The main photo is courtesy of FineCraft Contractors which showcases a custom “ADU tiny house” they built in Arlington, Virginia.

Whether you are browsing the web to find design inspiration for an upcoming home project, or in the process of vetting design and build firms, be sure to take note of who is presenting their work and capabilities beyond basic photo galleries.

Though admittedly image galleries are definitely helpful for making design decisions, in this article, we highlight a few firms and vendors that are raising the bar beyond traditional photo galleries.

We cannot express enough how important visualization tools are, as they can help remove the “unknown” of major renovation projects before costly work begins.


Table of Contents


Integrated 360 Degree Virtual Tours


Matterport is the leader in 3D interactive virtual tours for real estate listings. We list Matterport first as they have been a hub of innovation for data visualization for many years, with these impressive feats:

  • The largest spatial data library in the world
  • Cortex AI (Artificial Intelligence) engine for deep learning and connecting images for accurate 3D models
  • Spatial data insights and analytics
  • 3D data on millions of spaces and billions of square feet
  • Mattertags to create more helpful and informative 3D interactive visual experiences

On the real estate front, Matterport shares these impressive stats for homeowners in the market to sell their current homes:

  • 74% of agents using Matterport win more listings
  • 95% of people are more likely to call about properties with 3D virtual tours

Matterport is known for its visually intuitive dollhouse view which allows viewers to see a transparent 3D view of an entire property, including multiple floors. Matterport also utilizes “Mattertags” that provide more contextual information within the virtual tour by embedding contextual links, images, text and videos.

Matterport in 90 seconds

Matterport in 90 seconds

To learn more about Matterport and see examples of their technology, we recommend visiting these links:


FineCraft Contractors

FineCraft, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been building houses and improving homes since 1985. Their gallery of virtual tours not only showcases their high quality of craftsmanship and design aesthetics, but demonstrates their collaborative approach with homeowners and various industry partners. Their 3D tour of the Tiny House in Arlington, Virginia demonstrates that they are fully utilizing the capabilities of Matterport’s platform.

They also complement virtual tours with videos of their projects that include additional photos and interviews with homeowners.

Not stopping there, FineCraft also includes two free interactive visualizer tools to try various color and material combinations for kitchen and bathroom projects.

An Interactive 360 Degree Virtual Tour of a Custom ADU by FineCraft

Modern ADU Tiny House Project Overview Video by FineCraft

Modern Tiny House in Arlington, VA


360 Degree Virtual Viewing

Distinctive Remodeling

Distinctive Remodeling, an award-winning design and build firm out of Raleigh, North Carolina, has been leveraging 360 degree virtual viewing technology to give proper justice to their high-end work. With over 20 virtual tours of major remodeling projects, their website showcases their talents in the virtual tour gallery.

Projects can be conveniently filtered by project type, such as kitchen, bathroom or whole house. They complement their virtual tours with an even larger project photo gallery, also filterable by project type.


MADE Renovation

MADE Renovation, based in San Francisco, provides all-inclusive bathroom renovations from design to build, with services also offered in Los Angeles. In their efforts to revitalize the bathroom remodeling industry, they are also raising the bar in terms of showcasing 360 degree views of their work.

Even with small, rectangular bathrooms, it is helpful to rotate the eye of the camera, especially to look directly down at the flooring to view tile colors, shapes, texture and grout lines.


Detailed Renovation Case Studies


Block simplifies the process for kitchen and bathroom renovations, while reducing the risks often encountered in large projects, by managing design, materials sourcing, and vetted contractors for homeowners. Block is currently serving the Los Angeles and New York City metro areas, with plans for expansion to other areas.

Block excels at sharing details, including photos and design renderings, for each step of a given project. Walking prospective customers through an example project in this method helps homeowners to visualize the steps of a project, as well to set proper expectations on the work to be done.

Example Renovation Case Studies by Block:

Block Project #2727 Classic Meets Contemporary Screenshot

Also see:


Before & After Slider for Exterior Design Projects

Brick & Batten

Brick & Batten specializes in providing virtual exterior design services that can provide dramatic improvements in curb appeal. Their service also includes providing shopping lists of their recommended colors, materials and fixtures. Their use of an interactive visual slider is a dramatic method of showcasing vivid transformations with before-and-after image comparisons.

Though “before-and-after image sliders” have been widely used to showcase interior design projects, it is an especially powerful design tool when considering major updates to a home’s exterior. As Brick & Batten state, they can help homeowners visualize the look they’ve been dreaming about before they take the plunge!

Brick & Batten How It Works

Brick & Batten - How It Works

Screenshot Example 1: White Brick with Large Windows, Front Porch & Charcoal Roof

Brick & Batten Before and After Exterior White Brick Large Windows Charcoal Roof

Screenshot Example 2: Metal Roof with White Wood, Cladding and Accent Plants

Brick & Batten Before and After Exterior Metal Roof White Wood with Accent Plants


Streaming 360 Degree Videos


We tend to forget that streaming video can be combined with 360 degree interaction, so don’t forget to search YouTube, as well. Technology that provides 360 degree image interactivity, like Matterport, can integrate with the YouTube video player.

You may be surprised that this capability has been available on YouTube for several years. Videos that have a circular navigation icon in the upper left-hand corner are enabled to interactively “turn” the cameras, while the video is playing. The camera can also be rotated when the video is paused. When searching be sure to include either “360 degree” or “360” in your search term.

Here are two good examples of this technology used for showcasing renovation work.

360 Video Before and After Palm Springs Home Renovation by Craig Sauer

360 Video Before and After Home Renovation

360 Video Home Remodeling Tour by Gonell Homes

The indoor portion of the tour starts at 3:28.


Virtual Staging 360 Degree Tours

Though a highly effective and convenient method of quickly showcasing properties for sale online, virtual staging is also being used to demonstrate design potential for spaces to be renovated, remodeled, or refreshed. A favorite feature of these tools is the ability to eliminate existing furniture, clutter and walls virtually.

These tools are especially valuable for reducing the likelihood of poor design decisions, before costly renovation work begins.

Here are two vendors that give a good overview of 3D virtual tours for staging, makeover and renovation projects.

Box Brownie

Box Brownie a leading provider of virtual staging solutions for real estate applications that also offers 360 degree virtual tours of virtually staged spaces. A helpful feature includes the ability to view a space with and without furniture and décor.




Tantify is another leading virtual staging provider that also offers 360 degree tours of virtually staged spaces.

Don’t have 3D images of your property? No worries! Tantify can create immersive 360 degree virtual experiences from just your floorplan, referred to as 3D visualization. This is an ideal service for homeowners building brand new houses.


To learn more about the benefits of virtual staging and other established virtual staging vendors be sure to read:


Shoppable 3D Experiences


Openhaus is a pioneer in the space of Shoppable 3D Experiences, by allowing users to “walk around”, find ideas, and shop products inside of other people’s homes. A partner of Matterport, Openhaus is empowering both designers and homeowners to showcase their design skills, as well as to monetize the shoppable products in their respective homes.

Here are the three 3D shopping scenarios that can help you discover products, brands and inspirations:

When pulling up the details of a given product, also included will be any 3D virtual tours of rooms that contain the corresponding product.

Openhaus Reduces Time to Produce Shoppable 3D Experiences by 90% with Matterport Developer Tools


Additional Design Innovators


Recommended Reading


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