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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.

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A Level That Fits in Your PocketFamily Handyman

A Level That Fits in Your Pocket

Need a level right now? Download the free iHandy Level for your home renovation. It's great for helping you level small stuff like framed prints on walls. Just be sure to calibrate it for your smartphone before using it, which is done by setting it on a perfectly level surface and pushing a button. Cost: Free Compatibility: iOS and Android Plus: 14 Cool Tech Gadgets That Turn Your Home into a Smart House
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A Mechanic in Your PocketFamily Handyman

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.

Cost: $100

Compatibility: iOS & Android

Plus: How to Boost Your Cell Phone Signal: 3 Ways

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One App, Many ToolsFamily Handyman

One App, Many Tools

When it comes to home repair apps, this is one of the best! Ryobi Phone Works is actually a suite of devices that help you do everything  for your home repair. From measuring the square footage of a room to finding studs inside a wall. Once you download and install the free Phone Works app, you can use it to control the different devices (each sold separately), which include a laser level, moisture meter, inspection scope, laser distance measurer, stud finder, infrared thermometer and noise-suppressing earphones. The app also lets you capture photos and video and share results and data via email and social networks. Cost: $15 to $90 depending on device Compatibility: iOS & Android Plus: 16 Ways to Hack Your Hand Tools
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More Sawdust, Less MathFamily Handyman

More Sawdust, Less Math

Like woodworking but hate trying to add fractions? Fraction Calculator Plus takes a lot of the head scratching out of your projects. All you do is punch the fractions you want to add into the calculator and 'poof'? out comes the right answer. Cost: Free ad-supported and paid versions ($0.99 for iOS; $2.99 for Android) Compatibility: iOS and Android
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Plan, Design and Furnish Your HomeFamily Handyman

Plan, Design and Furnish Your Home

Thinking about new furniture, rearranging the living room or adding on? Floor Plan Creator, an Android tablet app, can help you with the design and layout. It's one of the best home renovation apps available! Start with the raw space and drag walls, windows, doors and furniture icons from the stock library. Then enter the size of each object to get a scaled view of the space. A stylus makes the app easier to use, but it works just fine without one. Cost: Free Compatibility: Android only Plus: 19 Futuristic Home Tech Products We Love
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An Engineer When You Need OneFamily Handyman

An Engineer When You Need One

The creators of Home Improvement Calcs claim it can do more than 170 types of calculations and unit conversions. It'll help you figure out everything for your home renovation like how much concrete you need to fill a posthole or calculate the proper length and pitch for roof rafters. Cost: $1.99 Compatibility: iOS only
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Buying Materials Made EasyFamily Handyman

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.

Cost: Free

Compatibility: iOS and Android

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Check the WeatherFamily Handyman

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. Cost: $3.99 Compatibility: iOS only Plus: 10 Tricks to Make Working Alone Easier