtain a loan for the lot or land.  We already own the home site and fund all cost of construction while building your new home. 

Construction Loan

A construction loan is usually obtained by the buyer to begin construction for a new home.  This is a short term loan used to fund the project with disbursements as the project progresses.  Buyers typically pay interest on the loan over the course of the building, but the entire balance including principal is due when the home is complete. 

Typically, the construction loan balance is incorporated into the final mortgage loan once the home is completed.  This ‘interest only’ construction loan is cash out of the pocket of the buyer while the building progresses.  If the amount is not rolled into the mortgage then the buyer will be paying closing costs for both loans.

At Homes by Eillu, we do NOT require buyers to take out a construction loan.  This adds up to thousands in savings for the buyer. 

Earnest Money

A custom home builder usually requires a higher earnest money deposit than typically required for a resale home.  They do this to share some of the risk with the buyer.  A buyer may select some finishes that do not have wide appeal and would make it more difficult to sell to another buyer should the deal fall through.

At Homes by Eillu, we require a 5% earnest money deposit at the time of signing the contract for purchase and another 5% deposit once the roof is complete. 

The buyer should have a loan approval letter at the time of signing the contract for purchase and a commitment letter from the lender within 30 days.

One Loan – One Closing

At Homes by Eillu we believe in making your new home purchase simple, stress free and an enjoyable process.  Once your home is complete and a certificate of occupancy is issued, only one purchase money mortgage is used to finance the home.  This saves buyers Corolla New Homes by Eilluthousands of dollars in cost.  Only one closing means there are no duplicate loan application fees and other transaction costs.  It makes the entire process more efficient without the extra burden of scheduling draws and arduous paperwork for the buyer and the builder.

Customize Your Way

We currently have several homes under construction.  The earlier you act, the greater the opportunity to customize the home with your selections.  The process is very simple.  You can also visit one of our completed homes, to visualize some of the finishes and to inspect the quality construction methods employed.  See completed home pictures here.

Select Quality Products

The New Construction signed contract includes an attachment with the specifications for your new home.  Some items, like the 50 year Corolla New Homes by Eilluwarranty LP siding with sofit and facia and Pella windows and doors, are included in the specifications.  Roofs are  CertainTeed Architecture Shingles.  Even the paint is specified to PPG (Pittsburg Paint & Glass) rather than a builder’s grade paint that will likely need to be re-painted too soon.  All are quality products to produce a quality home.

Other suggested finishes and products include granite counters, LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), Viking Vinyl pool (12×24) and Whirlpool stainless steel appliances.  A buyer can simply select a color palate, bath and related fixtures and use all the specified products for a unified and well-designed home that will remain in style for decades. 

Substitute Finishes with Allowances

Alternatively, a buyer can customize the home to uniquely reflect their personal style with the allowance program.  Each allowance category has a dollar value and product substitutions that cost over the allowance will have the difference added to the final cost of the home and are paid at closing.  Any items selected that are below the allowance appear as a credit at closing.  The allowance categories are:

  • Vinyl Tile
  • Carpet
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Appliances
  • Lighting
  • Granite
  • Cabinets
  • Landscaping

Homes by Eillu include state of the art smart home technology.  This package works together with a hub to efficiency and easily control all connected devices.  The smart devices include:

  • Wired and wireless internet (for better streaming)
  • Alexa voice controlled assistant
  • WiFi Thermostats
  • Front Entry Camera
  • Door locks
  • 2 Wifi lights
  • Leak detectors
  • Indoor and outdoor speakers (Pre-wire)

Plus, when you are away from home, many of the devices are controlled and send alerts to your smart phone so you can monitor your beach home from a distance.  This is a huge benefit in the Outer Banks where many homes are used as second homes or vacation homes.  Imagine being able to control the temperature of your Living Room in the Outer Banks from your permanent home!

Also, all of our homes include a 1 Year Builders Warranty and a 2 Year (years 2 & 3) CHOICE New Home Warranty to ensure worry free enjoyment of your new home for years to come.

