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Great Phone Apps for Gardening and DIY Home Repairs

Phone Apps

Do you want to know what plants will grow and thrive in your climate? Do you want to successfully hang a picture on your wall without having to tilt your head in order for it to look straight? As the saying goes, there’s an app for that! In fact, there’s an app for just about any gardening and DIY home repair  job you could ever encounter!

You faithful gardeners and do-it-yourselfers will be one step ahead of the game with the following apps designed to help you along the way to a more bounteous garden or home repair project. These phone apps are both affordable and quite comprehensive.

While a good share of the apps listed below are for Apple products, android apps are also represented!

(The following information about the apps taken from MSN Real Estate.)

 

1. inchCalc and inchCalc+
Cost:
$1.99; $4.99 for inchCalc+
Devices:
iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

An app doesn’t have to be complicated to be useful. With inchCalc, you’ll never again have to convert those tape-measure measurements in your noggin. Punch the dimensions into this app — inches or centimeters, whole numbers or fractions — and this app spits out the results. You can even input square feet and square inches.

 

2. Home Depot
Cost:
Free
Devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and Windows Phone

Home Depot’s app does all the routine stuff you’d expect from a big-box retailer. It finds nearby stores, lets you check inventory on more than 350,000 items, scans bar codes in the store and provides user reviews. The app has in-store maps, too, so you don’t get lost in those huge warehouses.

 

3. Iris
Cost:
Free for controller app; device price starts at $179
Devices:
iPhone, iPad and Android

Want to run your house remotely? Now you can. Lowe’s’ Iris, introduced earlier this year, is a cloud-based system that the home-improvement chain is pitching as a lower-cost way to manage your home when you’re not there. The basic Safe & Secure Kit comes with a hub to connect to your home’s broadband router, plus a motion sensor and a few window sensors.

The Comfort & Control Kit, also $179, comes with the hub and a “smart” thermostat and smart plugs that control devices such as your living-room lamp through your router via a free app on your phone or tablet.

 

4. Landscaper’s Companion
Cost:
$4.99
Devices:
iPhone, iPad and Android

Gardeners are a tough, critical bunch who disagree about a lot of things, including the best gardening apps. One of the more thorough applications is Landscaper’s Companion.

The app’s encyclopedic database of plants and vegetables now contains more than 25,000 entries for North America, the United Kingdom and Australia, with about 15,000 pictures.

 

5. 3D Home Design by LiveCad
Cost:
Free demo; $7.99 for full app
Devices:
iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

3D Home Design is a pared-down version of a software program that many home and interior designers use. If you’ve wondered about changing the color or layout of some rooms in your home, this app can help you envision it.

Here’s how it works: Drag your finger across the screen to create a room like the one in your home. Add furniture, windows and structural elements where they exist or where you’d like to see them; the app has about 150 different objects. You can change their size to match the room. With the press of a button, you can see the revamped room in 3-D and swap out materials such as wall color and flooring. These tasks may be easier and more satisfying on the larger screen of an iPad than on a mobile phone.

 

6. SightLevel 3.0 and Pro 3.0
Cost:
Free; Pro 3.0 (without ads) is $3.99
Devices:
iPhone or iPad 2 or 3, with camera

Sight levels are useful for determining if walls, picture frames and other such things are straight, but they can also determine the slope of a road or landscape.

SightLevel is a “virtual laser level.” Of course, your phone doesn’t have a laser in it, but this app uses the device’s camera and internal accelerometer to gauge angles. Hold up the camera, tilt it until the bubble is centered and use the horizontal red line to determine the slope.

You can also overlay grids on the image, and you can use two fingers to find the slope of a portion of the image. There’s also a built-in flashlight for dark corners.

 

7. Houzz Interior Design Ideas
Cost:
Free
Devices: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Do you dream about decorating ideas? Houzz is your virtual scrapbook.

The app has more than 500,000 high-resolution images from more than 65,000 designers. You can search by room, style and location, then save the snapshots that strike you, so you can refer to them later. The app also recommends local stores, designers and architects.

There’s also a Houzz Kids’ Rooms app, searchable by age group.

 

8. Leafsnap
Cost:
Free
Devices:
iPhone and iPad

This is what mobile phones should do all the time: make life easier, by giving us info at our fingertips. Leafsnap is an electronic field guide. It uses visual-recognition software to identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.

Take a photo of a leaf on that weird tree in your backyard, and Leafsnap will show you whether it’s an Allegheny serviceberry or Yoshino cherry. It also will provide handsome, high-resolution images of the tree’s flowers, fruit, petioles, seeds and bark.

Leafsnap isn’t perfect. Its database of more than 130 trees covers only Washington, D.C., and parts of the Northeast, for now. Photos also must include a single leaf on a white background for the automatic algorithm to identify it. Still, it’s pretty cool.

The app was developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Try out one or two of these great phone apps for gardening and DIY home repairs, and you could surprise yourself with what you can achieve!

Information gathered from MSN Real Estate.

 

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