News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

11 Reasons You Need a Virtual Home Remodeling Design Appointment Right Now (and how the process works)

Opening - Virtual Design Appointments | Innovate Building Solutions | #VirtualAppointments #DesignAppointments #HomeRemodeling #BathroomRemodel

The news right now is downright depressing. Cases from the Coronavirus are surging. Deaths are rising. Before this pandemic occurred, you didn’t even know what PPE (Personal Protective Equipment, for the 3 people who aren’t binge-watching the news) was.

Being cooped up in your house is NO STAY-CATION!

The kids (and your spouse) are driving you nuts (and no, I didn’t tell them how much you’ve been calling me complaining about them either)!

Your home office and closets are RIDICULOUS. It’s easy to see now!

You can’t escape how tired (and behind the times) your “Brady-Bunch or June-Cleaver” (for those of you old enough to know these references) kitchen and bathroom are.

And let’s not even talk about your windows and doors which are hanging on by a thread.

You knew your house needed work. Now your spouse has your (mostly) undivided attention and is demanding you…

Do something!!!

But what can you do? In ‘normal times (‘er B.C. – Before the Coronavirus)’ you didn’t want a pushy salesperson coming into your home. However, with the Coronavirus showing ZERO SIGNS of letting up, there’s no way in H-E-Double-Hockey Sticks (as you used to tell the kids when they were little) you’re letting ANYBODY into your home.

So, what’s the answer to improving your house without letting anyone in the door (so this crazy virus doesn’t spread anymore)?

The answer is virtual home remodeling appointments. With virtual estimates you’ll get a handle on your design, budget and may even be able to ‘get on the schedule’ for those hard-to-pin-down contractors in your town.

If you have no idea what a virtual home remodeling design appointment is, or reasons you should get one today, or how they work, read on.

What is a virtual home remodeling design appointment?

Virtual design appointments are meetings which help you figure out, measure and get design input and pricing without physically getting together with a sales rep, design consultant or Project Manager. These meeting happen using a combination of web-based tools, email and/or phone calls to communicate the vision of your job, measurements, designs and pricing.

Let’s look at 11 reasons virtual design appointments in remodeling make sense (especially today).

Reason #1 – Technology exists which makes virtual remodeling appointments (or Dr. visits) possible without worrying about a virus being spread

I never thought ‘tele-medicine’ would be something I would use until I tripped over a nail running on a boardwalk in Atlantic City while on vacation. Since I was a heart patient on blood thinners at the time, my arm blew up like a balloon. It wasn’t pretty.

Using an on-line (doc in a phone) app allowed me to get advice and saved me (and my family) valuable ‘vaca-time’ I would have lost waiting in an emergency room in an Atlantic City Hospital (not to mention the big-bill I would not have relished).

What’s nice about ‘virtual appointments’ (just like you may have done with your doctor, or with a doctor you never met before) is they’re possible with easily-available technologies. Platforms like Skype, Zoom,, Facebook Live and even basic email make web-based connections possible.

video conferencing | Innovate Building Solutions | Virtual Meetings | #VirtualMeetings #VirtualAppointments #VideoConferencing

With today’s Coronavirus situation, you don’t need to expose your family to other people to get a project moving. A virtual estimate can be done without letting someone into your home. And if you have an exterior home improvement job (like upper floor replacement windows, basement windows or an entry door), the measurements can be done from the outside without opening your door.

Reason #2 – You’re at home right now and BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND, so why not get a virtual estimate and get something productive done?

Your work is slow. You’ve been furloughed until the ‘shelter in place’ or ‘stay at home’ order is lifted. You’ve been waiting for the right time to get a price on replacing nasty basement windows or getting a closet organization system. You’re SOOOOO desperate right now you’ve even ‘thought about’ decluttering your closet!

funny looking guy bored at home | Innovate Building Solutions | #CouchPotatoe #BoredAtHome #Coronavirus

Why not use this shelter in place time to get a Free 3D closet design or a price on getting rid of tough to open house windows?   

Reason #3 – Your spouse HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO every day than NAG YOU!  

Before the Coronavirus you were ‘too busy’ to call contractors and get estimates to replace a nasty tiled shower. However, now (as your spouse TELLS YOU), you have all the time in the world to look into those grout free shower wall panels she wants SO BAD to make grout cleaning a thing of the past.

Nagging spouse | Innovate Building Solutions | #HappyWife #RemodelingJobs #NaggingSpouse

Reason #4 – You won’t have to throw a sleezy sales rep out of your home with a virtual appointment

Have you ever experienced the home-improvement ‘tin-man’ salesman (sorry to be sexist) who made you cringe?

