I know I said I was going to focus on appliance maintenance but this
is so much more fun!Â Here is a list of downloadable iPhone and Android
apps offer ways to maintain, improve, and save money on your home.
Match that paint color
If you see a color at a friendâ€™s house that would look great in your home, use Benjamin Mooreâ€™s Ben Color Capture or Sherwin-Williamsâ€™ ColorSnap,
free mobile apps for iPhone, to conjure up a matching paint color and
code in a jiffy. Take a photo with your phone, and the app matches the
paint as closely as possible, and will display secondary and
complementary colors. (ColorSnap is also available for BlackBerry.)
Get rid of stains
Good Housekeeping magazine has placed all their best stain-removal and cleaning advice into their free @Home
app. It also includes decorating ideas and a searchable list of the
5,000-plus products that have earned a Good Housekeeping seal.
Look for recycled stuff
If youâ€™re searching for a cheap replacement part, or looking for a deal on slightly-used appliances and materials, eBayâ€™s free Mobile
app lets you search the auction siteâ€™s entire marketplace from iPhone,
Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry devices. You can also put any
of your disused-but-functional household items up for sale and recoup
For listings close to home, search the popular Craigslist site through the free Craigsnotifica for Android or Craigspro for iPhone.
Finding lower prices on electronics and appliances used to mean
driving from store to store or scanning Sunday circulars. With the free Price Check
by Amazon, you can scan a productâ€™s barcode at a store and compare the
price against Amazon and other merchants. (Android and BlackBerry
versions are also available.) PriceGrabber has a similar app for iPhone and Android.
Carpenterâ€™s tools in one
For $1.99, the iHandy Carpenter
app puts a ruler, protractor, bubble level, surface level, and plumb
bob into your iPhone, allowing you to make measurements without lugging
out the tool box. Itâ€™s perfect for simple jobs like hanging frames and
Need just a level? Thereâ€™s a free app for iPhone from iHandy and for Android from Johnson.
Calculate materials youâ€™ll need
Before you approach a home improvement project, use the $1.99 Handy Man DIY
to record dimensions of flooring, windows, walls, and more. It
calculates how much material youâ€™ll need and gives you a cost estimate.
If youâ€™re in the middle of a home improvement job and need supplies, use the $4.99 Work Shop app to order them from your iPhone. Itâ€™s also a great tool for keep track of expenses or plan your budget for a future project.
Light the way
With the iPhoneâ€™s bright display and the super-bright LED flash, you
can use it in place of a traditional flashlight to illuminate crawl
spaces, attics, cabinet recesses, and other dark spots. There are many
apps for this purpose, but two favorites are the 99-cent Flashlight (and 99-cent Flashlight+.
Know what and when to plant
Wonder why certain vegetation isnâ€™t growing in your yard? Landscaperâ€™s Companion
provides a reference guide to more than 2,000 plants. You can search
for a plant based on your gardenâ€™s sun exposure and garden zone, helping
to ensure you wonâ€™t get any dead leaves after planting. The app costs
Find a stud
Using your iPhoneâ€™s magnetometer, StudFinderPRO
can help you locate studs by locating the magnetic fields emitted by
metal objects like screws and nails. The app costs $2.99. A free Magnetic Stud Finder is available for Android devices.
Hire a virtual designer
Need decorating ideas for inspiration? Check out Home Interior Layout Designerâ€“Mark On Call
for $2.99. Created by an interior designer, the app can help you plan a
space and determine if furnishings will fit. Also consider the $4.99 Living Room app for iPad and the 99-cent Dream Home app for iPhone.