How Contractors use Augmented Reality (AR) for Kitchen and Bathroom Makeovers

March 28, 2022

By:  John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
TempeBizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Data Titan, Sofvue LLC, and the author

Augmented reality (AR) is disrupting every industry across virtually every market segment, from medical diagnostics and surgery, to construction architecture and interior design. Even IKEA has joined the game allowing people to place furniture in their home using IKEA’s AR services. Coupled with all this change is newly added capabilities that allow consumers to shop and place items in their kitchen and bathrooms before spending a single penny, giving smart shoppers an actual view of what a room might look like before any actual renovation work begins. This helps designers, contractors and work crews better understand the end result than at any other time in prior history.

So, let’s talk about kitchen and bathroom makeovers, and how augmented reality is disrupting the marketplace.

How Does Augmented Reality Work?

Augmented Reality (AR) combines the physical and digital world together to provide an immersive environmental experience. For example, a designer can place a 3D image of an appliance in a kitchen using their mobile device. In fact, we are now reaching a point where exact products, with identified SKU and colors, can be used to place an appliance into a room and then with the customer’s approval, immediately purchase the item.

How is this possible?  Using sophisticated software, a phone’s camera and GPS used to provide real-time data geospatially. Using this AR technology is what allows a person to use their phone to place items anywhere they like in the room. This lets the customer see the appliance as it will appear after purchase, how the cooking area will appear after placement and how much space will be left.     

How is AR Used In Kitchen and Bathroom Makeovers?

Augmented reality increases efficiency, improves safety, helps collaborate with customers, and enhances the overall project quality.

Here are some ways contractors are using (AR) to complete projects more quickly:

1. Project Planning

(AR) can generate 3D plans directly from 2D designs. Combined with 3D modeling software and building information modeling, contractors can create detailed, interactive kitchen and bathroom models. They can then share these designs with clients to get their input. This gives customers a better understanding of project outcomes and allows them to make changes before any renovation begins. As a result, it prevents costly changes after the renovation is underway and keeps the clients engaged throughout the process.

Also, (AR) enables contractors to closely examine the details and components of the kitchen and bathroom prior to engaging in the project. This foresight reduces cost overruns, uncovers potential plan mistakes, and prevents schedule delays, something that has plagued the construction industry for a hundred years.

2. Project Modifications

(AR) is a constantly evolving field. The recent innovation in augmented reality allows contractors and workers to amend the design directly from the field. Using an advanced mobile app or a headset, they can easily display the interiors of the kitchen and modify the virtual plan while keeping the original intact, all with the click of a few buttons.

For example, contractors can virtually remove and relocate kitchen appliances using their AR app with just a few taps. This also helps identify and troubleshoot any errors using a virtual view before making changes in the physical world. In other words, (AR) removes the guesswork from the renovation by giving you complete control over the design early on.

3. On-Site Project Information

Contractors need to analyze the existing structure when modifying the kitchen and bathroom. While the position of switches, outlets, and ventilation can be shifted as deemed fit, kitchens and bathrooms are much more complex and have HVAC ducts, electrical wires, internet and television cables, plumbing and natural gas connections, all of which must be taken into consideration when making modifications.

Armed with a good set of floorplans, contractors can view this information and toggle between layers to create a successful renovation plan with augmented reality. The proper placement and understanding of the existing load bearing and non-load bearing walls also prevents any potential damage to the building during the renovation.

4. Better Collaboration

Renovation is not a one-person job. Instead, it requires collaboration between multiple teams, including architects, electricians, plumbers, designers, carpenters, and site managers. A successful collaboration ensures that the project runs on time and everything goes as planned, but different parts of the project require different teams at different times.  For instance, the finish carpenter might be one of the last people on the project before taping, floating and painting begin. Thanks to (AR), managers can share notes, videos, and 3D models in real-time with other members of a project to get invaluable information while the project is underway.

Future of AR in Home Renovation

Given the application of augmented reality and its future in home renovations and construction, its future looks bright.  Although only large construction and renovation firms are currently leveraging (AR) today, it will become more accessible in the coming years, especially as 5G networks expand.

Reliable mobile app development companies like TempeBizz offer customized AR mobile app development services to construction companies and contractors who want to better manage their projects. TempeBizz’s experience in creating bespoke mobile apps makes them the go-to mobile app development company in Tempe, and across Arizona. Should your future plans include the use of (AR), give us a call so we can better understand what you are trying to accomplish, how a mobile application (app)  can better streamline your entire project lifecycle, how much time is involved and how much a custom (AR) software project will cost.

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