6 Favorite Home Improvement Apps for the iPad, iPhone, iPod

Home improvement app by iHandySoft.com iHandy turns your phone into a bubble level bar, among other things. Image: iHandySoft

If you’ve jumped on the Apple “i” bandwagon, you’re never far from iPhone, iPod, and iPad apps that help maintain and improve your home — values near and dear to our hearts.

Here are a few of our favorites:

ColorSnap Sherwin-Williams (free)

Snap a picture of anything and this app tells you which Sherwin-Williams color most closely matches your photo subject. The coral shade in my kitchen curtains, it turns out, is Redbud. I press another button and coordinating colors — Palm Leaf and Cargo Pants — pop up. Browse color families to find ones you love, and then adjust for lightness and saturation.

Home Improvement CALCS  ($2.99)

This handy app has more than 115 calculations for every home improvement project imaginable — from determining how much asphalt you’ll need to repave your 10-by-10-ft. driveway (3.75 tons) to how many bags of mulch will cover a 40-by-6-ft. yard, 3 inches deep (30 2-cubic-foot bags).

Ruler 2 (99 cents)

This app is for emergency measuring when no ruler or tape is handy. Ruler 2 includes a pointer you drag along the length of an object smaller (preferably) than your i-gizmo. A digital readout gives you the length. To measure longer objects, you have to swipe and move the iPhone/iPad/iPod, and things get a little complicated, so Ruler 2 works best measuring smaller things, such as screws.

iHandy Carpenter ($1.99)

iHandy is a digital toolkit that turns your Apple device into a plumb bob, surface level, bubble level bar, steel protractor, and ruler. All tools, except the ruler, have digital readouts.

Dream Home ($1.99)

Dream Home contains hundreds of design ideas for your remodeling project: It’s all the fun of shelter magazines for a fraction of the cost and weight. The app presents pages and pages — I mean screens and screens — of photos of high-design rooms in real houses. Photos are sorted by color, style, and popularity. For an extra $1.99, you can add photos of rooms decorated for the seasons. If you feel like sharing, upload pictures of your home improvement project and they’ll become part of the app in 48 hours.

I.D. Wood: Your Pocket Guide to Woods From Around the World ($4.99)

This pricey app provides everything you need to know — and a few things you don’t  — about 160 species of wood, from the common (white oak) to the exotic (Australian black bean). The pictures are beautiful and true-to-life, and the tips for working with each species are useful: Did you know beech wood has one of the highest shrinkage rates of all hardwoods? Now you do.

What home- and garden-related apps do you use? What have you used them for?