Until recently, DIY and home improvements were distinctly analogue pastimes, with only the occasional laser-driven measuring device or electronic stud finder establishing the tools of the 1980s from those of the early 21st century. But now your smartphone can be utilised in all kinds of ways that can help you with jobs around the home and working out just what you can do, as well as where to get help. Here is our pick of the very best home decorating apps for your iOS or Android device.
There is a free spirit level version of this app, but the £1.49 version for iOS comes with a ruler, protractor and plumb bob. You need to calibrate it before use, but it certainly takes up a lot less space than the tools it replaces. A real lifesaver for when you can’t remember just where you stashed your spirit level.
This digital update on painting swatches of colour on your bedroom wall is a fantastic way to see what your room will look like when completely painted in the colours you want to try out. This iOS app costs £2.29 but will more than prove its value around the home, as it allows you to photograph your home and then choose new wall colours from colour swatches and colour wheels. You then just ‘paint’ your walls with the click of a button.
The free Android app helps you to calculate volumes and allows you to convert from imperial to metric (and back) as well as offering up a vast array of useful calculations that you may use for construction or DIY jobs. Great app for the beginner or the expert!
This free app for iOS and Android comes from one of the UK’s most popular paint brands and works like several other paint colour apps out there, allowing you to imagine how your rooms may look in a new colour. The advantage here is that you can also scroll through the brand’s products and finishes, getting an idea of the range of colours available.
The favourite video platform is not strictly a DIY app, but it is one of the best places to go when you are contemplating a simple job you are unfamiliar with or you need a bit of a reminder. Most jobs around the house will be covered and you can pick up plenty of tips. Do always consider the country of origin of the video, though, as language and slang may differ. And always err on the side of safety, calling out an expert where you are not sure or there is a health and safety risk – particularly where electrics and plumbing are concerned. Free on Android and iOS.
If you ever jealously eyed the kind of floor plans that estate agents produce then you will love this app that measures your rooms and draws them as line illustrations. The measurements are approximations rather than dead-on accurate, so don’t rely on it for installing fitted wardrobes. But the simplicity of being able to tap your phone on the wall makes for an engaging and useful tool for home planning. IOS, £3.99.
Tile Calculator PRO
This £3.00 app for Android does away with the headache of knowing how to lay out tiles. You can calculate how many tiles you will need for a job, as well as adding up how much it will all cost.
My Measures PRO
This measuring app delves deeper than RoomScan and gives you the ability to measure almost anything in your home, storing the data for when you need it, along with an annotated picture of the object. You can plan projects on it to fill gaps in your home or use it to remember how big that radiator you need to replace is. It costs £4.49 for iOS, but there is a free ‘lite’ version that you can try too.
RatedPeople – Find a Tradesman
We can’t go without reminding you about our own iOS and Android app, which allows you to post jobs, find out which tradespeople are interested in your jobs and save the ones you like for subsequent jobs. It doesn’t cost a penny but it could easily save you a packet.
Know the number of tiles you need or the colour of your new walls? If DIY’s not your forte, why not bring in a pro to help finish the job?