5 apps (and a hammer) to help you improve your home

1 Feb 2016

Home improvements are supposed to be exciting, but any DIY activity can get awfully tiresome and annoying. So, here are five apps to help you plan that perfect home.

Planning is at the heart of all projects. When it comes to doing up your new home, tweaking your old home or getting ideas for a home you’ve yet to find, modern technology has opened up a world of possibilities.

There are apps for pretty much everything, with ideas and lessons galore. We were so enthusiastic about this list that we even included a special, bonus gadget at the end. Spoiler alert: it’s a hammer.


An interior design reference point, Houzz comes recommended by everybody I know who has done up their home.

A simple, brilliant app that lets you look through room designs, furniture options and even find local professionals, it’s another app that sees you lose all sense of time when browsing.

Home improvement apps Houzz

The detail in which you can search is quite amazing. For example, choosing one of the numerous room options (which includes stairs), you get to pick from these styles: contemporary, eclectic, traditional, Mediterranean, coastal, country, rustic, Scandinavian, industrial mid-century and world.

Available on Android here, and iOS here.

Spirit Level

A simple one now, but how about a spirit level on your phone? There’s not much detail to go into here, but spirit levels are divils for going missing at home. And, for some reason, being covered in chalky paint over the years.

So why not download Free Spirit on iOS, or Spirit Level on Android, and fix those shelves.


A basic requirement for any home improvements is a good idea of what you’re actually aiming to achieve, so a checklist is essential. Wunderlist is your modern mobile, digital variant available on Android here and iOS here.

Syncing between your multiple devices, Wunderlist is hardly groundbreaking, but good organisation should never be frowned upon.


Okay, this one might seem obvious, but it’s so helpful. WikiHow is basically a wonderfully helpful Wikipedia for DIY and home improvements.

Home improvement apps WikiHow

Download the app, bang in a question, and let the answers flow. Android and iOS.


Another obvious one, another good one. I know from personal experience (fixing my bike) that there is often nothing better than a three-minute video showing you every stage of what you need to do.

YouTube is so established that it must be hard to think of a topic not dealt with in some form or other. So, just like with WikiHow, pop in what you need to do and watch the internet community come to your rescue.

It comes pre-installed on most phones. If not, iOS here and Android here.

Latthammer Picard: The cleverest hammer we can find

This German hammer is brilliant. It’s not the hammer that Homer Simpson made. It’s not a multi-purpose screwdriver, wrench and drill-cross.

It’s just a clever piece of engineering that lets you hammer in a nail with far more precision than you thought possible. By loading the nail into the hammer’s head, it is set in place with your first swing of your brand new German-manufactured piece of brilliance.

The best price we can find is €86 plus VAT here. But a bit more digging and you might get lucky.

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DIY couple image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic