Hammer? Check. Screwdriver? Check. Tape measure? Check. Smartphone? That one might seem out of place, but in fact your smartphone can have a place on your tool belt alongside those other mainstays. It might not be able to drill a hole in the wall, but it can come in handy while you work on many different kinds of home improvement projects.
What kind of projects, exactly? Here’s a list of five basic DIY home improvement projects that your smartphone can help with.
1. Straightening pictures and shelves
Your smartphone has an accelerometer in it. That’s the component that allows the screen to rotate depending on how you hold it. An accelerometer can perform many functions, including the ability to determine a level surface. With a free app such as iHandy Level, you can go around to every picture frame in your house and determine if it needs adjusting. You can also look for shelves that are a little askew. Level apps work just like physical levels, only they’re much smaller. It’s easier to tote around your smartphone to every picture frame and shelf in the house.
2. Install bookshelves
Building and installing bookshelves might seem like an easy project. After all, you’re just building a box with boards running across it, right? It’s actually a bit more complicated than that. Depending on the bookshelf’s size you’ll need to account for certain physical realities. You’ll also need to ensure that all angles connect at 90 degrees, or else you’ll have a crooked and wobbly bookshelf. Your smartphone can help here, too. With apps such as Smart Protractor you can measure angles with precision, ensuring a safe and sturdy bookshelf.
3. Air conditioner and furnace maintenance
One of the most important aspects of home improvement is maintenance. If you properly maintain your household you won’t need to make as many drastic repairs. Everything will remain in working order if you just tune it up once a month. How do you remember this? By setting reminders on your smartphone. This is especially important with furnaces, which can break if the air filter gets too clogged. Central air conditioning also needs regular filter changes, or else it uses even more energy than normal — and it’s already a huge burden on your electricity bill.
4. Installing a satellite TV dish
Satellite TV has many advantages, and has become a popular alternative to cable. If you want to beat the installation fees that satellite TV companies charge, you might want to install your own dish. Or, if you already have satellite TV, you might want to install a more powerful one. While your smartphone won’t help you with the actual installation, it will help you best place your dish. Satellite dishes perform best when facing the southern sky. The compass on your smartphone will be your guide here. It will show you which way is south, no matter which way you’re facing. When you’re up on your roof with a heavy satellite TV dish that’s no small consolation.
5. Soundproof a room
Ever want to dampen the sound in any household room? Maybe you want to create a theater environment in your living room. You might work more productively if your home office weren’t so noisy. Or maybe you just want your newborn to get a restful night’s sleep. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of them to create a lower noise environment. How can your smartphone help? Apps such as Sound Meter can determine the sound level in a room at any given time. That will let you know how much further you need to go in order to reach your goal.
You might not typically think of your smartphone as a tool for home improvement projects, but it sure does come in handy. With a number of third-party apps, plus native functions, your smartphone can help you out around the house as you do more projects. It won’t get a nail into a wall, but it sure can help you with other parts of those same projects.
Author Bio: Joe Pawlikowski writes and edits several blogs across the web, including the soon-to-be defunct BBGeeks. He’s currently preparing a new mobile site to cover BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android.
Image Credits: veryuseful