When you’re about to start a do-it-yourself home improvement project, it’s always good to have a friend in the construction business who—for the price of a free beer—will offer you a little help and advice. But since that’s not always possible, these 11 free apps are the next best thing…and you can keep the beer for yourself.
1. Houzz Interior Design Ideas. Every successful project starts with a good design. CNN called this free app the “Wikipedia of interior and exterior design.” You can browse photos by the type of room and various styles to give you inspiration. You can also take and store photos and even connect with professionals to help you realize your vision.
2. Dream Home Free. If you need additional inspiration to redo or remodel your interior, this might be your best choice. Bold designs are showcased through high-resolution photos. You can filter designs by style, room and color to zero in on exactly what interests you the most. Navigation is easy and designs can be viewed offline—no Internet connection is required.
3. Palettes Lite. If you don’t want your kitchen to look like a relic from the 1970s, you need to make sure your color palette is dead on. When you see a color scheme you like, on a website on in a photo you’ve just snapped, this iPhone/iPad app will quickly create a color palette of 25 colors. People pay big bucks to have designers “do their colors.” This app is free.
4. ColorSnap Sherwin-Williams. Now that you have your colors, you need to get the right paints. This app from Sherwin-Willliams will match colors from your photo the right color in the Sherwin-Williams catalog. There are similar free apps that work with the BEHR and Benjamin-Moore inventories of paints. They will also suggest complimentary colors to help you work out your paint scheme.
5. Hardwood flooring design. If you’re working on a room there’s a good chance a hardwood floor will be in your plans. Wouldn’t it be great to know what that Brazilian Walnut flooring will look like before you install it? With this free app you can take a photo of your room and it will lay down the virtual hardwood floor of your choosing. Important information for each flooring is also included so you can compare the advantages of your various options.
6. Carpet & Floor Calculator. Use this free app to see how much material you need. You can also plug in the cost of materials. And, if you’re planning to hire someone to help you out, you can input that cost as well so you really know what kind of expense you’re looking at…if you have the nerve.
7. Btu & Heater Calculators. With this calculator you input information about your rooms to determine what its heating and cooling requirements will be. You plug in data about the exposure of the room, insulation and building materials. You can then price out the equipment that your addition will require.
8. iHandy Level Free. Now that you have your project planned you’ll need some tools. This is one of those apps that amazed us when it was first developed for the iPhone. Using it, you’ll never have a building project go caddywompus on you again. Not only is this useful in home decorating, it will let you get walls vertical and measure the pitch of a roof.
9. House Repair Talk Mobile Application. We started out this list of 11 great home improvement apps to help you with your DIY project with something of an ode to the professional builder buddy who’s happy to come around and offer some free advice. Here’s a social networking app that brings that idea into the 21st century. You can jump in on forum discussions or post your own questions and get advice from guys who have “been there, done that.”
10. Clog Doctor – Powered By Drano®. Of course, not everything goes as planned. This handy app will help you trouble shoot your clogged drains. Anyone who has been in that situation knows how important it is to get the problem fixed, quickly. And, if you don’t have everything you need to solve your problem, the app turns to Yelp to help you find highly rated plumbers and hardware stores.
11. tap4RENOVATIONS. Look, it’s not that I don’t have confidence if your do-it-yourself ability, but when you’re facing something that’s a little over your head, a couple of “taps” on this free app will connect you with a contractor who can bail you out.
Are you an experienced DIYer, and do you have any favorite apps? Give us the details!
Carrie Thompson is a writer for Sullivan Plumbing, a family owned company in Virginia’s majestic mountains. Sullivan Plumbing, a reliable plumbing Lynchburg VA company, provides quality services for stopping pipe leaks, reparing a drain line, installing waters softeners, sinks, bathtubs, jacuzzis and more.Advertisement