We live in a digital world and everyday, entrepreneurs, DIYers and smart companies are coming up with new and exciting tools and apps to make your home improvement lives easier.
As such, I found nine incredibly helpful resources for all homeowners, landlords and DIYers. Whether online or through the app store, all nine are designed to not only save you money and time, but make your life easier as you maintain your house or rental property.
DIY painting is the most common DIY project and as such, I must start with ColorSnap, an easy to use and helpful mobile app from Sherwin-Williams. We all have those flashes of inspiration as soon as we see a specific color. We think to ourselves, “Wow, that would look great in my living room.” Sad thing is, we don’t have the color description at our fingertips. That is, until now.
The free app (iOS, Android) will convert any color into a matching, custom tint mix code from Sherwin-Williams. All you have to do is take a picture of the color you like, tap on the hue you like best and the system will return its "closest result."
2. House Maintenance Schedule
Your house will only function and look as beautiful as the day you bought it for so long. No matter how small or big your house or apartment may be, you must maintain it. Needless to say, there are hundreds of small maintenance items you need to complete throughout the years. Who can remember them all?
House Maintenance Schedule is a calendar application to log routine maintenance done in your home. This calendar app also reminds you of upcoming maintenance projects, from flushing the water heater and inspecting fire extinguishers to changing HVAC filters and cleaning downspouts. The app is only available on Android for $2.
To make sure you are completing all the necessary projects, please see our Home Maintenance Checklist.
3. iHandy Carpenter
We almost always need a level or a ruler for home improvement projects. While some may have them lying around in an old drawer, others are moving into the digital age and using their smart phones.
iHandy Carpenter takes advantages of your iPhone or iPad's built-in sensors to turn your device into a handy set of tools. The two levels let you check flat surfaces and the plumb bob ensures vertical lines or walls. The app is only available on iOS for $1.99.
Rentalutions is a paid resource for landlords who own as many as 30 units. It makes the day-to-day tasks of a landlord as easy and seamless as possible. Whether you want an online platform for tenants to pay rent, submit maintenance requests or need to find new tenants by posting online, checking credit scores and generating digital leases, Rentalutions does it all.
The pricing for Rentalutions is dependent on the numbers of units you run.
This next app and resource is for those looking to move and/or buy a new investment property.
Anyone who has ever had to search for a new apartment or home knows the daily struggles and frustrations that come with driving, researching and debating potential properties. Rather than research and drive to each and every property, Realync does the tour right in your own home.
Through their free app, potential renters and buyers can view a live or recorded virtual tour of the property. If it is live, you can ask questions, interact with the broker or other possible tenants and take notes. It’s property searching made online.
6. Turbo Appeal
The biggest blow to every homeowner is property taxes. Every year, it seems like they go up. Did you know there is a high probability your property is over-assessed, resulting in a higher tax bill?
Local governments periodically assess properties for taxing purposes. There is a good chance that the assessed value of your home or investment property may have changed. In this case, your property may be worth less than its assessed value. Welcome Turbo Appeal.
Turbo Appeal appeals your taxes for you and you only pay them if they find a reduction in taxes. If not, there is no charge whatsoever. While Turbo Appeal is currently only offered in Chicago, they are expecting to expand soon.
If you do not live in Chicago, check with your local municipality. There is a good chance your property is being over-assessed.
How-to apps are everywhere, but rarely do they encompass as many topics as Snapguide. Whether it’s cooking, gardening, arts and crafts, technology or home maintenance, Snapguide has a how-to guide.
You can view featured guides as well as popular and recently uploaded guides. You can comment on, like and share guides, or even create new guides of your own. It’s like a social network of how-tos.
Snapguide is a free app and only available on iOS.
While WikiHow is not 100% reliable, one can not deny its reach. It is one of the vastest how-to resources across the globe. Much like Snapguide, WikiHow has thousands of how-to guides for homeowners, renters or just curious readers. WikiHow features categories ranging from computers and electronics to health, crafts, family life and of course, home and garden. Even better, in case you want to share your expertise around the globe, WikiHow has been written in various languages such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and more.
9. ImproveNet Calculators
Finally, we at ImproveNet are always finding and creating new ways to make your home improvement lives easier and one of our most popular features are our project calculators. Whether you are buying new carpet, replacing your roof or painting your bedroom, our calculators will help you decide how much material to purchase.
There’s always an app or website out there to help. In home improvement, your options are endless. If you use or have used any of these helpful resources, we would love to hear about it. Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.