Modern Home Builder - Winter 2018 - 8
can't quite visualize a project in their outdoor space. VR allows
homeowners to immerse themselves in their new backyard and
make an emotional connection with it - a major driving factor
for adopting the technology.
It's natural to worry that such detailed and technologically-advanced renderings might imply a steep price. However,
it does not significantly drive up costs or require additional
resources. As long as a designer has the necessary hardware,
a VR presentation doesn't take much longer to compile than
a regular animated video. It won't necessarily gobble up too
much storage space, either.
VR offers a number of perks and benefits for contractors
and homeowners alike. Some of the benefits of VR implementation include:
* Eliminates upfront questions, making projects run more
smoothly from start to finish. It leads to satisfied customers and referrals and repeat business for contractors.
* Increased return on investment for contractors as the number of site visits generally needed to close a project decreases.
* Detailed and expertly designed outdoor living projects add
value to homes.
* Streamlined process of selling and installing hardscapes.
renderings typically deal with only two contractor visits: one
to gather information and another to review a quote. Historically, contractors may have needed four or five visits to seal
the deal, but the powerful visions of VR reduce the need for
VR can also add meaningful benefits to any kind of hardscaping project. But there are a few that work particularly well
for the medium. For example, spaces that incorporate many
vertical elements can be especially difficult to envision with
VR can solve this. Domineering additions, such as kitchens
or fire features, are much easier to envision when using VR.
There's also the broader issue of matching and flow -how colors will look together, how different features will interact with
each other and how movement between spaces will be restricted or enabled. Again, VR becomes an attractive option when
considering the full picture of a home.
There are still plenty of new spaces to explore in the world
of virtual reality. Although the idea has been around for decades, it's finally reaching a critical mass. But there's still a long
way to go toward making it mainstream. The possibilities are
exciting as VR is on the forefront of the industry and expanding
into multiple facets of the business. In the meantime, this is the
time to invest in the technology for hardscaping and a myriad
of other renovation needs. )
Joe Raboine is a national design and training specialist for
Belgard Authorized Contractors, where he leads the Belgard
Design Studio team. He believes that helping homeowners visualize a planned design is key to growing business for hardscape
designers, installers and the industry. A former contractor, he is
an expert in designing custom 3-D renderings for outdoor spaces
With VR helping homeowners make faster decisions, there's
also a dramatic uptick in efficiency. Customers who see VR
and a leader in hardscape design and technology. He can be
reached at Joseph.Raboine@oldcastle.com.