There was a time, not too long ago, when the prospect of completing a home improvement project would involve multiple trips to the bookstore or library in addition to a trip (or five) to your local hardware store for supplies. After all, before you can begin a home improvement project, a wide-ranging and varied set of ideas are needed to provide some degree of inspiration. Thankfully, those days of making repeated trips to multiple stores to get you ready for a home improvement project are starting to fade.
The prime reason? The preponderance of mobile apps that make it easier for you to plan and execute any home improvement project. Many of these apps also manage to go beyond simple planning; some even manage to help provide fundamental assistance in the actual project itself. Read on below for 10 home improvement apps you should install now!
This Android app is a must-have for anyone doing a major redesign of a room or home. Simply put, this tool can best be described as a dictionary of dimensions of appliances and furniture. It makes use of a consonantly updated database of accurate dimensions to help you in the planning phase of any major redesign project.
Wondering if that refrigerator can fit in your new kitchen? Simply search by brand, name, or photo. Measurements are available in both US and Metric measurements, and each item features a 3D model image to help with the selection process. Best of all? There’s a free version of the app that doesn’t limit your functionality, at all.
The Home Depot App
Available for both Apple and Android, this app requires that you select a local store before you access the full range of features that come with the app. One of the more useful features is the home improvement calculator. Tell the app your project, and include your dimensions, and it will tell you how many tools and accessories you’ll need to complete the project.
For example, having a painting project planned? Enter the room measurements, select the type of painting you plan to do, and the calculator will let you know what you need to buy to complete the project. For anyone who has ever attempted a DIY project at home, this tool is a godsend, as it will save you time usually spent making multiple trips back and forth to a store. The app also includes free videos that explain several common projects.
Another free app for Android and Apple, the Lowe’s app doesn’t feature the impressive toolbox that the Home Depot app does, but it does feature a an extremely comprehensive and thorough selection of video tutorials. In fact, the Lowe’s app features videos that are among the best of any app on the market. And the app itself is free, which is impossible to beat.
Home Design 3D
This paid app is a mobile version of software that many interior designers use to come up with design ideas for their clients. For an individual working on a project that involves any major home rearrangement or redesign, it is a godsend. You create a room with the dimensions of your own by dragging your finger across the screen.
You can then drag and drop furniture, fixtures and appliances into the room that match your own, or match some of the ideas that you have. At the press of a button, you can change that model in a 3D one. You can then rotate and view that 3D model from all sides and angles. Its an absolute must if you find yourself having to do multiple room redesigns.
Benjamin Moore Color Capture
This free app finally ends that age-old worry that every homeowner and handyman has had to deal with: matching colors accurately. Simply take a picture of any color. The app then analyzes and compares the photo to over 3000 colors in its database, and tells you which tints match it best. This tool alone will save you a whole lot of frustration.
GPS Pocket Tape Measure
For a buck, you get one the most accurate tape measures ever. Simply tap the screen to start the measurement process, and tap it again to stop. Using your phones GPS, the app tells you the exact dimensions of any item.
The free app does exactly what it says – find studs within walls. Simply start the app, move it across the wall and mark the spots with a pencil. Dead simple and free.
Houzz Interior Design Ideas
This free app is essentially the greatest interior design idea book ever made. Featuring well over a million photos, it is an almost overwhelming amount of ideas kept in one place. Thankfully, the application includes countless search filters, including searches by color, style, room, location, and theme. You can then save your favorites to use in your own redesign projects. Each item listed in the room features a meta-tag and a back-link, making it easier for you to purchase the item, and know its exact measurements for planning purposes.
For the whopping price of two bucks, you can have an entire carpenter’s accessory kit in your phone. A ruler, a bubble leveler, a protractor, plumb bob and surface leveler are included in the price. You’ll use this app over and over again, no matter what type of project you have on hand.
Carpet and Floor Calculator
For the unbeatable price of free, this app does one thing exceptionally well: it prices carpet and tile by square foot and total area. Simply input the measurements of your floor, and then the app does the rest.
The above apps are just the tip of the iceberg of an expanding mobile home improvement market. They offer a great deal of basic functionality that anyone can use in almost any home improvement project. Explore your app market a little bit more and you will certainly be able to find even more specific applications for your DIY projects.
Will Collins is a freelance writer who is keen on writing about home improvement, home decorations and interior designing. He also contributes to businesses like Modscape including many others.