Now there are special phone apps that can help the price-conscious homeowner renovate his or her home without spending an arm and a leg. A lot of us are looking into home renos, whether with the purpose of improving a property to rent it out or simply to feel more comfortable. As we still feel the sting of the global downturn, it is naturally in our best interest to save as much money as we can. This way home renovation can be both a fun and a useful pastime.

Apps to inspire homeowners

One of the most popular home renovation apps is Houzz. Houzz features tens of thousands of photos of homes and gardens. This is very useful for those who are in need of inspiration. You can save time and money on magazines – maybe you remember the old days when your parents bought tens of magazines and cut out pictures, making a messy scrapbook. Now you can bring the best ideas right to your phone.

Budgeting

A popular and very useful app is Renovation Budget Tracker. It helps you budget and track your costs so you always know how much you have spent. It can also be used to check your bills. You can create categories and follow how much you have spent on each one. For example, you can group your expenses by room – bathroom, living room, bedroom, etc. The category “bathroom” will include all the money spent on renovating the bathroom, like changing the bathroom window, door, sink, replacing tiles, whatever. This app also enables one to create a schedule. It will tell you how much time you have left until you have completed renovations on a given room or until you have to make a payment.

Budgeting through learning

How do people save the most on home renos? By cutting the handyman out. Admittedly, few of us can renovate our entire home with our own two hands, but the idea is to do as much as possible by yourself and hire help only if you really, really need it. This is where the mega-convenient tool Expert Video: Home Repair comes in. This is a collection of home repair tutorials that will teach you some basic home renovation skills like drywall, deck installation, laying decking, installing hardwood floors and others.

Planning

Canadian Tire is an app that lets you plan what and how many supplies you need and check whether they are in store near you. Many of us have muttered curses upon finding out that we drove 10 miles to the store for nothing and wasted our time and our money on gas. Canadian Tire allows you to check what products are available and to find the location nearest you storing them. You can also use the app to scan product bar codes for information, customer reviews and prices, and find out where the products you need cost the least.

Design

For those of us with a design flair, Decomash is an excellent tool when you have chosen the best color for your walls. The app picks the most suitable artwork for your walls from a database featuring tens of thousands of artworks. All you have to do is take a picture of the room and forward it to Decomash for analysis. Most importantly, this app will always offer the least expensive option.

Melissa Dean writes about Investing in Stocks and Types of Loans

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Sanil S Founding member of MobMe Wireless Pvt Ltd, Ayruz Web Holdings

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