Getting ready for a home renovation can be tough. There’s a lot to consider, from the materials and manpower you need to the time of day and weather in which you should work. Here are a few great tools you can find online to help you keep track of your priorities and progress, budget your improvements, ballpark the materials you need, and so much more.
1. Keep track of your priorities using Notes, or the ole pen and paper
Everyone has a list of what they’d like to see in their home – new shelves and cabinets, better flooring, a different shade of paint on the walls. Using your phone’s onboard Notes app or the classic pen and paper method is an irreplaceable way to start any project. You need to think about your space – what do you want it to reflect? Do you want your home to follow a single theme or will each room serve more as a series of vignettes?
Whatever you go with, a little planning can go a long way. You can get inspiration from a variety of sources.
2. Get inspiration for your home improvement from Pinterest or a home living magazine
Speaking of thinking about your space, a design revelation is just a few scrolls away with Pinterest or a popular home styling magazine like Southern Living. What kind of style are you looking to replicate? A tropical oasis? A modern loft, or maybe a farmhouse? The possibilities are endless depending on what you’re in to.
Several companies even give you ways to envision how your space will look. IKEA Place offers an augmented reality look at your home, letting you drop furniture into the room, porch, or other space you’re planning to renovate.
3. Measure rooms and determine necessary materials using Omni Calculator
A lot of websites offer calculators for your next big project – but few of them are as specific as Omni Calculator, which as the name implies, has a calculator for everything. You can use their Constructional Materials Calculator hub to guesstimate materials for any project. Omni Calculator offers a frankly obscene number of calculators, with formulas ranging from how much grout or decking you need, to how powerful an air conditioner you need, even how big a chicken coop you’ll need.
Omni Calculator is helpful for a variety of applications, but you can also take the more traditional approach. A tape measure and a good eye might be all you need to determine ground coverage for pavers or roof coverage for shingles, but more sophisticated projects like creating retaining walls or even ripraps are a cinch with one of the many calculators available on Omni Calculator.
Want to try something even cooler? RoomScan Pro can measure a room and give you a fairly accurate model based on just a few notes from you and photos of your room. You can use this to quickly gauge the square footage of a space and plan accordingly.
4. Budget your project using a free spreadsheet, a shopping cart, or an app like Spending Tracker
Budgeting projects can be a hassle, especially with prices changing rapidly due to growing or shrinking supply shortages. There are several different templates from popular providers like Smartsheet, and an endless number of apps you can use to manage either your home improvement or your company’s construction projects.
For something a little more sophisticated, you could consider Timely from Memory.ai, which can help you track time, projects, and much more, including cost. For a simpler setup, a spreadsheet can probably get the job done. This is a great solution for contractors who help homeowners plan their upgrades.
5. Find the manpower you need using Thumbtack, Home Advisor, or word of mouth
There are several different platforms for finding the contractor or other specialist you’ll need to complete your job. Some of the most popular ones include Home Advisor or Thumbtack, which help connect you to local professionals with the experience to bring your dream to life. A word of warning, though: these services take a cut of the deal you make with those professionals, meaning your price might be a bit inflated. You can always Google Search for the websites of professionals you see and contact them from there.
We also encourage you to check with your neighbors and friends to find the contractor, craftsmen, or handyman that’s right for you.
6. Check the weather using your favorite weather app or website
Working in the right weather if you’re on an outdoor home improvement project is crucial for your success. You can use your phone’s onboard weather app, the National Weather Service’s comprehensive forecast, or any of your favorite apps like Dark Sky (which Apple will be rolling into its own iOS weather app soon), Weather Underground, The Weather Channel, or another popular option.
Indoor projects don’t have to worry about weather, but it still helps if you’re hauling a lot of tile, wood, or similar material in and out of your house.
7. Get construction materials delivered to save time or address material shortages
As your project progresses, you may find that you’re making tons of trips to Home Depot — or an independent supplier, if you’re using special materials — to get the job done. Slog your way to Home Depot no longer – get construction supplies delivered thanks to our app. We draw inventory from Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other special suppliers so you don’t have to. Download today to get started!