The rep you couldn’t figure out how to get out of your home. They were annoying. They wouldn’t stop selling. They kept wanting to ‘call their manager’ to get you a ‘one time offer you couldn’t refuse’ (as if this was a ‘mob-deal’ goin’ down).

Sleezy salesperson | innovate building solutions | #SalesPerson #SleazySalesman #SellingJobs #RemodelingJobs

Well with virtual appointments you control the on/off switch of every meeting (‘er laptop, cell phone or computer). You won’t feel trapped by a rep who is FULL OF YOU KNOW WHAT!

Reason #5 – With a virtual window, door, closet organization appointment you’ll save time

During your normal schedule it’s difficult scheduling a meeting with a home organization designer to look at your blown-apart pantry, or a bathroom remodeling contractor to get rid of your dingy fiberglass shower enclosure. With a virtual design consultation, you’ll get a price and design ideas without leaving work or opening your home to meet a contractor. Besides, the unfortunate reality is many contractors don’t show up for the appointment anyway.

Bathroom Remodeling Guide Download

Reason #6 – You can begin the budgeting process and know your costs  

If you’re the type who likes to save (and not pull out a credit card) to pay for a home project, it’s nice to know what kind of bill you’ll be facing when the time is right.

Getting a quick virtual home remodeling estimate lets you know costs without chewing up a lot of your time. And if you see it waaay out of your league, you can go to ‘Plan B,’ and buy more lottery tickets and wait until your ship comes in (OK – it’s probably not a sound financial strategy, but if you plunk down a couple of bucks a week – you never know what may happen).

budgeting virtual remodeling appointments | Innovate Building Solutions | #RemodelingBudget #BudgetingVirtual #RemodelingAppointments

Reason #7 – You can line up a contractor through a virtual appointment while times are slow

Finding a contractor can be a P-A-I-N. You may be muttering under your breath, ‘No S*** Sherlock’ (note – although I haven’t sworn in 10 years, it still doesn’t mean I don’t THINK in swear words!).

After this Coronavirus I for one (speaking as someone whose been leading a remodeling and nationwide building material wholesale business for more years than I care to admit), am worried about the ‘fallout’ in the construction industry of this virus. The last downturn in building (the 2008 and 2009 housing crisis) remodelers and builders lost MASSIVE amounts of talent who didn’t return after the recovery (this is one of the reasons you can’t find a contractor today).

So, if you’re smart, you’ll use this ‘temporary remodeling demand downtime’ of the Coronavirus to line-up the best company in town. Sure, you’ll need to do a ‘socially-distant’ appointment (and in many cases will need to pull out your camera and tape measure to assist in the process – note, you’ll learn more about the 3-step process below), but at least you’ll be at the front of the project line when in-home remodeling (post-virus) gets back to normal.

Reason #8 – A virtual appointment will give you a few less ‘precious moments’ to spend with your kids…and that may be a good thing

As this clever video from Window Depot of Eastern Iowa below shows, there are a few moments where your ‘little angels’ are just a tad bit less angelic than you wish. OK – if we’re being real, you’d easily swap out your first-born for a roll of toilet paper without looking twice right now. Their behavior at moments during your shelter in place has you questioning what ‘quality (sarcasm intended) family time really is.

Window Depot Virtual Estimates During Pandemic from Window Depot USA on Vimeo.

So, why not take a break from the kids and get something productive done. Why not get a virtual estimate to replace basement windows, or hard to open upper floor windows, or design an organized home office?

Reason #9 – Your material order from a virtual design estimate will grow factory employment during economically tough times

While it may not be safe (or possible) to have the installation done during a ‘shelter in place’ order, this doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to place your order and keep people working.

In most cases there are ‘essential’ factories (and fabrication departments) which used to be crazy-busy. Many employees now are at home hoping for things to pick up and get back to work. For example, consider these factory workers you could help by ordering now:

Laminate shower wall panel system Columbus | Innovate Building Solutions | #LaminateShowerPanels #RemodelingBathroom #GroutFreePanels

Reason #10 – A virtual design appointment gives you the knowledge, skills and material list to DIY the job and save money

So, you’re handy, work is slow and you’re downright bored. This is the perfect time to develop a plan, line up materials and DIY your next shower enclosure or kitchen backsplash.

Laminate cracked cement style kitchen backsplash panels | Innovate Building Solutions | #laminatewallpanels #KitchenBacksplash #CrackedCement

With virtual appointments share your vision, plans, drawings and pictures of your existing space to provide the info for a new design and pricing. Then, even if this pandemic drags on, you can start the job and get your spouse off your back at the same time.

