The 15 best home improvement and renovation apps and online tools you need for your next project
Have you heard the saying – ‘there’s an app for that’?
Well when it comes to home improvements, home styling and renovations, the saying is very true.
Whether you’re building a new home, planning your garden, looking to extend or are just not sure which cushions will suit your current furniture, there’s an app for that.
In fact, there are THOUSANDS of apps for that.
So, to reduce the overwhelm, I’ve done the hard work for you and found the best home improvement apps.
In this article, I share my favourite handy apps and online tools for homeowners.
There’s even an app on the list that encourages you to take selfies with your indoor plants (a plantfie -maybe).
I’ve split the apps into 6 categories, although some of the apps do crossover into a few different categories.
The 15 best home improvement apps and online tools we’ll look at are:
- Homestyler Interior Design
- Palette Cam
- Bubble Level
- iHandy Carpenter
- Notes (Apple)
- Autodesk FormIt
- Home Design 3D
- Home Outside
- iScape – Landscape Designs
- Happy Plant
Apps for interior design
Hands up if you’ve ever spent a sweaty afternoon moving furniture around, only to discover it looked best in its original position.
Well, that problem is now solved.
The Homestyler Interior Design app lets you see your interior design ideas before you start moving furniture, painting walls or buying furniture.
This app is for iPad users. Just take a photo of your room. Then use the app to try out wall colours, décor and furniture. All the products are from real brands, so if you like something, you can go ahead and buy it. The app also includes how-to articles and inspiration from professional designers.
Houzz has over 16 million photos of home interiors and exteriors that you can browse by style, room and location.
You can save and share the images using Ideabooks.
The app also features a sketch function, so you can annotate, draw on and add products to photos.
You can connect with over 2.1 million active home improvement professionals via the app.
RoOomy uses augmented reality to view how products would look in your room.
You can also take or use an existing photo of the room that you’d like to decorate. RoOomy measures your room and turns it into a 3D space, which you can add 3D home decor and furniture to.
Palette Cam app allows you to find the perfect colours for your home by drawing inspiration from your environment.
If you spot a colour you like while you’re out and about, you can take a photo of it using your phone. Then the Palette app will provide the colour HEX and RGB values (colour codes). This is a fabulous tool for creating colour schemes and making paint colour and textile selections.
Handy trade tools
If you’re about to start a construction project or hang a picture, the Bubble Level app is a handy tool to look into.
Its functions include:
- Bubble level
- Surface level
- AR ruler
- Metal detector (to find wires inside walls before you drill)
The iHandy Carpenter app is basically five professional tools in one. It includes:
- Steel protractor
- Steel ruler
- Bubble level bar
- Plumb bob
- Surface level
It turns your phone into a handy tool to help you with any home project, big or small.
It’s very accurate and easy to use.
Apple’s free Notes app is not just for writing to-do lists.
It also includes a sketching tool and virtual ruler.
Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen, and select add sketch
Start sketching with a pencil, fine pen or felt tip. Move the ruler around using two fingers – it will snap to common angles and tell you how long your line is.
You can also use Notes to scan documents, including receipts, so you can keep all of your home project expenses in order.
You can use it to scan and store quotes from trades and receipts for your home project-related expenses.
Confession time, I haven’t actually used Autodesk FormIt because it’s probably a bit advanced for my skill level. It does sound very cool though, so I thought it was worth including.
This architectural modelling app helps you sketch, analyse and edit building concepts. Sketch your building or renovation plans straight onto real-world maps and satellite images of your site, including mapping how your design will catch the sun and shade at different times of the year.
With Home Design 3D you can build a 3D model of your home so you can test out ideas before lifting a hammer or fetching the toolbox.
It even includes a night/day function to show you exactly what side of the house; the light will fall at different times of the day.
Understanding how light and shade will fall across your property is so very important.
It can change the way your home feels, affect the cost of heating and cooling and should influence design and landscaping decisions.
The Sun Seeker app uses your device’s GPS, magnetometer and gyroscope to provide a 3D view of the sun’s path over your property across the day, and throughout the year.
I also recommend using this app before you purchase a property to assist in your buying decision.
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and collect inspiration and ideas for your next interior decor, renovation or garden project. It’s the ultimate digital pinboard or scrapbook of ideas, perfect for your next renovation or dream interiors. You can create boards with all of your dream home inspiration.
Home Outside is a landscape design app. Use it to mock up your garden and create new garden designs.
It allows you to select and place over 700 elements, including plants, pools, driveways, houses and sheds, solar panels. It creates professional looking 2D aerial plans.
iScape acts as a virtual garden so you can plan and visualise your landscaping project.
It produces photorealistic renders of your outdoor area in augmented reality or 2D designs. You can save the designs straight to your smartphone or iPad.
I’m slightly obsessed with indoor plants. However, I have, at times, been guilty of either under or over watering them.
Happy Plant creates a watering schedule and sends notifications so you won’t forget.
It tracks watering progress with colourful symbols.
It also encourages you to take ‘plant selfies’ and turn them into a time-lapse video to monitor your plant’s growth.
Bonus: Not quite apps
Okay, I promised 15 apps, but I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of extra. These two bonus suggestions aren’t necessarily apps, but they’re still very handy online tools for homeowners.
This popular social media platform is an excellent resource for homeowners. And I guess that technically you could consider it to be an app if you’re using it on your mobile device.
Facebook‘s Buy sell swap groups can be a treasure trove of new and pre-loved items for the home.
Facebook can also be a great place to connect with like-minded homeowners and renovators.
There’s plenty of conversation and helpful information on Violeta Finance’s Facebook page.
Violeta Finance Calculators
Our website has a collection of handy (free) calculators for current or future homeowners.
The calculators include:
- Loan Repayment Calculator
- Stamp Duty Calculator
- Home Loan Offset Calculator
- Loan Comparison Calculator
- Property Buying Costs Calculator
- Borrowing Power Calculator
We add a new calculator every week, so be sure to keep checking back into the website to see what’s new there to play with.
That’s it; my 16 favourite handy apps for homeowners (plus 2 bonus ‘not quite apps’).
What are your favourite apps? Let me know in the comments.
Need help organising finance for your home renovations?
Book your free chat with our home loan finance expert Carl Violeta.
During your chat, Carl will discuss your renovation goals and current circumstances and then explain your options.
Click here to book.