Oct 19

No one wants to waste money and get all stressed out on a home improvement or redecorating project. Of course, you’d better have the right tools for your project, and surprisingly, your iPhone can be one of the most important tools you have—if you use the right apps.

Replace Common Tools With Apps

Your iPhone can take the place of a bulky spirit level or plumb bob, and it’s the perfect size for ensuring that pictures and mirrors are hung straight and level. Some apps include multiple tools such as a protractor and a ruler in addition to the level. Ruler apps typically use the iPhone’s accelerometer to measure distances longer than the iPhone itself, so they are surprisingly practical as well as easy to use. Check out iHandy Carpenter, which includes five tools in the paid version, or just use the free version of the level. You might also consider Level by Easeware or TiltMeter.

Project Estimators

Part of the fun of any DIY project is planning and dreaming, but most people have to come to grips with budget constraints at some point. There are a variety of project estimator apps to help you determine how much material you’ll need and keep track of costs. You might consider DIY Estimator by WebWorx or Home Improvement Calcs by Double Dog Studio, which also offers advice on building codes.

Floor Plans

If you’re considering new furniture, you’ll need accurate measurements. Magic Plan by Sensopia measures your room and creates a floor plan automatically by taking pictures. Room Planner by Chief Architect lets you arrange furniture or rearrange the locations of doors and windows if your project goes beyond simple cosmetics and furnishings. Floor plans with accurate measurements take a lot of the fear out of committing to new furniture, since you can see in a 3-D model how your stuff will look in the room.


There are a variety of apps that can help you pick out the exact shade to help you pull your room together. Benjamin Moore Color Capture automatically provides matching paint shades for any object in a photo, and it lets you try out various color combinations. Color Smart by Behr has similar capabilities, and Paint Colors by Retro Mocha includes colors from multiple paint manufacturers.

Finishing Touches

Your DIY project won’t be complete until you’ve added all the little things that make a place feel like home, including window treatments and shades. Discount cellular shades range in colors from cream to brown to red, and they can darken or even black out the room. For the cellular shades and other improvements you include, use your project estimator, and use the measuring app to ensure that you get the right size for each window. You can even include the colors to your color scheme with your color app, and when you’re ready to your new shades, use the iPhone leveling app to help you hang them.

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