Build, renovate, decorate! Top tools and apps for managing your project like a pro

Creating the home of your dreams might be a highly personal and challenging endeavour, but help is available here and now – and right in the palm of your hand.

Cue these savvy smartphone apps and websites designed to make the whole process easier, from the initial planning phase to budgeting and decorating. These platforms will assist you on your new house build or renovation journey, and prove invaluable in communicating your vision to your builder, designer or decorator along the way.


Find inspiration on Instagram

Beautiful imagery is a natural starting point for any renovation or new house build, making Instagram an essential addition to your toolbox. Seek out architects, interior designers, building product brands and landscape gardeners whose work you love, then follow them. Save images by clicking the bookmark icon under the post, and use the Collections feature to create themed folders such as Modern Extensions or Home Facades.

For modern architecture inspiration ­– from stand-out facades to covetable outdoor entertaining areas – check out the James Hardie Instagram account. Our Instagram community boasts more than 106,000 members, with regular contributions from our partners to arm you with creative and actionable ideas for your project.


Perfect your look with Pinterest

To further visualise your future home, head to virtual pinboard platform Pinterest. Search for your chosen home aesthetic, from Hamptons style to Mid Century Modern, and scroll through the hundreds of images available.

Create a board for each area in your home – such as Exterior, Kitchen, Bathroom and Deck – and ‘pin’ images from other users, or directly from websites, to save and organise your ideas. Visit the James Hardie Pinterest page for boards dedicated to every modern look, from Scandi Barn to Modern Coastal and Mixed Materials.


Pull your spaces together using Style Sourcebook

Style Sourcebook is an online product-sourcing and mood board platform, perfect for new builds and home renos alike. Here you can create authentic mood boards, drawing from a huge database of real interior and exterior products available in Australia. Simply drag-and-drop your chosen finishes, fittings and furniture to digitally design your home and visualise each cohesive space.

This is a handy resource during the planning phase, but it will also be essential to refer back to throughout your project, ensuring the build, design and decoration stay true to your original vision.


Pick your exterior products from our Inspiration Gallery

During a home renovation, revamp or build, we can get caught up designing and refining the interiors. But first impressions count, and the facade is one of the most important features of any house. Why? Because a striking facade creates street appeal and adds value to your property. The James Hardie Inspiration Gallery is an excellent tool for not only visualising your home’s exterior, but sourcing suitable products, too.

Start by selecting a look you love from the dropdown menu – be it Modern Coastal or Box Modern – then browse the gorgeous selection of exteriors and facades. Found a sleek white beach house you’re keen to replicate? Click on the image, and the exact exterior products used in the project will appear – such as Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, a practical fibre cement panel that mimics the look of soft, sandy render, ideal for modern and minimalist houses. You can also download the image to post on Pinterest, or to simply share with your architect and builder as they help bring your dream home to life.


Track your budget with an online finance tool

The budget is perhaps the most critical consideration of your renovation or new house build, and planning and tracking your spend from beginning to end is essential.

To start, utilise an online budget calculator to assess and estimate the overall cost of your project. There are numerous Australian options available, including Archicentre Australia, Remodel Calculator and Extension Cost Calculator. Keep in mind that the estimations are indicative only, and you should always consult a professional for the most accurate appraisal.

Next you’ll want to collate and track all your expenses; check out our step-by-step guide to devising a detailed build or home renovation budget – and sticking to it, too.

When it comes to building or renovating your home, there’s no such thing as too many resources. For more ideas, download our Australian Home Design Guide, which is brimming with products, practical advice and endless design possibilities for your project.

Australian Home Design Guide

Your vision for your home has never been more important. From space and flexibility to quality and curb appeal, our homes are all about how we live. But where do you start? Our Australian Design Home Guide helps inspire and achieve your vision. 


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