Furniture Choice

Doing it yourself no longer means doing it alone – or having to shout out for someone to come and hold the tape measure for you. Smartphones mean smart DIY projects too – thanks to a wide range of apps, some of them free, some of them paid, you can have an endless amount of resources for DIY projects on one handy device which is easily slipped into your pocket when you’re balancing on a ladder.

As DIY aficionados ourselves, we’ve picked out some of our favourite DIY apps that help make jobs in the home that little bit easier.

 

RoomScan Pro

First on our list is a paid app, but at just £3.99 it’s a great price for what you get. RoomScan Pro automatically draws floor plans for you – something a lot of apps do – but the way in which it goes about doing it is amazingly simple and frustration-free. All you do is tap each wall – quite literally every individual section between two corners – and the app immediately generates a plan. It’s so easy to use, and totally accurate too. You can find out more here.

 

Magic Plan and Floorplanner

If you’re after a free plan-drawing app, then Magic Plan is a really good option. Using the camera on your device, you can mark out the corners to draw out a room visually – which can be particularly useful for mapping out just a particular area of an open-plan space. It’s been made by the folks behind Floorplanner, and the two can work together to make really detailed plans of your home that include furnishings and decorative features.

 

Handyman Calculator

This free app for Android is stuffed full of conversion tools and calculators for everything from time tracking tools and square footage calculators to lumber weight and oil drilling calculators. The average DIY-er won’t need a lot of its options, but there’s plenty of essentials there no matter what you’re doing. Find out more here.

 

iHandy Carpenter

A carpenter’s toolkit in your iPhone? A surface level, spirit level, plumb bob, protractor and ruler all for £1.49 doesn’t sound too bad to us. There are loads of apps that do each of these things, and a fair few free versions too, but iHandy’s complete toolkit is well worth the small spend – it’s comprehensive, easy to use and accurate, as well as being a very smart-looking app indeed. Check it out here.

 

Sun Seeker

At £7.99, Sun Seeker is quite pricey as apps go but, if you find yourself requiring its services, it’s actually a great price for what you get. Sunseeker uses your phone or tablet’s camera to provide an augmented reality view of the sun’s path through the sky – if you’re ever planning an extension or trying to find the best places to plant in your garden, it’s an amazing way of figuring out where sunlight is going to fall at any given time of day.

 

TapPainter

If you’re thinking of re-painting a room, it usually entails putting paint swatches up on the walls and trying to visualise how the whole thing looks – and it’s never quite right. TapPainter, at just £2.29, is the best of the apps that allow you to visualise your room in different colours – just take a picture of a room and apply different colours using pickers and spectrums, as well as colour swatches from a number of paint manufacturers. The app’s analysis tools are really strong, and can detect changes in lighting to show you exactly how a fresh coat of paint will look.

 

iFixit App

Everyone needs a little help every now and then when things break down – iFixit is a site stuffed full of free repair manuals, crowd-sourced solutions, and video guides on how things work, and the app version gives you all of that in the palm of your hand. With an interface designed for use on mobile as you work, you can download and bookmark guides for viewing offline – ideal when you’re in the garage or shed and outside the reaches of the Wi-Fi signal. You’ll be fixing things with ease in no time.

 

I.D. Wood

I.D. Wood makes woodworking simple – with a visual guidebook of over 200 different woods featuring information on sustainability, durability, woodworking properties and recommended uses, any carpentry novice can feel like an old pro with just a swipe or two through their phone. The app also features lumber dimension conversion and thickness measuring tools, nail size and pilot hole reference guides, and help with lumber cutting techniques. All for just £3.99.

 

With the sum total of all of these apps coming in at less than £20 – and less than £12 if you skip the highly-specific Sun Seeker, it’s a really cheap way to have a wide range of tools, calculators, and advice all at your fingertips, turning your phone into a handy DIY bible that will slip safely into your pocket while you work. Don’t insist on DIY-ing alone: with the app-ropriate help, everything’s just so much easier.

For more DIY advice check our our guide to becoming a DIY God.

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