Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Builder's Virtual Tools for Success: Part I

A builder is only as good as his tools. That motto also extends to the internet, where a variety of tools are becoming just as valuable as what's in a builders tool bag. I don't know where I would be without the internet because most of the information you need is at the touch of your fingertips in a matter of seconds. The internet is a platform for endless connections and information that if you use it to your advantage you'll be light years ahead of those builders that were unable to adapt to the constantly changing virtual environment. Online tools can help you analyze data efficiently, connect you with a supplier and let you know whether certain materials meet green building guidelines or code standards. Oh, and don't forget about SIREN because we wouldn't want to leave that out of the running for a useful virtual tool :)

Below are 5 useful internet tools that I think would be helpful if you choose to start dabbling in the virtual world. Come back tomorrow for Part II of this post and for some more links that would be good to add to your list.

The Appliance Advisor - A comprehensive informational site for consumers, dealers, kitchen designers, distributors, the media or manufacturers about all major and minor brands of appliances.
NAHB Green - The National Green Building Program offers several resources and tools to help builders, home building associations, and homeowners learn how to build green, and the benefits of doing so.
Material ConneXion - A global platform for materials solution and innovation providing advisory services to to a multitude of companies, building and design professionals. For a $250 annual fee, virtual library users can access a wide range of information on more than 4,500 materials and processes.
Mosaic Tile Supplies - A e-commerce site that provides a comprehensive product catalog of high quality tiles at a reasonable price. A design portfolio offers application ides, and an installation tips section that provides helpful advice.
Smart Growth: A Toolkit for Realtors - An online tool kit, courtesy of the National Association of Realtors to provide guidance and principles on community planning, how to deal with different development patterns, and the financial impacts of these patterns.

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