Craig Durosko: Apps for use in day-to-day remodeling

Two apps gaining traction and now being used by many remodelers are Houzz for creating design ideas and Pinterest.

September 27, 2012

Smart phones, tablet PCs, and iPads have become even more popular since the last time I covered the latest Apps (visit to find my initial list of recommended apps).

By far, the most feedback I received from that initial article focused on the numerous advantages of Evernote, in particular the benefits of being able to access files stored “in the cloud.” Many remodelers mentioned the ability to see all of their documents on Evernote and Dropbox on their phones, iPads, Macs, and PCs. Here are a few more apps that you may find equally useful.

Two apps gaining traction and now being used by many remodelers are Houzz for creating design ideas and Pinterest. I have seen at home shows were clients are bringing their iPads with images of their inspiration pictures. These apps are a convenient way to email these images or to share them. Pinterest allows prospects to tag inspiration pictures in several places including images on your website. They also can share their “Pins” on social media sites like Facebook.

For document sharing, Dropbox has been the front-runner. I am able to keep “living” documents I want to access and modify at multiple locations or for reference. You can also share large documents you can’t email, for instance a slideshow.

Have you ever visited a client’s home and wanted to get more information on the way their house sits on a lot or what type of

architecture? Google Earth allows you to see their site. Do you want to take a picture and see what the orientation is? Campass will print the direction you are facing with the picture, for example the north facing kitchen window. Need to mark up a picture? Skitch will allow you to make annotations on the pictures. Do you work with clients that might finance their project? Amortize allows you to enter the financed amount, the interest rate, length of loan, and it will tell you the monthly payment.

Ever been looking in an attic or in a crawl space and left your flashlight at the office?

Use the Flashlight app to use the light from your phone. Leave your calculator at the office? Use the Calculator Pro free app or the Construction Master Pro app on your phone; it has all the same functions as your desktop version does. Getting cloudy, not sure you want to remove those windows, use The Weather Channel app to get real-time radar and forecasts. Are gas prices driving your crazy? Use Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas around you.

You wanted to talk to a carpenter on the job or a designer needs to see the details on a job? Get Skype for a visual call and look real-time at the job.

Needing to make a quick lunch reservation for a work meeting? Opentable allows you to search restaurants near you, enter how many in your party and it will tell you the times tables are available. You can then make the reservation from your phone within minutes. Another one is Around Me. It uses your GPS and you can search what is around you by category, for example coffee or gas station.

When you get back to the office and have a few business cards you want to enter into your contacts. Use your phone with Cam Card, take a picture and import the contact into your contact management system. Do you want to keep a daily notes log or a job log? Use Day One to save your notes daily, you can tag and search them in the future. Do you need to make notes on a PDF someone sent you? Use Adobe Reader. Do you want to manage your daily tasks with your phone? I use Omni-Focus, if you want a free app, try Simplenote or Remember the Milk. Are you time driven? Alarmed is great for setting an alarm for a work block, or anything else you need to set an alarm for.

Do you have an Ipad? You can use Air Display to use your Ipad as a duplicate screen or a 2nd monitor to your PC or MAC. Notability is an Ipad app that allows you to take handwritten notes, audio recordings, annotate on PDF, and syncs with Dropbox.

What apps are you using? Share them at PR

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