16 Tips for Using Your Smartphone for DIY Projects
Homeowners already tend to have a smartphone within reach – so why not put it to use in your next home DIY projects? Here are the surprising ways that your smartphone can be one of the best tools for DIYers no matter what you have planned.
Snap Photos of Parts and Sockets
Need to buy a new part for your repair DIY projects? Take pictures of the old part, its serial numbers and any fixture that the part will be used in. It’s a lot easier than taking the old component with you to check dimensions and compatibility. This works well with piping, electrical sockets, wiring and much more.
Find an app that allows you to take photos and in the photo. So you’ll know exactly what measurements you’re working with before making major purchase decisions. And his is particularly valuable during any renovation where you will be buying new furniture or appliances.
Enable the Flashlight Mode
All modern smartphones have a flashlight mode you can switch on from settings. Use this to inspect dark spaces, scout out your crawlspaces, look for attic insulation issues, or for a variety of other DIY projects. And it’s a lot easier than taking a flashlight with you, especially since you can snap a photo whenever you want.
Analyze Materials and Weight
For more complex DIY projects, you may want to know the weight of metal components, how much concrete you need to fill a space, and other construction calculations that your phone can help with. So download and you can find your answers right then and there — before you make a final decision.
Use Your Phone as a Level
Find all the Woodworking Specifications You Need
For the perfect result, woodworking requires in-depth knowledge about the type of wood you are using, board volume, miter cut adjustments and more. Today’s can help you make key decisions and measurements as you work.
Find Landscape Advice
Are you looking for the right soil or shade for a particular seedling? Do you need help adjusting irrigation times or planning for future growth? And do you want to find plants that are resistant to disease and unappetizing to hungry animals? can help you find exactly what you need.
Snap Before and After Photos
Before and after photos serve two important purposes. First, if you are taking a complex appliance apart (gas heater, fridge, pool pump, etc.) it helps to have a visual guide of where components went when you are reassembling. Second, you have evidence of just how much has changed to show your friends and potentially inspectors or home evaluators.
Design Your Space with a 3D App
Home renovation apps are these days. You can use your phone to remodel and redesign your home as you walk around, making changes or choose furniture as you need. And it’s more useful than scribbling floor plans down on a sketch pad, and may even give you a few new ideas for future DIY projects.
Match Paint Colors
Trying to match paint colors can be a struggle if you don’t have any of the original paint left, or if the paint has faded over time. And your smartphone can help with that help you pinpoint your current colors for later reference at the store.
Use Apps for More Careful Measurements
If your DIY projects need to go beyond basic tools, your phone can still help with careful measurements. Today’s apps , protractors and even expandable rulers to help calculate with greater precision and nuance when required.
Watch for Studs and Plumbing
Instead of bringing out an extra device for your stud detector, pull out your smartphone. (there are many versions available for various platforms) help you locate studs, pipes and wire when working on your walls.
Identify Types of Wood
Not sure what type of wood you are dealing with? Your phone can help. And use wood apps to , decide whether to keep the wood, and find the best stains for that species.
Find What’s Wrong With Your Paint
If you are running into interior or exterior paint issues and want to find the source to prevent future issues, . Use them to compare types of damage and narrow down causes.
Photo: Ermak Oksana/Shutterstock
Plan Out Your Furniture Purchases
If you are planning on buying new furniture , try out a shopping app that helps you plan your purchases, stay in budget and find what you need. And don’t forget to get help moving furniture if you need it.
Photo: Syda Productions/Shutterstock