This episode of Featured App of the Week focuses on apps that can help you achieve greater success when embarking on any type of home improvement or DIY project. The apps and services featured within this episode include:
To learn more about Jason R. Rich, host of the Featured App of the Week podcast, please visit: www.JasonRich.com. For a text-based transcript of this episode, visit: www.FeaturedAppPodcast.com.
Thanks for listening!
Featured App of the Week – Episode #27
Welcome back to the Featured App of the Week podcast. I’m Jason Rich. Many of us have been spending a lot of extra time at home recently, and as a result, we’ve wound up doing all sorts of home improvement projects.
Well, as you’re about to discover, there are a wide range of smartphone and tablet apps that can help you save time, save money, and take a more organized approach to just about anything having to do home improvement.
If you’re someone who wants to take a D.I.Y approach to home-related projects, but you need a bit of easy-to-understand instruction, YouTube is definitely one of the first places you should check out.
Launch the free YouTube app on your Internet-connected smartphone or tablet, and within the Search field, type whatever it is you want to learn how to do - whether it’s organizing your bedroom closest, achieve professional results painting a room, or fixing a leaky faucet.
As the world’s largest library of free on-demand video content, you’ll quickly discover all sorts of how-to videos you can watch on your mobile device’s screen, allowing you to learn whatever skills are required to handle your desired home improvement projects.
You can even re-watch step-by-step videos as often as necessary on your smartphone as you’re actually working on your projects or home improvements to make sure you handle every step perfectly.
You’ll also find all sorts of free, on-demand, home improvement-related, how-to videos available from the Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Lowe’s Hardware mobile apps or websites, for example. The mobile apps and websites for these popular hardware store chains can also be used to find and purchase whatever tools and materials you’ll be needing.
When you order products from a hardware store’s mobile app or website, you can pre-pay for your purchase through the app and then arrange to pick up your order that same day at the closest retail location, or have your items shipped or delivered directly to your home, although an extra charge might apply.
If you’re looking for a professional to handle the work in your home for you, there are several apps, like Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and HomeAdvisor: Find a Contractor that utilize the GPS built into your mobile device to help you find qualified pros at a price you can afford. For example, you can find a handyman, painter, mover, plumber, electrician, house cleaner, contractor, or appliance repair person with ease.
Each of these apps are basically vast, independent databases of professionals you can look up by geographic area, keyword, or specialty.
When hiring someone through one of these apps, always pay careful attention to the person’s ratings and reviews, and if someone claims to be licensed and/or insured, don’t just take their word for it, ask for proof in advance.
One of the great things about apps like Angie’s List, Thumbtack, or HomeAdvisor is that you can exchange information with the professional and negotiate rates right from the app’s built in messaging feature. As a general rule, the more accurate details about your desired project you provide to the professional, the more reliable your estimate will be.
In addition to clearly describing the project, make sure you and the professional agree to a timeline and deadline for the work to be done, and don’t agree to pay anyone in advance.
It’s also a good idea to pay for anyone you hire through one of these apps using a major credit card, as opposed to using a debit card, check, or cash. This gives you an added level of protection if something goes wrong.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to do your own home improvement projects, there’s an app called Ask A Pro that allows you to use your mobile device to set up a live video call with an expert, such as a handyman, plumber, or electrician, who can talk you through the project and give you advice remotely.
If you choose to hire an expert via the Ask A Pro app, you pay a flat fee per call. A 15-minute call costs $24.99. You’ll pay $39.99 for a 30-minute call, or $79.99 for a one hour call. The fee is paid via an in-app purchase.
Before initiating a live video call with an expert using the Ask A Pro app, write down details about your project and a list of your questions, so you make the best use of the time you have speaking with that person.
When it comes to in-home painting, there are all sorts of apps that use augmented reality to help you choose the perfect color for your walls, for example.
Augmented reality super imposes computer-generated graphics over content that your smartphone or tablet’s camera photographs using its built-in, rear-facing camera.
The free Build.com mobile app takes full advantage of augmented realty when it comes to using the app to find and shop for all sorts of household, decorating, and hardware items you’ll likely need for your next home improvement project. Using the app, free and live help from experts is also available. Then, items you purchase from the Build.com app get shipped right to your home, saving you a trip to the hardware store.
Speaking of using augmented reality apps to help with your DIY projects, the free Project Color app from Home Depot allows you to scan a room or object using your mobile device’s camera, and then match the colors of your existing walls or furniture, for example, with specific paint colors. You can also use the app to pre-purchase paints from Home Depot and keep a saved listing of the different paint colors used throughout your home.
Another way to find a paint color that perfectly matches just about any object in your home or elsewhere is to use a device called the NIX Mini 2 Color Sensor.
This device fits in the palm of your hand, costs less than $100.00, and can be held up to anything in order to scan and determine its exact color.
The NIX sensor device communicates wirelessly with your smartphone, which runs a proprietary app, called NIX Paints.
Simply hold the sensor up to a wall or object, active the senor, and the NIX Paints app will provide the perfect color match, allowing you to order the right paint color. The process takes just seconds.
The NIX Paints app will even allow you to choose which brand of paint you want to use, and then provides details about exactly what to order from your favorite hardware or paint store.
The NIX Mini 2 Color Sensor and related NIX Paints app are quick and easy to use. To learn more about this product, check out the company’s website at www.nixsensor.com.
As always, anytime you’re looking for the perfect app to handle a specific task, always check the App Store if you’re an iPhone or iPad user, or the Google Play Store if you’re an Android mobile device user.
Within the Search field, either type the exact name for the app you want or type a keyword or search phrase that’ll help you quickly locate an app that’ll meet your needs.
Then, as you’re reviewing the app listing search results, be sure to pay attention to each’s app’s Description, its average star-based rating, and its text-based reviews to ensure you wind up with the best app possible. Whenever possible, choose apps that have at least a 4 or higher average star-based rating that’s based on hundreds or thousands of reviews.
As you can see, when it comes to do-it-yourself home improvements, or finding and hiring experts to help with the work you want or need done, there are different types of mobile apps that will prove very useful, plus serve as a informative resource to help make your projects go as smoothly as possible.
Well that’s it for this edition of Featured App of the Week. If you found this information useful, please tell your friends about the podcast, post a positive review, and don’t forget to subscribe.
In addition to new episodes that are continuously being released, be sure to listen to the 26 previous episodes which cover a wide range of topics related to your smartphone and tablet. Each past episode is chock full of useful and unbiased information.
Also, each episode of Featured App of the Week is less than 10 minutes in length and provides details about optional apps you can use with your Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, or Android-based mobile device.
As always, a listing of apps and services discussed during this episode can be found within the Episode Notes for the podcast episode, and a text-based transcript is available.
Until next time, I’m Jason Rich. Thanks for listening!