Does the desire to shop smarter manifest itself, when it comes to major purchases for remodeling and new home construction projects?

How often do you shop online? If you are like many people these days, you might find yourself literally staring at a fairly major purchase in a retail store and not placing it in your shopping cart before you first check its price on Amazon.

But does that desire to shop smarter manifest itself when it comes to major purchases for remodeling and new home construction projects? According to professionals – yes and no – and that’s a very good thing. Here’s why:

Consumers are indeed shopping smarter when it comes to major purchases for remodeling and construction projects. They are using the Internet to research key features, delve into product reviews to learn more about usability and reliability, and of course, they are looking at pricing.

Yet when it comes to major home remodeling purchases, there is still one thing that can’t be found online – the expertise to determine whether the product you think you want is actually the best fit for your particular project in your unique setting and within the constraints of your family’s budget. That’s where the experience of a qualified professional remodeler or design/build contractor comes into play.

Experts like these (as well as kitchen and bath designers, interior designers, landscape designers and more – depending on the particulars of your project), have the benefit of years of field experience that has taught them to deal with the nuances of hundreds of projects. These trained professionals can help steer you in the right direction. They know the brands in question – whether you are considering a major appliance, looking at carpeting v. hardwood flooring, or searching for a HVAC system. They understand which ones work in real applications and which will accomplish what you want while meshing with your plans and fitting within your budget.

That background is critical because what looks good on paper – or on your iPhone – might not work in your application. Whether it’s a stain-prone marble surface in an active family’s kitchen, an over-the-range microwave that might be difficult to reach for an older couple who wants to age in place, a sink that looks amazingly beautiful but won’t withstand the rigors of daily use, an appliance color that is destined to become tomorrow’s avocado green, or countless other choices, these design professionals can share their experiences and tips to lead you toward options that can get you the look you want with the durability and functionality you need.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your due diligence. When you rely on their seasoned opinions, they can minimize the amount of time you devote to researching things that don’t work and allow you to hone in on the best options for you. They also can present you with new and intriguing possibilities that you may never have considered. Best of all, when you work with a professional who has access to the products in question, you can actually see and touch them to ensure that they have the look, feel and quality that you want and the functionality you need. That’s something that even the best online source can’t deliver – until it shows up on your door, and by then it might be too late to make a change.

So for the best of all worlds, rely on some old fashioned, hands-on expertise to go along with your high-tech research.