9 Best Home Improvement and Remodeling Apps for DIYers
Need some help with your next home improvement project? Well, thanks to smartphones and tablets, there's an app for that! Some home repair apps are obviously geared toward DIYers and professional contractors. Others, not so much-but you might still find them useful around the house. Apps are available for either iOS (iPhone/iPad) or Android devices—or both in some cases. Here are some apps we love, and we think you'll love them too.
A Level That Fits in Your Pocket
A Mechanic in Your Pocket
Search online and you'll find lots of diagnostic scan tools, but most inexpensive ones don't give all the information you need to properly diagnose your car's problems. We recently tested the BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool, and it's about as close as you can get to a professional scan tool without breaking the bank.
Just download the free BlueDriver app, plug the scan tool into your car's computer (look for a connector under your dashboard like the one pictured), and pair it with your mobile device.
The scan tool not only reads and clears trouble codes but also provides repair reports listing the most common causes of each trouble code based on your make, model and engine combination. It also gives you live and freeze-frame data so you can see what was going on when a problem occurred. In addition, it lets you look at raw data accumulating in the computer that hasn't yet triggered a trouble code—a feature usually available only on professional scan tools costing hundreds more.
Compatibility: iOS & Android
One App, Many Tools
More Sawdust, Less Math
Plan, Design and Furnish Your Home
An Engineer When You Need One
Buying Materials Made Easy
The Home Depot Pro app is designed for professional contractors, but it's great for advanced DIYers too. You can check a store's inventory from the job site and order your materials from the app, and the store will have everything bundled and waiting for you to pick up. Our lead carpenter loves it. There's also a version for non-pros. Similar apps are available for other home centers like Lowe's and Menard's.
Compatibility: iOS and Android
Check the Weather
You might not think of a weather app as a DIY tool, but just wait until the next time clouds are moving in and you still need to get a second coat of paint on the house. The Dark Sky app gives you hyper-local weather, radar and storm alerts. It's remarkably accurate and just the thing when you need to know exactly when the rain will start and stop in your precise location.
Compatibility: iOS only