So you’re finally ready to tackle that home improvement project you’ve been planning. It’s an exciting decision, but it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
Before you begin, make sure you have a good idea of your budget, timetable and overall vision for the improvements. Once you’re ready to start, these seven apps and websites can help you avoid costly mistakes and keep the process streamlined—whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er, or not so much.
If you’re looking to hire a professional to do the job, the Thumbtack service takes all the legwork out of finding a reputable contractor.
On the Thumbtack website, you can fill in some information about your needs and receive up to five quotes from local professionals. You can compare the quotes, as well as profiles, user ratings and reviews to help you with your hiring decision.
There is also a mobile app so you can send inquiries and messages from anywhere. Thumbtack offers property protection in the event of damage to your home caused by a professional hired through their service.
Your home improvement work might require you to rearrange your living space, at least temporarily. Even small moves can mean a lot of time and effort, which lead to delays in your project’s completion.
Clutter takes the pain out of moving and storage. When you sign up for this service, Clutter’s movers will help you pack your excess items, load and drive them to your rental storage unit, where they will leave them until you schedule a return delivery.
You can even select the storage unit size based on your needs. The service provides an online inventory of what you have in storage, so you can easily select which items you want returned at a given time.
When you’re still in the design stages of your project, the integrated Magic Plan and Floorplanner applications make sketching as easy as possible.
Magic Plan uses your phone’s camera to mark the corners of a room and generate a sketch of the floor plan, including wall measurements. You can link your Magic Plan account to Floorplanner, and your drawings will automatically be pushed there for further edits.
Floorplanner enables users to add interior features to their plans like walls, doors, floor surfaces and fixtures to create 3D renderings.
The Home Design 3D app lets users draw their own plans with CAD technology, in 2D or 3D versions.
From there, you can experiment and create the interior design of your space, including details like furniture, wall colors and textures.
The highly realistic 3D renderings provide a lifelike simulation of the planned home, and a compass feature can even show how sunlight will fall at different hours of the day.
For DIY-ers, in addition to a physical toolbox, the iHandy Carpenter iOS app provides versatile functionality to help get the job done right.
Using your phone or tablet’s sensors, the app can act as a level, as well as a plumb line to check the vertical of a wall. Other tools include a protractor and ruler.
The Photo Measures app provides a quick tool to photograph and measure the dimensions and angles of a room or smaller area. The app automatically adds measurements over the pictures, and users can also add notes. You can save and export drawings in a variety of formats for easy sharing. This is particularly useful for communicating with busy contractors and designers quickly.
The Family Handyman magazine created this helpful app, which provides more than 3,800 tips for DIY projects — along with demonstration videos — and a Search by Category feature for users with specific questions.
There are solutions to many common DIY problems, and shortcuts as well as cost-saving tips to help you finish your project on time and under budget.
With a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, homeowners should feel more empowered to take on new repairs and renovations.
Whether you want to do it all yourself or hire the best contractor in your area, these digital tools can help you make your vision a reality while saving you time and money.
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