Currently, all of our new homes are centrally located in Corolla.  We have homes in several established communities; like Village at Ocean Hill, Monteray Shores, Soundfront at Corolla Bay and Corolla Light.  Each of these communities is sought after by vacationers for their abundant amenities, proximity to the Sound and the Ocean.  All are close to shopping, restaurants and local attractions. Our fun beach homes are perfect for a second home or vacation rental.

Homes by Eillu has many new home packages available.  Call today to schedule an appointment to view a completed home or visit our next project. 

New Homes in Outer Banks


Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring Deserves a Place in Your New Home or Remodel

semi soundfront similar Kitchen

Selecting flooring for your Outer Banks home should be a balance toward beauty and practicality.  One wants to have beautiful floors but they should also be easy to take care of so you can get the most enjoyment out of your vacation home.  Frequently guests may not take precautions to preserve hard wood or laminate floors by tracking sand in or leaving wet towels around.  You want your guest to enjoy their time in your home without having to worry about fussy building materials.

The LifeProof luxury vinyl tile delivers on both beauty and practicality.  If you have ever wished for life proof flooring, your wish has come true.  While “lifeproof” is also the brand name that Homes by Eillu uses, the tough product looks great, is easy to install and stands up to the wear and tear in even heavy traffic areas.  It is ideal for homes with pets and children where messes can be an everyday occurrence.

Homes by Eillu has installed these luxury vinyl tiles on several homes we have developed in exclusive Corolla, NC Communities.  Potential buyers have responded favorably and often times believe the floors to be wood.  The owners of our new homes, have appreciated how well the floors have performed and how easy they are to care for – even years after installation.

848 Golden Bluff Way - game room wet bar

The product is water proof so it is great for bathroom and kitchen installations where requiring water proof flooring is a necessity.  It is also ideal for a basement or game room applications near a pool area; where visitors will often track in water and wet bathing suits.  I would also recommend it for the laundry room flooring, where in the event of a leak or accident, the flooring will not be ruined.

Residential installations come with a lifetime warranty.  The lifetime warranty means you may tire of it or styles may change before the product wears out. 

Removing the product in the future is simple.  The planks lock together and are installed without glue or any adhesive.  You simply just lift and un-snap to remove.

Each plank is about 7mm thick with the foam underlayment backing included with each plank.  The flooring snaps together with a tongue and grove that hides any seams.  It is easy enough for a DIY person to install but some have commented that you need to get the feel of the angle to snap the product together. 

The floor “floats” over existing floor coverings like tile, cement or plywood.  So, for remodeling projects, the old floor does not have to be removed.  This saves time and money weather you are doing it yourself or have hired a professional for your remodeling project.

Home Depot carries this brand of flooring and there are several colors and finishes to choose from.  There are wooden oak colored finishes in warm tones and weathered gray tones.  There are also stone finishes to choose from.  Some finishes are available in store and some require ordering online.

The flooring is manufactured into planks that are 47.6 inches long and either multi-width or 8.7 inches wide.  The cost is from $2.79 to $2.99 per square foot; a box will cover between 19 to 20 sf.  The stone finish is available in 16 inch width by 32 inch lengths. 

There is a closed-cell foamed PVC core that is lightweight and easy to handle but strong and rigid once installed.  PVC is polyvinyl chloride which is usually used in commercial or institutional settings with high traffic. 

The flooring is a breeze to maintain and only requires a simple sweeping, vacuuming or a damp mop to keep it looking good.  The material is treated with an inhibitor to resist stain and odor causing mold or mildew both on the vinyl top layer and the foam underlayment. 

The wood graining in the product has a warm and realistic look.  The foam underlayment makes it softer to walk on and quieter when walked upon. 

Luxury vinyl tile has a texture that mimics wood or stone with deeper embossing to provide a very realistic look and feel.  The polyurethane top layer provides protection from scratching or gouging.  The embossing and texture on the tile provides traction and is not slippery in damp conditions.

Some color selections are included below:

luxury vinyl tile color selections luxury vinyl tile color selections

 

There are several manufacturers of luxury vinyl tile.  The colors, textures and design for each will vary as well as the price for each. 

You can see the diverse patterns, colors, textures available with luxury vinyl tile on this Pinterest page.  You can select a quality product by picking one made with a thicker layer of materials. 

