Intent on lowering the "opportunity costs" of high tech, 15 remodelers and five associated businesses have formed a group to explore and share the technology that makes their businesses more profitable.

Headed up by Jeff Rainey of Home Equity Builders in Great Falls, Va., the Remodelers Information Technology Group plans to test hardware, software, peripherals, and wireless and Internet technologies, then report on them through its Web site,

"We can make a real impact," Rainey says. "We want to bring our businesses to another level. One of the reasons remodelers aren't willing to invest in new technology is because they've been burned, put so many things on the shelf."

The group aims to circumvent trial-and-error. It hopes to develop relationships with technology manufacturers, becoming a "test bed" the industry relies on to refine offerings. Ultimately, the RIT Group will be a spokesman for what works -- before technology hits the market.

Rainey wants to keep the local group small, but plans to go national, forming chapters in other areas as remodelers realize the value of knowledge sharing. A Massachusetts chapter is under discussion.