plan captures and project estimates. Regardless of which
method is used, the program can not only map the results but
also export the captured floorplans to various file formats.
Whether you are adding on to your home or remodeling
a room, you will likely be painting at some point. The Home
Depot has created a free AR program called Project Color
to help you review your options (figure 4). The app is easy
to use; simply point your iPhone or iPad camera at any wall
and choose the color you would like to test. Once you have
decided, the color mix is provided to Home Depot, and you
can make your purchase directly from the app. You can also
store virtual color swatches, should you need to coordinate
or touch up later.
Once the colors of your walls are set, it’s time to decorate
the room. One of the more popular interior design programs
is Houzz Home Design & Renovation (free), an app available
for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Source a spectrum of furnishings and virtually place the items into your room via Houzz’s augmented reality view. Houzz also features videos with
popular celebrities redecorating family homes via the Apple
TV app, as well as on their popular HouzzTV You Tube channel.
For those who prefer a similar service without the celebrity
endorsements, check out Havenly (free). While the program
doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Houzz, it offers the
option to be connected to an interior design consultant who
can help make expert decisions on what furniture and decorating accessories would make the perfect functional and
visual impact (figure 5).
Finally, if you decide after all the evaluation and planning
that the project needs a carpenter, electrician, or another
skilled craftsperson, check out the free HomeAdvisor: Find
a Contractor app. This app runs beautifully across the entire
Apple family, from the iPhone and iPad to the Apple Watch,
and even on Apple TV. I find using the app a much more intuitive and efficient way to navigate the various options than HomeAdvisor’s website (figure 6). The Smith: Home Remodel
(free) app is another sourcing program to help you find the
ideal contractor for your project (figure 7).
There is no shortage of home improvement apps on the
App Store, but just like a brick-and-mortar hardware store,
there’s an overwhelming array of options. Hopefully, this article has provided you with the guidance you need to tackle
your next home project, from floor plan to finishing touches.
Figure 4 Figure 5
Figure 6 Figure 7
Mike Riley, a professional software developer and emerging information technologist,
is the author of Programming Your Home, published by Pragmatic Bookshelf. Mike is
also a contributing editor and author of hundreds of technical articles and reviews for
a number of popular technology publications. For more information, contact Mike via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @mriley.
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