Luxury vinyl flooring is more forgiving then laminate flooring.  Laminate flooring is very susceptible to damage from water, humidity and higher moisture content.  So, vinyl is better suited for kitchen and bathroom applications where water or spills are likely to happen.

Luxury vinyl flooring is also more forgiving in a remodeling environment where the subfloor may not be perfectly smooth.  In these applications, laminate flooring may break or crack while vinyl will be more flexible.

Homes by Eillu is proud to provide our buyers with high quality products and the most generous warranties for our new homes and the products within.  We have tested and sourced products to provide utility for the long term.  Your primary home or vacation home should be a place to relax and not have to worry about unnecessary maintenance. 

infographic map with cost and ratings for vacation destinations from Maine to Florida


Paint Your Outer Banks Home with Confidence Using a Visualizer

Paint Your Home Using a Visualizer

I admire the people who can walk into a paint store or big box store and choose a paint color in a few short minutes.  For me, it has never been that easy.  I have to take dozens of sample colors home, pin them to the wall and consider how it will look as the light changes through the day or as the seasons change.  Most experts recommend you buy a small amount of the color you have selected to try out on a small section of the wall and to better help you visualize it.  I have always been too cheap to go this route and too anxious to get the project started. 

Color trends change every year.  The Pantone color for 2017 is Violet Verbena.  I would call it a greyish purple.  Most of us do not change paint colors every year to stay on top of the trends.  While this shade may work for your project, it is more important to find colors that make you happy and that you won’t grow tired of quickly.

Personally, I have found that I like ugly colors.  I call them ugly colors because they are not an easily named color like, light blue or sunny yellow.  They are neutrals that may have a lot of pigment but don’t seem to belong on a single point on a color wheel.  Most of the time they are greyed out shades or beiges. 

I have found these colors allow me to change other items in the room to create a whole new look without changing the paint scheme.  This way, you can have accessories or decorations that change with each season.  The paint on the wall will work equally well with bright reds and greens over the holidays, pastels for spring etc.

I decided to look at technology to help selecting my next paint color.  Here are the tools that I have found and my opinion of their usefullness.

Sherwin Williams

Color Snap is an online tool that allows you to experiment with color using a photograph of your own space or exterior or using pre-defined spaces included with the tool.  The tool is also available as an app for iphone, android or tablet devices. 

I used the online version of the tool.  It was simple to upload a picture but the tool was rather slow.  In all fairness, I thought it may be the computer or browser so I tested with another device before moving to the next tool.

It behaved better with the Chrome browser.

The tool has a “snap it” button which allows you to select a color palette and apply it to any image.  There are collections listed to make selected colors easier.  There is a HGTV, West Elm, and Pottery Barn collections.  There are even next year forecast colors and the top 50 colors for inspiration.  The tools also lists HOA color archives.  There were none listed for NC.

It was easy to change colors with a single click to the sample interiors provided with the tool.  For any shade selected, the tool also provided suggestions of colors to use with the selected color to complement the palette.  While that may be entertaining, it doesn’t help me make a color decision for my own room. 

It was easy to upload an actual picture of the exterior that I am considering painting.  The app has multiple tools to use to apply the paint to your virtual world.  One is a magic wand that is supposed to fill in the area but it only filled in a small section and sometimes an adjacent section from what was intended.  There is also a brush to allow you to color in the area and a tool to let you select an area to fill in with color.  Each of these requires a lot of patience and precision to use.   I decided to see if there was a better, easier and quicker tool to use.

If you provide your email when using the tool, then Sherwin Williams sends you an email coupon for $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.

Behr

Behr color smart is a similar tool that allows you to view colors and palettes.  It also includes pre-loaded interior or exterior spaces and the ability to upload your own photo.   

The tool set includes a bucket for covering large areas, a brush for detail, and eraser to remove color and masking tape to tape off sections.  I uploaded the same image for an apple to apple comparison. 

The bucket did seem to cover more of the intended area but obscured some of the underlying trim and textural detail.  The brush tool requires dexterity to fill in the picture similar to the other tool.  There was a handy tool to undo all of the paint to start over.  The page become unresponsive before I could save my project.  It did restart and it remember the project but I decided to move on.