Home Remodeling plans | Innovate Building Solutions | #RemodelingBudget #PlanningRemodel #HomeRemodel

Reason #11 – You’ve got an immediate repair which needs to be fixed right now

A week ago, in Columbus Ohio, extensive rains caused flash flooding. Basements were filled with water, and calls for our glass block basement windows went up. During these times you need ‘essential contractors’ to return your home to normal ASAP. This is another place where virtual appointments can help. You can quickly share what’s going on and get service-driven contractors to help plug the holes (literally) which are causing the problem.

So, if you’ve read the 11 reasons to do a virtual remodeling design and are convinced it’s a good idea, but wonder how it works, here’s 3 steps our company is using (both for our regional installed jobs in Cleveland and Columbus and for materials we wholesale across the country) to make them happen.

Step 1 in a Virtual Home Remodeling Consultation– The Initial Phone Call & Information Sharing Process

After we get a phone call or an on-line form for a virtual appointment, a call is made to learn about your project and assign it to a design consultant with the most knowledge about what you want to do (whether it’s windows, doors, closets, kitchen or bathroom remodeling). The Project Manager will call you or set up a video conference (through Zoom, Skype etc.) to discuss (in detail) what you want.

You’ll be asked to share your vision, rough sketches, pictures from Pinterest, Houzz and of the existing space.

The Design Consultant or Estimator will share blog posts and videos to educate you and provide tips to avoid costly mistakes.

Step 2 in a Virtual Home Remodeling Consultation – Getting the mechanics and measurements figured out

If our Estimator can get exterior measurements (this is possible with first floor house windows, glass block basement windows, front entry doors in our local markets of Cleveland and Columbus Ohio) we’ll schedule a time when it’s OK to do this (without disturbing your family, but when you know we’re coming. We don’t want to frighten you or your neighbor!).

If we can’t get measurements (as is the case for interior projects like bathroom remodels, 2nd floor bathroom windows, closets, home offices or pantry shelving systems) our Project Manager will guide your through your ‘homework assignment.’ You’ll learn job details and measurements we need from you to do an estimate (or offer a realistic budget – without getting inside your home).

tape measure | Innovate building solutions | #measuring #Tapemeasure #Measuringwindows

Step 3 in a Virtual Remodeling Consultation – A ‘screen share,’ video conference or plain old-fashioned phone call will be set up to go over pricing and budgets

We know technology is a cinch for your 10-year-old granddaughter or 16-year-old son, however they’re probably not the best person to figure out what you want in a new bathroom, replacement windows or an organized home office. So, while we could ‘Skype or Zoom-in’ your 10 or 16-year-old, the technology we use to go over your plans will be what’s easiest for you.

For example, my 89 year-old-Mom is still technology challenged (note – Mom does now have an email, but she doesn’t know how to use it). So, with our virtual follow up appointments we’ll do our best to work with you (depending on how comfortable you are with technology). We’ll use one of the 3 options to ‘meet you’ without physically ‘meeting you.’

  • Option A) An old-fashioned phone call and the U.S. Postal Service– This is not the preferred way to ‘show’ you things, but if tech really has you freaked out, we’re here to help any way we can.

Phone Call Conferencing | Innovate Building Solutions | #PhoneConferencing #Phone #VirtualAppointments

  • Option B) A screen share appointment – With 3D home organization designs (i.e. closets, pantries, Murphy beds etc.) we do in Columbus Ohio, we develop a plan and ‘share our computer screen’ with you. You can make changes while we’re on the phone, we’ll adjust the design and the price recalculates automatically.

3D closet design | Innovate Home Org | Innovate Building Solutions | #ClosetSystem #3DDesign #ClosetDesign

  • Option C) A video conference – This is a fun way to go over plans, see each other and do a ‘show and tell’ (kind of takes you back to kindergarten without the stickiness of the Elmer’s glue, doesn’t it?).

Video Conferencing | Innovate Building Solutions | #VideoConferencing #FaceTime #Zoom


I know ‘stay at home’ or ‘shelter in place’ orders are stressful for you and your family. Hey – we’re all a bit stir-crazy and dying to GET OUT! I’m in Ohio dealing with this myself and working to navigate a business through these choppy waters as well. However, this ‘down time’ can be used to get those nagging projects started or at least budgeted.

Would you like to schedule a free virtual design consultation? If, so click the links or call the numbers below. We’re looking forward to helping you!


How can I (or a member of my team) help you?

For a free virtual design consultation for a bathroom remodeling, glass block window, vinyl replacement windows, door or home organization appointment in Cleveland or Columbus Ohio call Innovate Building Solutions or Innovate Home Org or click the link below.


For a virtual design consultation and nationwide product supply for a shower or tub wall panel system, shower base, glass enclosure, glass block shower or glass block window project shipped directly to you click the link or call the numbers below:


Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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