According to Nielsen Scarborough, 53% of U.S. adults made some type of home improvement in the past 12 months, 56% of adults who made home improvements spent $1,000 or more, and 8% of adults shopped at The Home Depot in the past 12 months. With the many inspiring shows on HGTV and the immeasurable popularity of websites like Pinterest and Houzz, it’s no wonder that home improvement and home decorating continue to intrigue homeowners and renters alike.
Unfortunately, it can also be very expensive, very overwhelming, and very confusing to pursue a home like the ones you see on TV or in magazines. Taking the time to get organized can save countless dollars and prevent avoidable stressors. Fortunately, home improvement apps take away the clunky binders, overwhelming website pictures, and the confusion of losing important contact numbers, especially when you are on the go.
Adhering to a set budget is a top priority for most homeowners who are looking into updating their homes. Architect Emily Fisher estimates that a kitchen remodel with basic upgrades including new cabinet knobs, paint, and plumbing and lighting fixtures can average from $5,000 - $15,000. A renovation where the structure stays the same but maybe a window is added or a soffit is removed runs about $15,000 - $35,000. A full scale remodel/addition with the above hardware plus opening walls or relocating a bulky refrigerator can cost from $35,000 - $75,000 and above.
Remodeling budgets can obviously vary greatly depending on the changes that need to be made and the quality of fixtures and appliances chosen. With a spreadsheet app, you can create a document with the projected costs for the supplies needed to complete your task. As you buy items, you can keep track of how much you’re spending and compare it to what you projected. This will allow you to prepare for further expenses and more importantly, help you stay on budget. Let’s say you’re at Home Depot with a list of fixtures you need to buy for your bathroom and you fall in love with a sink that is twice what you budgeted for; with a mobile app, you can see what you projected for knobs and towel racks and take the overage from another category. Better yet, you can compare prices from other stores using your smartphone or choose something comparable but less expensive. You can view all of your options regardless of where you are (this is especially helpful during sales, closeouts or if there is a floor model clearance with limited product availability).
Additionally, home improvement projects involve a ton of contact information that you need at your fingertips. On any given day you may have a question for your contractor, you’ll want to call The Home Depot to see if they have a part you need, or you have to contact the website that was supposed to send your faucets two weeks ago. A mobile app builder can easily create a contact list which includes just those names and numbers needed for this home improvement project so you can get the information you need anytime, anywhere. If you are at the store picking out appliances and you’re not sure if the hook-up is gas or electric, you can call your contractor. Maybe you have to pick up your sick kid from school at the same time your painter is set to arrive at your house; you can use your contact list to tell him you’re running late.
Finally, it can be overwhelming to keep all the parts of this puzzle in one place. You’ll likely have pictures of design inspiration and information on which stores offered which products and at what price. With smart phone and iPad capabilities, technology has changed the way we organize many aspects of our lives. You can create a to-do list making sure that you have a storage unit rented (if necessary), a hotel room reservation (if necessary), reminders to confirm delivery dates, etc. Another helpful list may contain pictures, paint color names, fabric swatches, wood types, and the brand and model of appliances you purchased so when you are out shopping for accessories and those final details, you can be certain that everything coordinates.
As the saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” When you’re out choosing furniture, appliances, or area rugs, another form of this saying can be, “Measure twice, buy once.” Having all of your measurements from room size for that big sofa sectional to window size for when it’s time to shop for curtains can save a lot of aggravation and return shipping costs. (While there are many websites that offer furniture, curtains, and other softscape, I prefer to go to the store to test the quality, color, or comfort…some things you just can’t always depend on online.)
Home improvement is one of those things that if you knew how difficult it was in the first place, you probably wouldn’t do it. However, doing your research beforehand and staying organized during the process with mobile apps can make many common remodeling headaches preventable.