There's an app for just about everything, even DIY and home improvement. Whether you're looking for do-it-yourself project guides, calculators, color matching, or even just clever interior design ideas and inspiration, there are lots of options for your mobile device. Here are 10 great DIY & home improvement apps to get you going.
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 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.
SnapGuide is easily among the most visually attractive crowd-sourced how-to apps, featuring numerous projects, repairs, recipes and hacks that come loaded with detailed instructions and full-page photo guides. Users can view featured guides, check out a variety of topics from gardening, automotive, arts & crafts and other projects, as well as popular and recently uploaded guides. Users can comment on, like and share guides, or even create new guides of their own.
Part household management tool, part home improvement app, BrightNest is a great addition to the homemaker's toolkit. Users create a personalized home profile, such as listing down whether you have kids, pets and appliances that require special maintenance (air conditioning, heater, etc.), and BrightNest helps you set up to-do lists with scheduled tasks for home maintenance. In addition, BrightNest provides thousands of articles with lifehacks, DIY projects, organizing tips and tricks and more to make life easier at home.
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.
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.
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.