Best Apps for Builders and DIY’ers

Disclosure: this post is in partnership with US Cellular.

How is your September to do list coming? Mine is totally in shambles and instead of taking care of it, I am off to the Ikea press day in St. Louis which kills today. Luckily I can attack a few tasks on my iPhone while my kind bestie drives. With U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network and national coverage, I can stay on top of my projects from my small city through rural communities to the big city.

High on my list is finally getting our basement tackled. The ceiling in the office needs to come down so I can actually use it as my office rather than a place where dust drips down on my belongings. Then there are the walls in the rec room, the floors everywhere, the broken shower. The list goes on. It’s hard to daydream and drool at Ikea when there is a list of contractor to-do’s a mile long.

Which is why I love how devices provide access to a wide variety of apps that help my get projects streamlined. My iPhone is totally awesome for improving efficiency, especially when it comes to managing a construction project. And I really love when the contractor I use is into technology for managing the project too. Makes me feel like we are on the same page!

U.S. Cellular identified five of the most useful apps construction pros (and amateurs too) should know of:

1. Handyman Calculator: (free): This app available for Android phones combines a multitude of construction calculators and converters that are useful to any construction or trade worker. This free app also allows users to track their time while on the go and save directly onto their notepad.

2. iHandy Carpenter: ($1.99): iHandy Carpenter, available for iOS and Android, combines five valuable carpentry tools into one app. Included in the app is a plumb bob level, surface level, bubble level bar, ruler and protractor. From measuring to leveling, iHandy Carpenter has all the tools you’ll need for your next carpentry project.

3. PlanGrid: (free): PlanGrid for iOS is a powerful collaboration tool for construction managers and contractors that can help you make sure the job gets done on time and under budget. Contractors and architects can collaborate on project plans, specifications and photos in real time. Files that are uploaded to the app are also automatically synced across all devices. These collaboration tools can improve the quality, safety and profitability of projects.

4. AutoCAD 360: (free): AutoCAD 360 is drawing and drafting app available for iOS and Android that allows you to view, edit and share AutoCAD drawings. You can store your blueprints on your phone and pull them up anywhere, even on the jobsite. It also allows seamless sharing with others across desktop and mobile platforms, speeding up collaboration and in turn, productivity.

5. Contractor Estimate & Invoice: (free): Available for both iOS and Android, Contractor Estimate & Invoice instantly creates invoices on the jobsite. This app streamlines estimating and invoicing saving valuable time and money that usually spent catching up on paperwork. You can also save key customer information, convert estimates directly to invoices and track invoice fulfillment all in one place.

Keep in mind that if you are going to be using your device while DIYing or while your house is a construction zone, it need to be properly protected. Rugged cases such as the OtterBox Defender help protect devices from debris and moisture. Additionally, a large, clear screen and fast, 4G LTE service, are key to conveniently accessing plans and collaborating across job sites.

How you done a DIY project? What apps helped you stay on track and save money?

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