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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Find all the Woodworking Specifications You Need
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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? Powerful landscape apps can help you find exactly what you need.
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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.
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Design Your Space with a 3D App
Home renovation apps are advanced 3D simulations 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.
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Match Paint Colors
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Use Apps for More Careful Measurements
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Watch for Studs and Plumbing
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Identify Types of Wood
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Plan Out Your Furniture Purchases
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Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock
Find New Ideas
Everyone needs a little inspiration from time to time. Apps from sites like Houzz or Pinterest are ideal for scanning through themes and layouts to pick up ideas for your new project.
Originally Published: October 31, 2017