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  • Appy Renovations

  • DIY has gone digital with smartphone and android apps giving would-be renovators a helping hand on everything from colour matching to measurements to sourcing a tradie. Haven takes a look at ten of the most useful design and renovation apps to make your load a little lighter.

    ColourMatch
    Ever spotted a house with just the colour scheme you want and no idea how to recreate it? Now you can take a photo with your phone and the Resene ColourMatch app can match the colour with one of the Resene paint colours. The app can also suggest similar and complementary colours to create your own colour scheme.

    Homestyler Interior Design
    A decorating must-have according to Architectural Digest, this app lets you test-drive décor items, from paint colours to light fixtures to furniture, before you buy them. Homestyler turns a photo of your room into a virtual space, which you can decorate with products from actual brands. You can even leave some of your existing décor in the picture to see how new items work with old.

    MagicPlan
    Create a floorplan for any room by turning around with your phone camera pointing out to mark the corners. It takes a little practise but once you master it, MagicPlan will be whipping up a professional floorplan, with accurate measurements, in minutes.

    Spirit Level 3RD
    Turn your phone into a tool with this nifty app that checks if your surface is level. Its magnification feature adjusts to changes in incline, while a sound linked to the spirit level bubble lets you listen and see how straight your work is. Just make sure your phone is in a protective case before putting it to work.

    QuickChippy
    Put away the calculator and let this carpenter-designed app do the maths for you. It’s not free but at just $4.49, it could save you significant dollars and distress by helping you work out joist spacings, rafter lengths and even concrete quantities.

    HandyMan Sidekick
    Another tradie-inspired tool to take the guess work out of your cut lists, avoid waste and save you unnecessary trips to the hardware store. For $3, you can enter your room dimensions and let the app calculate how much material you need, including wallpaper, floorboards and paint. You can even use it outdoors to work out how much mulch you need on the garden.

    BuildBits
    Avoid waste or cash in on someone else’s with this app that gives you access to building materials surplus online. Search through what others are selling or create your own listing. Simply snap a photo on your phone, describe your goods and name your price.

    Harvey Norman Photocentre
    Put the finishing touch on a refurbed room with your favourite photos. Choose your canvas size and layout, select your photos and send off your order for delivery.

    Yates My Garden
    Get your green thumbs going to design your garden and keep it lush. Map out your yard with the Garden Visualiser and find out what to plant, when. There are also plenty of tips to ward off weeds, pests and diseases and you can receive timely reminders to help care for your plants.

    TradeEzi
    Need to call in an expert? This service-matching app helps you find the right person for the job. Take a photo of the task at hand, describe what you need, hit send and the app will list your job with local service providers. You can also review tradies’ credentials and feedback from other customers and connect with a provider directly.