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Rivalries take on all shapes and sizes, and there’s yet another interesting one brewing between Seattle-based Zillow and Silicon Valley upstart Houzz. As we noted earlier today, Zillow pushed right onto Houzz’s home turf, if you will, with the launch of new home improvement web site and iPad app called Zillow Digs. 

And what does Houzz, which landed $35 million in venture capital last week, think of Zillow’s efforts?

Gabriela Hebert, director of communications for Houzz, tells GeekWire that Zillow’s new service is a “complete knock off.”

Ouch, those are fighting words. And yet it appears as if it is another entanglement between Zillow and a Sequoia-backed startup. (As I mentioned in the earlier piece, Sequoia is also a backer of Trulia, a longtime rival of Zillow that is now locked in a patent fight with its larger competitor over the Zestimate).

“When we built Houzz three years ago, we recognized that the home remodeling and design industry was a huge and underserved market. New copycats will continue to come and go. We’ve been aware of Zillow’s efforts for some time and are flattered by their entrance, which further validates the market opportunity we identified early on,” said Hebert.

We asked Zillow for comment about Houzz earlier this week, and spokeswoman Cynthia Pang declined to comment directly about its new competitor.

I really can’t comment on Houzz, but with Zillow Digs, for the first time, home shoppers and homeowners instantly can get kitchen and bathroom remodel estimates on the actual photos they are viewing, and based on their location, for free. And Home improvement professionals can upload pictures of their past work and provide real cost information.

Zillow is certainly well aware of Houzz’s growing community, now with more than 12 million monthly unique visitors and 160,000 design professionals. That’s a good chunk of Zillow’s overall 45 million monthly visitors, so it was probably time for company to put its stake in the sand.

Previously on GeekWireZillow Digs vs. Pinterest: Inside Zillow’s big bet to transform home improvement

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