DIY Droid: 6 Apps To Help With Your Next Home Improvement Project
Imagining your summer home renovation project? You know what you want, but not how to get from here to there. If only you knew someone who was a tradesman AND a computer geek to help you get the tools you need to do the job. Well, you know one now!
Yep. Not only am I a certified nerd, I’ve also worked in various trades for several years and currently work at a home building supplies chain. So, I’m here to share my unique insight with you. If you’re an Apple-type person, we’ve got some iOS renovation app suggestions as well.
Already got a project in mind? Good for you! Do you have all the details figured out about what you really want? Do you even know what’s possible? Here’s an app to get you dreaming about how to make your home your dream home.
Houzz Interior Design Ideas – Free
You may already be familiar with the houzz.com website . If not, you are in for a treat! The Houzz Interior Design Ideas app is like Pinterest but focused only on home design and jacked on performance enhancing drugs. Being Pinterest-like, you can get lost in a world of dream home ideas, if you don’t stay focused on finding ideas you’re actually going to use.
You can search through ideas based on different criteria like Style, Popularity, Metro Area, and Room. Houzz also offers a convenient shopping option as well so you can buy design accessories, appliances, building supplies, and more directly through the app.
Not sure how to do what you want to do? There is a forum-like area for advice provided by other Houzz users. If the project you want to take on is going to be a little more than you can handle, Houzz can also provide you with a directory of professionals in your area.
Now that you know what you want to do, you’d best learn how to do it. Of course, you could simply download eBooks from Google Play, Amazon, or many other eBook download sites to your Android device and read those, but there is one app that’s just, pardon the expression, handy to have.
The Family Handyman DIY is brought to you by Reader’s Digest, so you know it’s going to be well researched. The app is a repository of tips related to Building & Remodeling, as well as Cars, Trucks and RVs, and Cleaning. When you start the app, it will check to see if there are updates. Not just updates to the program, but more tips and advice for you. The DIY Tip Genius is an ever-growing source of information.
Once you’re into the Building & Remodeling area, you can drill down to more job-specific tips, like tips for better concrete, better drywall, better trim and so on. If you like the app, you can upgrade to the pro version in-app and get new tips and collections as they’re added.
If the app doesn’t whet your appetite for construction, you can also use the YouTube app on your Android to check out a bunch of different DIY videos .
Make a Plan!
Plan the work — work the plan. That’s the way to get things done, and done right. With a good planning tool, you will be able to envision better what you want, make adjustments to suit what is already there, and figure out what materials, tools, and time you’ll need.
Homestyler Interior Design – Free
With Homestyler, you can take a picture of a room in your home, change things around, paint the walls, lay new flooring, pop in some furniture from major retailers — there aren’t many limits! There are even hundreds of design ideas to inspire you contributed by other Homestyler users, which is a huge community.
On an Android phone, this app was fun, but if you want to get down to brass tasks you should really be using this on a tablet.
Floor Plan Creator – Free (Upgrades Extra)
For the pencil and ruler fans, Floor Plan Creator gives you the tools you need to draw out a precise plan. Where Floor Plan Creator is most helpful is in understanding the exact dimensions your project needs to be. It’s almost like a drafting program.
The free version will allow you to do quite a bit; however, if you’re thinking of using this for many projects, you might consider some of the paid upgrades. The upgrades allow the removal of ads, export to SVG or DXF, and cloud storage of your projects. Like Homestyler, this app deserves to be used on a tablet instead of a smartphone, and preferably with a stylus.
Price it Out!
Look at your improvements as investments. Done well, they will raise the value of your home, sometimes several dollars for each dollar you put in. Even still, there isn’t any sense in spending more than you have to. That’s where being able to estimate the amount of supplies you’ll need comes in handy.
If you want to go all contractor on your project, then you should get the Handyman Calculator. Don’t think the calculator you need will be in there? There are 125 tools in this calculator including a to-do list, woodworker calculators, lumber, concrete and asphalt calculator, deck baluster and board calculator, and much more.
The major difference between the free and pro version is that the pro version doesn’t have any adds. It’s nice to clear those out, and once you see how many different types of calculations and conversions you can do with this app, you’ll agree that $4.95 is a fair price. You’ll also be able to save your calculations, so you can refer to them later.
Get to Work!
It isn’t going to build itself! Now it’s time to get yourself in motion, put in some elbow grease, shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone, ear to the ground, eye on the ball. Maybe not, that’s an awkward position to do anything. You’ve worked hard doing your research and planning. Maybe take a break. How about a nice distraction to keep everyone else in the family thinking you’re hard at work?
Construction Sound Effects [No Longer Available]
Sure this app is a little immature. But what grown child doesn’t love playing builder? Turn on the air compressor, cut some wood, hammer a nail, screed some concrete. Just tap on the corresponding picture. You might want to hook your Android tablet up to a good amplifier if you want to fool anyone, though. Still, good fun.
Pat Yourself On The Back
High tech can help us with our low tech workloads. It can inspire us to dream, to plan, to budget, to do. With these tools on your Android device, and whatever ones the readers may recommend, you’re well on your way to conquering the home improvement projects you’ve been wanting to do for so long.
Let us know how it goes and what you’ve learned. After all, we’re all in this together.