Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or designing the perfect backyard getaway, it’s critical to have all the necessary tools at hand. With these convenient DIY home improvement apps, you’ll be able to measure, build, and shop right from your smartphone.
Save yourself some time, money, and sanity by downloading a home improvement app. Many of them let you order supplies, furniture, decor, or even contact a professional directly from the app in a matter of minutes. With the app, you’ll have powerful tools, incredible sources of inspiration, and everything else you’ll need to get all of the projects on your to-do list done before the summer is over.
Update, 3/2/22: Verified contents and links still good.
Most small-scale repairs and upgrades are easy enough to handle yourself if you know how. With these resources, you can learn how to do a project, see expert tips, and have helpful tools at the ready for measuring and performing calculations.
- WikiHow (iOS/Android): With free how-to guides covering virtually any topic, including repairs, life hacks, and DIY projects among others, wikiHow can walk you through any variety of tasks from unclogging a shower drain to installing a sprinkler system.
- DIY Tip Genius (Android): Sometimes you have a good idea but still need a little advice on how to execute it properly; this free app is great for providing tips (and professional secrets) to the casual handyman. With over 3,800 tips spanning categories like painting, lawn care, and remodeling, the advice that could make or break your project is just a few taps away.
- iHandy Carpenter (iOS/Android): This simple app ($1.99) contains five convenient carpenter measuring tools: a plumb bob, a surface level, a bubble level bar, a protractor, and a ruler. Having these common tools all in one place is handy for DIY repairs and experienced contractors alike.
- Home Improvement Calcs (iOS): With over 250 types of calculators, this app ($1.99) makes it easy to determine supply quantities for all kinds of projects–from how much concrete is required to fill a posthole to how many stone paver bricks are needed to complete a pathway. Results can be viewed as either decimals or fractions, and you can save favorite calculations for easy future viewing.
- Photo Measures (iOS/Android): Snap photos of a room in your house, note measurements, and save them with this app ($4.99 for Android, $6.99 for iOS). These photos are handy references to have on hand when you’re out shopping for furniture or talking to a contractor.
Trying to envision a new room layout or paint color and committing to it is stressful, and you don’t want to waste time or money redoing things if you don’t end up liking it. These apps can help give you a bit of foresight by virtually designing floor layouts and testing paint colors to give you at least a rough idea of how they’ll look before committing to anything.
- Floor Plan Creator (Android): Create detailed and precise floor plans for your renovation or custom home build, and even design layouts for individual rooms and entire floors of your house. You can define dimension lines and modify distances and sizes, and the app will automatically calculate room, wall, and level areas. The free app lets you add doors, electrical, and furniture, then take a 3D tour of your house once you’re done to make sure everything flows.
- Home Design 3D (iOS/Android): If you want to map out your home’s exterior and interior digitally to see how it would look if you remodeled it, this is your app (free). You can create a 3D model of your home, test out floor plans, draw a room layout in 2D, create openings, add walls, select furniture and decor, and even see how your house would look at different times of day with variable lighting.
- Project Color—The Home Depot (iOS/Android): Explore paint colors and trends, mix and match combinations, and virtually try out colors before you buy samples with Home Depot’s free app. See how your favorite paint colors look in the app’s sample rooms or take a photo of your own spaces to see how they’d look there, using augmented reality. If you like what you see, click to purchase the paint directly through the app from your local Home Depot Store.
- Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio (iOS/Android): Forget swatches! Look through hundreds of the company’s paint colors and when you find one you like, you can virtually try out the color to see how it would look in your house with this free app. Simply snap a photo of the room you want to paint, then tap on a wall and the app will overlay the color.
Having a beautiful well-landscaped yard is desirable, and it can be just as fun to design how your yard will look as it will be to enjoy it. These apps are great for designing your backyard escape or your entire yard down to the last detail, before heading to a home improvement store to buy plants and gear.
- Home Outside (iOS): You can tap and drag any of the app’s 700 hand-drawn elements to create the perfect garden or full yard landscaping design. The app ($2.99) makes it easy to plan out pathways, decks, cutouts, firepits, and even flowerbeds, and you can move them around or swap them out for something else until your dream yard looks perfect.
- Garden Designer (Android): This app ($3.49) lets you plan out your backyard retreat by dragging and dropping virtual landscaping elements like decking, pavers, bushes, and fencing around on the screen. There are over 1,000 objects to choose from—and you can tweak item colors and sizes—so you can experiment with varying layouts and plants until you’ve included everything you want and it looks magazine ready.
- iScape Landscape Designs (iOS): If you need help visualizing and planning out the garden or yard of your dreams, download iScape. With the free app, you can create a photorealistic or virtual rendering of your new garden, and build out your own oasis before committing to it.
Now for the fun part—shopping! With your repairs, upgrades, and remodeling done, it’s time to find the perfect furniture and other little touches that’ll make your place look great. Don’t have ideas and are looking for inspiration? Let these apps be your muse.
- Pinterest (iOS/Android): Although most people know it as the website where dream weddings and vacations are planned, it’s an excellent free resource for finding inspiration for just about everything, including homes and yards. Browse thousands of photos of gorgeous landscaping, home exteriors, and home decor. Plus, there are tons of how-to guides and links for buying things you see (and fall in love with) directly from the app.
- Houzz (iOS/Android): This free app is a one-stop shop for finding and saving ideas for room layouts, furniture, and decor ideas; locating the perfect professionals to come make your renovation and decor dreams come true; and shopping for the furniture and fixtures you’ve always wanted.
- RoOomy (iOS): Being able to try something before you buy it is the name of RoOomy’s game. The app helps you discover new decor trends for free and offers virtual room staging where you can virtually “try out” furniture and decor in a 3D rendering or augmented reality. You can even click on items you like to purchase them for your actual home.
- Chairish (iOS): You can buy new and used furniture here or sell yours on consignment. The free app has stylish modern and vintage picks along with advice and inspiration, and though the site is a bit pricey, it’s a great place to find that perfect statement piece (and for window shopping).
If your projects are getting out of hand or you’ve realized you don’t fully understand how to do something, it’s okay to call in the professionals. These apps can connect you with a local professional in minutes.
- Angi (iOS/Android): Formerly called HomeAdvisor, this free app lets you find all kinds of local experts. The site has been around for a while, and Angie’s List is its parent company, so it’s got plenty of vetted contacts for all types of projects around the house. With Angi, you can easily compare top-rated pros, get upfront pricing, video chat with pros, and schedule appointments.
- Handy (iOS/Android): You can book help for tasks like repairs, furniture assembly, or home deep cleaning in 60 seconds with this free app. Handy can also connect you with professionals for bathroom or kitchen renovation, wood floor installation, pest control, concrete installation, and other projects. All of the experts in the Handy network are background checked and vetted by other users.
- LawnStarter (iOS/Android): If it’s lawn care you need help with, you can find the best local experts quickly and get a quick price quote in minutes. Just enter your location, review your pricing options, choose your service date, then kick back and relax.
With all (or even just a few) of these helpful apps downloaded on your smartphone, hopefully you’ll feel a little more prepared to take on home repairs, gardening projects, and home renovations yourself. Don’t sweat it—you got this!