Olympic Paint

This tool allows you to quickly upload your image and select colors.  Palette suggestions were not provided.  The tool preserved underlying detail in the image for trim or texture which was a big improvement over the other tools.  The response time for the tool to apply paint was rather long and was rather frustrating.  It seems like this tool allows more precision but the long wait proved too much for me to continue.

Glidden Paint

The room visualizer promised to bring your makeover to life in only a few clicks.   Unfortunately it was the very same tool as Olympic Paint.

Valspar

This tool had trouble with uploading my picture.  Finally gave up and moved on.

Benjamin Moore

Next, I tried the Benjamin Moore app.  This app requires you to define or outline your surfaces.  A surface would be any area you would want to paint a different color.  You can define up to 5 surfaces for a project.  There is a video to show you how to use the tool.  The video makes it look real easy. 

If you only have a wall in an interior space it probably is very easy.  I was using an exterior photo and a more complex color scheme with two colors plus trim color.  There is a magic brush and a magic selection tool but both didn’t have enough magic to make the process less tedious.   

Better Homes & Gardens

Design a Room promises to do more than paint the room by adding furnishings.  There was a form with street address and opt in options to complete before getting to the tool.  Unfortunately, I needed to upgrade my flash player and this check occurred after completing the other forms.  The related links on the page, included Color-a-Room which I clicked on in the hope of finally finding a tool to make this easy.  This page also disappointed as it only had links to videos and painting guides.  A disappointing experience for which I unsubscribed after getting the inevitable email afterwards.

Paint my Place

This itunes app is not affiliated with a retailer.  While it is a free download, it only received a 2.6 rating so I was not feeling optimistic about trying it.

Home Depot

Project Color from Home Depot was another tool that promises to let you find, match or see the color for your next project.  It is an Android app so I was not able to test it.  The reviews were only 3.1 overall so I don’t expect it to be very different then the results above.

visualize paint for your home before buying

CertaPro Painters

My Paint Colors is the next tool I tested.  After uploading my exterior picture, the tool prompted me to set the scale by adding a line for a door or wall and suggests the actual size of what you have drawn.  Next, the tool asks you to define the foreground.  Next you define the surface outline for the project.  Here I selected to outline the entire exterior of the home.  If you picture is not head on, you also have a tool to set the perspective.

Defining your surfaces was easier with this tool compared to the others.  There was also a magnifier in the corner of the screen to show a larger view of the area you were selecting to provide more precision. 

I also liked that you could define larger shapes and then erase part of the shape.  This allowed for defining a whole wall and then erasing the doors and windows.  After defining the surfaces, you can group surfaces together that will get the same paint in the final visualize phase. 

Defining areas like balconies and the wall area behind them can be rather tedious but if you only have to do it once for your own home, the effort may be worth it to be able to quickly visualize new colors or groupings.

Once you get to the visualization point, the tool allows you to select paint from Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, PPG and Dunn Edwards paint brands. 

Overall most of these tools were not better or easier to use then photoshop or a similar graphics package.  I expected to find a tool that made it easy to define the area before applying the paint.  I predict this capability will be improved in the future. 

Also, keep in mind that any tool using your device or monitor to display color can look very different in person.  The brightness of your screen as well as the lighting in the room can change the way the color appears. For this reason, these tools are more useful for eliminating paint schemes.

I found the last tool, from CertaPro, the best one of the ones I tried.  While it can be tedious to expertly define all your projects surfaces, even an approximate definition will allow you to visualize a paint scheme on your home or for your project.  I did find that even quickly and somewhat sloppily defining my surfaces and then applying paint colors allowed me to better visualize what the end result would look like.  

The inventory of homes for sale is very low on the Outer Banks.  If you are considering selling your home, now may be the best time. 

Contact Eillu to find out how you can save with our reduced listing commission and to get a custom market analysis and find out how much your home will likely sell for.  Reduced inventory and motivated buyers can make the off season the perfect time to list your property.

MLS Monthly Outer Banks Market Report


Yes, You Can Expect More With Eillu!