Eight Mobile Apps For The Do-It-Yourselfer
‘Tis the season. Something about spring and summer energizes us when it comes to home improvement and sprucing things up around the house. Maybe it’s the sunshine and warmer temperatures that draw us out of hibernation. Whatever the reason, there is no better time to get up, get moving and get started on your next project. Lucky for you, whether you are new to the game or an old pro, there are plenty of apps to help you out on any DIY project.
Here are eight apps you may want to download before you get started:
Talk about handy. If you have ever been at a loss for how much product you will need to complete your project, this app is for you. Consulting this app can save you a ton of money when it comes to over-buying and a lot of frustration—and trips back to the store—when it comes to under-buying. It provides a safety net if you have to special order your materials. Whatever your project, it can help you determine how much of a material you will need, i.e. paint, concrete, decking, tiles, flooring, fencing. You name it.
2. ID Wood by Double Dog Studios
Have you ever looked at wood flooring and fell in love with it, only to realize later that you have no idea what kind of wood it is? Problem solved. This app holds full-screen samples and details on nearly 200 different kinds of wood with descriptions on how durable each one is and suggestions on what kind of wood could be used for particular projects. You will also have access to tips on proper cutting techniques and what hardware (nails) to use with each.
3. Ben Color Capture by Benjamin Moore
Sometimes the color you are after simply does not exist among the hundreds of swatches on the color wall in the paint store. Enter this useful app. Upload a photo of the color you are after and the app will offer Benjamin Moore’s closest match. Just snap photos of shades you love, upload images, and get their closest matches. The apps color library (which contains more than 3,300 color options) lets you to create and save a ‘virtual paint chip’ that you can have matched at the store. It will even offer you a number of complementary colors to help you make appropriate decorating choices.
Have you heard the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.”? This is the app for you if you would describe yourself as, well, less than precise. You’ll find a number of three-dimensional tools including virtual tape measures (up to 82 feet), a level for both horizontal and vertical surfaces, a tool for determining distance, surface area and volume and much more.
5. Flashlight by ExactMagic
Whether you’re a night owl or simply working in a space that isn’t well-lit, the do-it-yourselfer can always use a little more direct light. This app turns your mobile device into a surprisingly bright flashlight. And, as you might imagine, it doesn’t stop there. You can choose from a number of options including varying light colors and brightness levels. Let there be light.
6. iHandy Level
After you download this handy app you may never again have use for that old, bulky, metal level. There’s simply no excuse for a crooked picture ever again. Keep in mind you will want to calibrate your phone before using it.
This is a neat app to help keep you organized and on task. You can input all sorts of important information that you might need to have on hand like your room measurements. It will help you calculate everything from dimensions to budgets, create shopping and to-do lists and set up reminders for important jobs.
This one you may want to download as a ‘just in case.’ If your project becomes just a bit too much to handle on your own and you find yourself needing a professional, this app gives you access to a roster of home improvement professionals—contractors, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, you name it. You can browse photos of their work, ask for a quote, and share your own DIY experiences. The app holds more than 60,000 licensed and insured members who have been pre-screened for clean records.
Jessica Vance is a freelance writer and design professional who works for an Arizona tile store. She often writes advice to others on getting help with various home improvement projects.
Photo Credit: Josh Bancroft