Very Useful Home Improvement Apps and Information
A great article with links to home improvement apps for your mobile phone. Also, there are links to other useful information about maintaining your home.
When I first saw the following article in House Logic, I wondered, “aren’t we over-app’d yet”? Then, I downloaded the Price Grabber and used it while I was shopping – great! Later, I had lunch with a friend whose new cell phone had a built-in flashlight. I thought this would be very helpful while showing property. So, I downloaded an LED Light for my iPhone, and I love it. ( I use it to peek into dark spaces; it’s been particularly helpful in homes where the electricity has been cut off!) All of the apps below are easy to use and very helpful. Most of all, they make many home improvements steps just a touch easier and more quickly accomplished. I’m looking forward to trying out the Paint Color Matching app.
**Please note that although this article is older, it is still relevant today! The apps have been updated for today.
Downloadable iPhone and Android apps offer ways to maintain, improve, and save money on your home. Smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and those based on Google’s Android do more than make calls, thanks to hundreds of thousands of downloadable mini-software items called apps. There are many home improvement apps designed to help you save money or take care of projects. Here are some of the best:
Match that paint color: If you see a color at a friend’s house that would look great in your home, use Benjamin Moore’s Ben Color Capture or Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap, free mobile apps for iPhone, to conjure up a matching paint color and code in a jiffy. Take a photo with your phone, and the app matches the paint as closely as possible, and will display secondary and complementary colors. (ColorSnap is also available for BlackBerry.)
Get rid of stains: Good Housekeeping magazine has placed all their best stain-removal and cleaning advice into their free @Home app. It also includes decorating ideas and a searchable list of the 5,000-plus products that have earned a Good Housekeeping seal.
Look for recycled stuff: If you’re searching for a cheap replacement part, or looking for a deal on slightly-used appliances and materials, eBay’s free Mobile app lets you search the auction site’s entire marketplace your iphone or Android. You can also put any of your disused-but-functional household items up for sale and recoup some cash.
Price comparison: Finding lower prices on electronics and appliances used to mean driving from store to store or scanning Sunday circulars. With the free Price Check by Amazon, you can scan a product’s barcode at a store and compare the price against Amazon and other merchants. (Android and BlackBerry versions are also available.) PriceGrabber has a similar app for iPhone and Android.
Carpenter’s tools in one: For $1.99, the iHandy Carpenter app puts a ruler, protractor, bubble level, surface level, and plumb bob into your iPhone, allowing you to make measurements without lugging out the tool box. It’s perfect for simple jobs like hanging frames and mirrors. Need just a level? There’s a free app for iPhone from iHandy.
Calculate materials you’ll need: Before you approach a home improvement project, use the $1.99 Handy Man DIY to record dimensions of flooring, windows, walls, and more. It calculates how much material you’ll need and gives you a cost estimate.
Order supplies: If you’re in the middle of a home improvement job and need supplies, use the $4.99 Work Shop app to order them from your iPhone. It’s also a great tool for keep track of expenses or plan your budget for a future project.
Light the way: With the iPhone’s bright display and the super-bright LED flash, you can use it in place of a traditional flashlight to illuminate crawl spaces, attics, cabinet recesses, and other dark spots. There are many apps for this purpose, but two favorites are the 99-cent Flashlight and 99-cent Flashlight+.
Know what and when to plant: Wonder why certain vegetation isn’t growing in your yard? Landscaper’s Companion for iPhones is a reference guide to more than 2,000 plants. You can search for a plant based on your garden’s sun exposure and garden zone, helping to ensure you won’t get any dead leaves after planting. The app costs $9.99.
Find a stud: Using your iPhone’s magnetometer, StudFinderPRO can help you locate studs by locating the magnetic fields emitted by metal objects like screws and nails. The app costs $2.99. A free Magnetic Stud Finder is available for Android devices.
Hire a virtual designer: Need decorating ideas for inspiration? Check out Home Interior Layout Designer–Mark On Call for $2.99. Created by an interior designer, the app can help you plan a space and determine if furnishings will fit. Also consider the $4.99 Living Room app for iPad and the 99-cent Dream Home app for iPhone.
A writer covering the latest technologies and trends for a variety of national publications, Les Shu is currently automating his home with the newest doodads to make it smarter than he is.
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