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August 26, 2014

Handy home-improvement apps for Windows Phone

If you’ve ever done a home-renovation project, you’ll know the process can be gruelling.

Luckily, here are some Windows Phone apps for your Lumia that can help contain the chaos and keep your stress levels low whether you’re just fixing a leaky faucet or installing a whole new roof on your house!

Behr Paint Colors

This free, comprehensive app makes it easy and fun to choose the paint hues for your interior and exterior walls. Behr is a well-respected paint manufacturer here in North America, and their products are available at Home Depot and other major retailers.


Browse all the colors in the rainbow; Search colors by name, color ID, swatch number or keyword; tag the ones you like to a Favorites list; and email the paint colors to your contractor, spouse, interior decorator or whoever is going to help you paint!

Want to match the color of your sofa to your walls? Using the in-app camera, point your Lumia at the sofa and the app will decode matching paint colors. Or, choose a photo from your camera roll to find a complementary color. In addition, the app has how-to videos in case you need to brush up (pun intended) on your painting skills.

howtoappHow To: Home Improvement

This app (99 cents) is a goldmine of how-to videos of home-improvement projects that you can do yourself or tackle with a friend who knows his way around a home electrical or plumbing system.

The short videos are grouped by appliance, system or area that needs to be renovated, such as Hot Water Heater, Electrical, and Kitchen Remodeling. This essential home-renovation app also reviews and suggests various home tools you should have, from the best caulking gun to essential gutter-cleaning gadgets.

Home Depot

If you’ve ever been to a Home Depot store in the U.S., you know this giant retailer has everything for your home-maintenance and improvement needs, from 3-penny nails to a fancy 56-volt lithium-ion lawn mower to heavy-duty demolition tools, if you’re doing a complete home remodel.

Via the free app, you can browse and purchase more than 350,000 Home Depot products. After you complete your purchase, you can pick up the items in your local Home Depot store if you wish. A neat feature: The app has Voice Search. Just speak the name of the item into the in-app microphone, and the app will search for and give you options. For instance, I just asked for “socket wrench,” and a second later, the app gave me 40 suggestions.

jackoftoolsappJack of Tools Pro

Consider this app your digital Swiss army knife. It contains an LED flashlight, GPS-enabled camera, virtual level, compass, calipers, visual magnifier, sound meter, and altitude and speed tools.

You have the option of measuring via metric or U.S. Standard units, and you can launch a tool by Voice Command. Please note that the in-app compass doesn’t work on phones with no compass functionality, such as the Lumia 610 and Lumia 710.

My latest home-improvement project was installing a new centralized HVAC system. Do you have any home projects on your radar? If so, let us know if any of these apps help you!