7 great apps for DIY

Turn your smartphone into the ultimate tool with these handy DIY and home improvement apps.
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7 great apps for DIY

Next time you’re planning on doing a spot of DIY, remember to pack your most useful tool. We’re talking about your trusty smartphone, of course. There are some great DIY apps that’ll turn it into an essential piece of kit.

Here are some of the best DIY apps around. You’ll find these useful no matter what your level of DIY expertise is – whether you’re a reluctant first-timer tackling a leaky tap, or a keen ‘grand designer’ carefully planning a major renovation project that would have Kevin McCloud searching for superlatives.

WikiHow

iOS (FREE) /Android (FREE) / Windows Phone (FREE)

WikiHow has thousands of step-by-step guides for pretty much any DIY task you can think of. Leaky taps are well catered for, but the major jobs are here too. If you want to install a brick driveway, you can do it in just 15 steps.

WikiHow is an international app and website, so taps are sometimes faucets and pavements are occasionally sidewalks. But if you can get your head around that, you’ll find that it’s the perfect app to carefully guide you through every stage of your project.

iFixIt

iOS (FREE) /Android (FREE) / Windows Phone (FREE)


iFixIt is a great place to start planning your DIY repair job. This app is all about fixes and repairs (rather than major building projects), and it’s especially good if you’re looking for detailed advice on a particular product.

iFixIt is packed with detailed guides that take you through the ‘teardown’ process of opening up devices, diagnosing problems, replacing parts and making repairs. We presume most of this will invalidate any warranty or guarantee, so we’re recommending this app for products no longer under any sort of protection.

iHandy Carpenter

iOS (£1.49) / Android (£1.54)

An app will never completely replace your favourite bag of tools, but iHandy Carpenter comes pretty close.

We love the nifty little spirit level feature. If you’re sick of lugging an actual real life one around with you, or find yourself working in a confined space where a spirit level won’t fit, it could be exactly what you need.

Elsewhere you’ll find a plumb bob that allows you to easily check the verticality of walls, an onscreen ruler for small measurements, and a protractor for accurately measuring angles up to 180 degrees.

ImageMeter

Android (FREE)



ImageMeter lets you scrap the sketchpad and add measurements and angles directly onto a photo of your room, garden, driveway or whatever you’re working on.

A great feature of ImageMeter is that it lets you measure things within the image itself. So if you arrive at the DIY store and discover you’ve forgotten to make some important measurements, it’s not a problem- you can do it from the app. You can also use this feature to measure dimensions that are too high up to reach safely.

My Measures PRO

iOS (£4.49)

My Measures PRO does the same job as ImageMeter above. So if you’ve got an iOS device, you can take a photo and add measurements, angles, arrows and comments to explain all the important parts of your project. Some additional features on the pro version include the ability to share projects as PDFs or images via DropBox or Google Drive, unlimited files and annotations, and advanced zoom and calculation tools.

Home Builder Pro Calcs

iOS (£3.99)

Home Builder Pro Calcs comes with over 400 home improvement calculations and unit conversions. You can use it to solve the most common DIY calculations including quantities needed, the number of hours the job is likely to take, and those all-important cost estimates. All the calculations you make can be emailed or saved for future use.

Current calculator categories include Concrete & Paving (11 calculators for asphalt, concrete, paving etc.), Floors, Walls & Ceilings (13 calculators for carpets, paint, tiles, wall coverings etc.), and Hour Estimates for over 55 different jobs.

HandyMan Calculator

Android (FREE)

Think of this as the Android version of Home Builder Pro Calcs above. As the name suggests, HandyMan Calculator is designed to cater for all your DIY… calculations. Use it to work out how much paint, wallpaper, concrete, bricks, mortar and fencing you need for your job. It’s pretty accurate, so you should be able to cut right down on waste and save a bit of cash.

You’ll also be able to track the time spent on a certain project, and save everything to your very own virtual notepad.

We hope you enjoy these apps – let us know if they’ve improved your home improvement skills by commenting below.

One final piece of advice – if you take your phone or tablet along on your next DIY project, make sure you give it some proper protection from all the usual knocks, drops, drips and flying dust. You’ll find some great cases and covers at Carphone Warehouse.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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