January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Vila Helps DIYers Plan Their Villas, Purchase Tools & Supplies

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

At BobVila.com, designers, contractors and do-it-yourselfers will be able to create, customize and accessorize entire rooms with the click of a mouse, as well as eventually purchase the appliances, tools and other items they need to complete their projects. The site's technology will enable people to lay out and adjust the dimensions of their floor plan and insert windows, doors, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures. Once they are satisfied with the basic shape of the room, they can position cabinetry, lighting, appliances and other details. They can use new 3-D technology to visualize the room from most every angle, the Boston-based company says.

The 3-D tool is one of many enhancements to the existing web site. A more comprehensive rollout is planned for this fall. BobVila.com will also offer building-technology updates; project-management techniques; online chats; information about choosing a contractor, "greenbuilding," accessible design and historic preservation; video clips from "Bob Vila's Home Again;" and other features.

BobVila.com is a joint online venture between the Bob Vila organization and Sears. Vila is host of "Bob Vila's Home Again" and was the original host of "This Old House."

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