Recently we’ve had two related posts about automated homes, or “smart” homes, and smart phone apps you can use to manage homes on automated systems.
Today, in another related thread, we’re discussing phone apps for homeowners without automated home systems. Even if your home can’t think for itself, you can still use technology to better manage your living space and household.
An automated home, by today’s standards, is one with a central computer that’s wirelessly linked to any number of functions around the house, including appliances, heating and cooling, lighting, entertainment systems, security cameras, and more.
Even though a majority of homes haven’t converted to an automated system yet, most are still arguably automated in one or more ways. For example, a heating or cooling system on a thermostat is a form of automation.
The following phone apps are intended to help homeowners better manage their homes and their home improvement or remodeling projects. If you’re already using a home management app you love and it’s not on our list, please recommend it to our readers in the comments section below.
Note: The links included here are for the iPhone and iPad, but most apps have versions that are also available for Android. Ratings are out of five stars.
Interior Design and Remodeling Apps
Home Interior Layout Designer by Mark on Call. $1.99. 4 stars. Plan, preview, and implement design ideas. Create materials lists, compare products, and stay on budget for projects. Design rooms according to your uses and lifestyle. Created by interior designer Mark Lewison as a homeowner’s personal design assistant.
Color Change by Indivigital. $2.99. 3.5 stars. Allows you to take a photo of a space and then manipulate the colors to see what walls and other features would look like as a different color. Great for testing potential paint colors without any of the work or mess.
Houzz Interior Design Ideas by Houzz.com. FREE. 5 stars. Get design ideas from real designer portfolios, including those from Case Design. Plan your dream home and save images to your ideabook. Houzz has the largest database of interior design photos online.
Color Capture by Benjamin Moore. FREE. 3 stars. Take a picture of any color that inspires you and this app will find a matching paint color. Find Benjamin Moore retailers where paint can be purchased. Great for matching paint colors to furniture, fabrics, or any other design element.
Home Renovation Apps
Home Sizer by Armchair Design. $2.99. 3 Stars. Keep your home remodel or new construction project on budget, compare prices, even estimate your potential mortgage. Figure the square footage of an existing space or potential space. Estimate the overall value or value per square foot.
Sum+it Billing Buddy by Against the Grain Development. $7.99. 3.5 stars. This app used to be called Project Cost Calculator because it helps estimate the cost of a home improvement project, but updates have made the app geared more toward contractors and designers, which is reflected in the name change. Homeowners can still use this app to estimate project cost and even the cost of events such as weddings.
Photo Measures Lite by Big Blue Pixel. FREE. 3.5 stars. Record measurements in any part of your home just by taking a picture. You can record the measurements right on top of the photo for easy access. This app can be used to help calculate the size of a room, to make sure your new couch will fit in the intended space, or to order supplies.
Handy Man DIY by Wowzer Software. $1.99. 3.5 stars. This handy app contains everything you need for a successful home improvement project. Configure the cost and amount of materials needed for a project. Record and organize lists. View detailed instructions and videos for completing common home improvement projects.
DIY Toolbox by daydreemin. $1.99. No ratings available. This app has everything you need for a home project. Convert measurements, use project specific calculators to estimate materials, and create notes and shopping lists. While there are no user ratings, this app made The Sunday Times list of the world’s best 500 apps.
Home Maintenance by POJO Software. $4.99. 4 Stars. Keep track of home records, upkeep, and repairs. You set a schedule for regular home repairs, and the app alerts you when they become due. Can be used with multiple homes and syncs with other devices.
Buying and Selling Apps
Zillow Real Estate by Zillow.com. FREE. 3.5 stars. Can be used by homebuyers or homeowners to look at an aerial view of your neighborhood that includes estimated property values, sales history and taxes, and properties currently on the market. View pictures of listed homes before you schedule a walk-through.
Mortgage Calculator Pro by SVT Software. $0.99. 4.5 stars. Calculate what your mortgage payments would be on a new home loan, or on any fixed rate loan such as a car or credit card payment. Different adjustments can be made to account for property taxes, insurance, HOA dues, and more.
Moving Van by Glimmer Design Limited. $1.99. 3.5 stars. Take the guessing game out of moving by staying organized. Take a picture of the contents of a box before you tape it up so you know where items are as soon as you get to the new home. Assign each box to a room so you know where to take it when you get there. Works for items in storage, attics, and closets as well.
More Helpful Apps for Homeowners
If you like the sound of the above apps, keep an eye out for these as well:
- ID Wood: find out what type of wood any furniture or surface is made from by snapping a picture.
- Hardwood Flooring Design: see what your home will look like with hardwood floors made from different types of wood.
- Work Shop: order supplies for home improvement projects and keep track of costs.
- Home 3D: see what your home will look like when a remodeling vision is complete.
- InchCalc: add fractions and decimals without converting them first.
- iHandy Carpenter: a virtual toolbelt for the homeowner, complete with a ruler, protractor, level, and more.
- DIY Calculator: estimate the amount of materials you need for common DIY projects.
- iDIY: get advice and step by step instructions for home improvement and repairs.
- Renovation Budget Tracker: keep track of expenses and stay on budget for home projects of any size.
What apps do you have on your smart phone that come in handy for home renovation projects? Add them here!