When you go work on that home improvement project this weekend, do you plan to pack your BlackBerry in your tool box? If not, you might be missing out on quite the handy tool. While your BlackBerry won’t help you tighten screws or sand down a surface, it can play its own role in your next household chore. It might end up being one of your most versatile tools.
Level and angles
If your BlackBerry contains an accelerometer — that is, if it’s a touchscreen device — you can use that to your advantage. The accelerometer can determine the orientation of your device. It’s what allows the screen to automatically rotate depending on how you’re holding it. This comes in handy when seeking a level surface.
The ProLevel app will let you know if that picture frame is crooked or on-center. Just book up the app, calibrate it to a known level surface, and watch the virtual bubble let you know how close you are. From there you can make adjustments, so you have a perfectly level surface. It can work with a number of angles, and you can orientate your phone in a number of way and still get accurate readings.
The app also lets you measure angles. Need to ensure that something is at a strict 90-degree angle? First set your BlackBerry on the first surface, then zero it out and check the second surface. It will let you know the angle, so you can adjust until you have it right. The app is priced right at just a buck.
Keep track of projects
Chances are you have plenty of home improvement projects going on at once. If you’re not, then what are you waiting for? A simple to-do list app might come in handy here, but there is actually an app dedicated to home improvement projects. It allows you to create lists of projects, and then the tools and supplies you will need to complete that project. It even tracks your progress, so you’ll know if you have some more work to go.
Home Improvement Checklist brings you all those features, so you’ll know exactly where you stand with your household goals. Set up as many projects as you can handle, and then outline them all. That when when you head down to the Home Depot you’ll know exactly what you need, so when you sit down to do the project you won’t find that you’re short a dozen drywall screws.
You can get Home Improvement Checklist for $1.99.
Research your project
How many times have you approached a home improvement project, only to realize that you’re unclear on how to do it? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. We’re not professional handymen, so we’re bound to run into issues. That’s another place where your BlackBerry can come in handy. You can do basic research on it. Better yet, you don’t have to even leave the project site to find your computer.
You can do this with basic Google searches for your specific project. You can also take advantage of apps, such as Home Improvement Glossary, which will help you figure out certain things that might be unclear. Since you can do all this right at the project site, you can jump right in once you know what to do. The app is just a buck, so it can be a worthwhile investment for newbie handymen.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We can take this analogy and use it for your home improvement projects. If you perform maintenance on certain areas of your home, you can avoid big problems. Here are three big examples:
- Pipes. If you check to make sure the pipe joints under your sinks are tight, you can avoid big plumbing problems. Check once a month.
- Air filters. The air filters in your furnace and air conditioning need to be cleaned once a month, and replaced every three or four months. If you neglect this, you’re asking for trouble.
- Window and door seals. If your windows and doors are letting in drafts, your energy bills will go up. Make sure they’re sealed for the most efficient energy use.
How can you use your BlackBerry for these projects? By scheduling recurring calendar tasks. That way you can set it and forget it. Your BlackBerry will let you know when you need to perform this maintenance.