How the best DIY apps measure up

Simply take a photo on your phone and the MagicPlan app will draw your floor plan and give you the measurements of each room.
Simply take a photo on your phone and the MagicPlan app will draw your floor plan and give you the measurements of each room. 

DIY home renovation has had a techno makeover. Put down your measuring tape, pick up your smartphone and get to work.

MagicPlan – free

Before you get started you need a plan. Simply take a photo on your phone and MagicPlan will draw your floor plan and give you the measurements of each room. You don't even need to move furniture - just stand in the middle of the room and shoot.

The Builder App – free

Any renovator will tell you that your choice of tradie can make or break the job. Australia's leading trade directory is now at your fingertips with The Builder App. Search your local area for tradespeople, suppliers, products and government information, or post an ad with details of your job and have tradies contact you.

Dulux MyColour - free

If you don't know the difference between your Mr Frosty and your Sea Cliff, the MyColour app from Dulux can help. Upload a photo of the room you wish to paint and the app will intuitively select a shortlist, or sift through the full-spectrum colour wheel yourself to see your vision come to life.

Bunnings – free

Bunnings has a range of apps to guide you through your DIY job with ease. The Paint Helper app assists with colour choice and calculates the dimensions of your room to estimate how many litres of paint you will need.


The Floor Helper app figures out the size of your new floor and can give an estimated cost of the job. Select from carpets, tiles and floating and vinyl flooring options. Once you know what you need the Store Finder app will direct you to your nearest Bunnings and provide trading hours and contact details.

Handyman DIY - $1.99

If you're new to DIY, this app will give you a step-by-step guide to some of the most common jobs. You can calculate measurements, estimate cost, create a project shopping list and keep track of multiple jobs. The real value comes in the written tutorials and links to YouTube clips, which will keep mistakes to a minimum.

iHandy Carpenter - $1.99

Your iPhone will be the only tool you'll need after downloading iHandy Carpenter. This app combines five professional tools in one: a plumb bob for vertical walls, a surface level, a bubble level bar, a steel protractor to measure angles up to 180 degrees and a steel ruler that measures in both inches and centimetres.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas – free

If you're searching for inspiration, look no further than this app, which has more than 2 million images. CNN described Houzz as the "Wikipedia of interior and exterior design". Clip your favourites and save to your own virtual scrapbook, which you can then share with friends online. You can also tap into the worldwide Houzz community for advice on your renovation.

Eden Garden Designer - $1.99

Apps aren't just for interiors. Give your garden a virtual makeover with this handy app. Upload a photo of your garden and search through the extensive gallery for the plants that are most suitable for your area. The animation is beautiful and the app is easy to use. You can also impress your friends with your botanical knowledge, with information available on all plants.

Home Maintenance - $6.18

Once you've done all your hard work, track the upkeep of your home with this handy app. Create a service history with contact details of the tradespeople you've used, save photos of repair jobs and have reminders for your next service automatically set. This is a great tool for property investors who may need to track a number of properties at a time. It's an expensive app, but far cheaper than the cost of a catastrophe that can be easily avoided.