These Apps Can Help Out on Projects
There's an app for just about everything, even do-it-yourself and home improvement projects. Whether you're looking for DIY guides, calculators, color matching, or even just clever interior design ideas and inspiration, you have lost of mobile options. These dozen home improvement apps can get you started. (Image Credit: Daniel Dash/Shutterstock)
WikiHow (Android, iOS: Free)
Like Wikipedia for the DIY set, WikiHow (Android, iOS) provides you with thousands of how-to guides ranging from tech and life hacks, quick repairs, DIY and craft projects, and even some neat food recipes. Ever wanted to learn how to change your car's oil? Clean and maintain a rain barrel? Frame a jigsaw puzzle? WikiHow has it all, complete with illustrations and videos. Users can browse through and search categories, check out featured articles, as well as bookmark particular how-tos for later offline reading. A neat feature in the iOS version is the inclusion of a Survival Kit, a collection of first aid and survival guides that come preloaded for offline use.
iFixIt (Android: Free)
iFixIt is another excellent DIY-oriented app, this time focused on do-it-yourself repairs. iFixIt includes repair and teardown guides for numerous categories of devices, from cars and trucks to smartphones, tablets and common household appliances and furniture. iFixIt's guides take you through the process of breaking open devices, diagnosing problems and even making repairs and part replacements. Users can browse by category or device model, check out featured guides, and even create and upload their own teardown or repair guides straight from the app. If you don't have the parts or tools you need, the app helpfully includes links to iFixIt's own online store.
DIY Tip Genius (Android, iOS: Free)
The Family Handyman magazine offers up DIY and home improvement tips with its own DIY Tip Genius app (Android, iOS), which provides users with helpful techniques, pro secrets and guides. Users can check out the tip of the day, try their luck with random tips, mark their favorite suggestions, and search by categories for helpful techniques and projects for their household needs.
iHandy Carpenter (iOS: $1.99)
iHandy Carpenter takes advantage of your iPhone or iPad's built-in sensors to turn your device into a handy set of tools. The surface level and bubble level bar let you check flat surfaces, while a plumb bob allows you to check the verticality of walls. A steel protractor lets you measure angles of up to 180 degrees, while an onscreen ruler enables small measurements in inches and centimeters.
Photo Measures (Android, iOS: $6.99)
Photo Measures (Android, iOS) is a handy mobile assistant for taking photos and annotating them with color-coded measurements, angles, and notes. Users can zoom in for more detail, save photos in PDF or JPG formats, sort photos by category, and import and export photos in a variety of sizes and aspect ratios. It's a helpful reference app for planning out your next home improvement project.
TapPainter (iOS: $2.99)
Take the guesswork out of paint matching and room planning with TapPainter. Just snap a photo of your room and upload it through the app; TapPainter processes your photo, analyzing lighting and room layout to allow you to create accurate previews of how your room would look like painted in a different color. Users can choose from complete color fan decks of leading brands such as Sherwin-Williams, Behr and more. Or you can find the closest match of your custom color. You can easily compare original and processed images with swipes, as well as share the previews through email or Facebook.
Handyman Calculator (Android: Free) & Home Improvement Calcs (iOS: $1.99)
The Handyman Calculator is a free Android app that crams in dozens of calculation and conversion tools intended for the handyman, DIY fanatic, or construction worker. Simple unit conversions, fractional calculators, density calculators, arc length and rebar weight are among the tools listed, which range from the everyday to the esoteric (such as an Oil Drilling Pressure to Mud Weight Converter). On the iOS end, Home Improvement Calcs provides many of the same functions.
The Woodshop Widget (iOS: $3.99)
The Woodshop Widget app is a helpful collection of woodworking-related calculators and converters that can be a great aid for the DIY enthusiast and construction professional alike. The app's toolset can provide estimates of how boards of different species of wood might grow or shrink under different conditions, species comparison, a board volume calculator, unit conversion aids and a compound-and-crown assistant for crown molding and decorative elements.
RoomScan Pro (iOS: $4.99)
RoomScan Pro takes advantage of your smartphone's motion sensors to quickly scan and record your room and floor plan layouts. Simply tap your smartphone on the wall and wait for the beep, repeating on each wall and door frame that you want to record. Once done, RoomScan takes into account your movement through the room and recorded wall sections, intelligently drawing walls based on your recordings for a quick floor plan. From there, you can manually edit dimensions, input architectural symbols, and combine room plans into complete floor layouts. Users can save floor plans into images, PDF and DXF files, with a fee for more advanced export options. It's hard for a screenshot to capture it in action, so check out this demo video to see RoomScan Pro does its thing.
Pinterest (Android, iOS: Free)
Pinterest (Android, iOS) is a fantastic online resource for a variety of interests, including the crafting, DIY, interior design, and home improvement fields. Users can browse topic-related interest boards and save interesting projects, ideas, and photos for inspiration, reference, and later use in their own endeavors, as well as share their works with the online community.
Houzz (Android, iOS: Free)
Called the "Wikipedia of Interior Design", Houzz is a social network dedicated to architecture, interior design and home improvement. The official Houzz app (Android, iOS) serves as a massive repository of articles, discussions and photographs that budding home improvement mavens and interior design addicts can consult for inspiration and help. Whether you're looking for DIY ideas, design inspiration, interesting pieces of furniture or simply want to get in touch with local professionals or talented amateurs, Houzz has something for you.
Handy (Android, iOS: Free)
Sometimes, you just don't have the time, or a home improvement or repair job can be beyond the skills of even the most dedicated DIY'er. Enter Handy (Android, iOS), an app that works like Uber for handymen. Covering more than 20 cities in the US, Canada and the UK, Handy allows users to book professional, background-checked house cleaners and handymen, view the progress of the booking and pay securely over the phone. Whether you need help cleaning up the house, setting up the AC or other bulky appliances, or need plumbing or electrical work done, Handy's got you covered.