Find a top agent in your area

Get started

6 Remodeling Apps for the ROI-Savvy, Tech-Loving Homeowner

At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.

From choosing materials to hiring reputable contractors, remodeling your home takes a Herculean effort and calls for a hefty sum to match. Thankfully, there’s a host of apps for remodeling your home that make the process easier, more convenient, and more fun!

So, we took a deep dive into app reviews and tested trial versions to bring you the best apps for the tech-loving remodeler. For added insight on remodeling ROI, we spoke with listing specialist Victoria Lance of the Rains Team who sells 65% more homes than the average agent in Braselton, GA.

WikiHow offers a step-by-step guide app for remodeling your home
Source: (Porapak Apichodilok / Pexels)

Best app for tackling DIY projects: WikiHow

Apple App Store rating: 4.1/5 stars with 316 ratings

Google Play rating: 4.5/5 stars with 48,950 ratings

Pricing: Free

Why we recommend it:
Over the course of ownership, the cost to hire-out labor for home improvement projects adds up. One study by HouseLogic reveals that labor is typically the greatest expense in 9 out of 10 of the most common home repairs, costing even more than the materials.

The more projects you can tackle DIY style, the more money you’ll net at the end. WikiHow provides straight-forward how-to guides from home repair and remodeling projects ranging from painting your front door to replacing the faucet.

When you’ll need it:
This app helps users learn how to tackle a project by providing supply lists and step-by-step instructions including illustrations and detailed descriptions. Before starting any DIY project, Lance urges homeowners to consider how the finished product will play at resale:

“Always see what other people [in your neighborhood] are doing and keep it neutral. Whenever my husband and I do renovations, I think, ‘hey if I sold my home in three to five years, is this something a buyer would like? It’s not so strong of a design decision that it wouldn’t appeal to a large, large number of people.’”

How to use it:
Simply search your DIY remodeling task and choose the appropriate guide. The guide provides step-by-step instructions with illustrations on how to complete the task at hand.

Say, for instance, you’re cleaning grout in the bathroom; the “How to Clean Grout” guide provides four methods to remove stains, each with various DIY cleanser recipes and corresponding step-by-step instructions.

Special features:
You can mark each step as complete as you go, so you can easily find where you left off in case you get interrupted.  If you’re tackling a host of projects, you can bookmark guides to keep track of your DIY to-do list.

Best app for hire-out repairs and small projects: Thumbtack

Apple App Store rating: 4.9/5 stars with more than 100,400 ratings

Google Play rating: 4.2/5 stars with 7,017 ratings

Pricing: Free

Why we recommend it:
A great app for remodeling your home, Thumbtack makes sourcing reputable home improvement professionals a breeze, allowing you to research, chat with, hire, and pay through the app. Request free estimates for all your to-do items with no strings attached to ensure you find the best company for the best price to improve your home.

When you’ll need it:
You’ll want this app to help with any job you don’t have the skills or bandwidth to take care of, such as remodeling demolition, junk removal, tree trimming, full-service lawn care, painting, and home system repairs and upgrades.

How to use it:
When you first download the app and sign up, Thumbtack guides you through the app to show off its features (which are straightforward anyway). Once you’re in, head to the “Projects” tab in the menu at the bottom of the screen to start a new project.

The app will ask you a series of questions regarding your project size, budget, and deadline, then will share a list of professionals available to tackle the job. To further narrow your results, you can filter and sort service providers by rating, availability, and price.

Professionals’ profiles will include ratings, photos, and information including years of business, number of times hired, number of employees, and response time. Thumbtack also highlights top service providers with badges for “responds quickly,” “remote services,” “in high demand,” and “great value” to help you decide.

Message professionals through the app or contact them for estimates for bigger jobs. For small projects, take advantage of the “Instant Book” feature to hire a pro on their first available date.

In the “Explore” section, Thumbtack provides project recommendations based on your previous activity and zip code. So if a storm blows through your region, you’ll see recommendations for projects like gutter repair and landscaping.

Special features:
For every job you search, Thumbtack shows the average cost in your area. The app also archives your completed projects in the ‘Projects’ tab, helping you quickly find professionals for rehire, as well as track your total investment into your home.

Map out your design with this app for remodeling your home
Source: ( / Pexels)

Best app for planning home additions: Magicplan

Apple App Store rating: 4.7/5 stars with more than 21,300 ratings

Google Play rating: 4.2/5 stars with 59,336 ratings

Pricing: Create two projects for free, then pay $9.99 per month or $99.96 per year for the Sketch Plan.

Why we recommend it:
While home additions and guest houses can add major value to your home, they come at a high price tag. Magicplan helps you meticulously plan the build and furnishings with 2D, 3D, and AR features, all useful tools for building the best addition possible.

When you’ll need it:
Map out detailed floor plans including doorways, windows, cabinetry, appliances, and other built-ins in the initial planning phase. Once your structure is built, you can harness Magicplan’s AR features to visualize the placement and style of these room features before you commit to installing them.

How to use it:
This app leans more on the technical side, so you’ll want to attend one of Magicplan’s webinars or watch some YouTube tutorials to get started. We also recommend using the app on your iPad or tablet since we found it easier to use with a larger screen.

Special features:
One of Magicplan’s best features is its AR measuring tool, which allows you to scan your room and instantly create an accurate floor plan including windows and doors.

Best app for visualizing paint colors: Project Color by The Home Depot

Apple App Store rating: 4.5/5 stars with more than 27,600 ratings

Google Play rating: 3.1/5 stars with 8,510 ratings

Pricing: Free

Why we recommend it:
In HomeLight’s recent Top Agent Insights research, more than 57% of agents recommend painting your interior and 70.5% of agents recommend painting your front door before listing your home.

With the Project Color app, you can test thousands of paint colors on your walls through AR technology and photo uploads. Lance recommends that homeowners use this app as a starting point, sharing, “paint looks different in different lightings so ultimately you have to put it on the walls.”

When you’ll need it:
Use the Project Color app to visualize paint colors for your home’s interior and exterior, skipping repeat runs to the hardware store. Once you narrow down your options, you can order peel and stick paint samples from within the app.

How to use it:
Browse paint colors by color families or with the “Color Match” feature by taking a photo of a color you love for an instant match. To preview colors on your walls, hit the camera button on the menu bar at the bottom of the screen to “See it in your space” for an AR wall transformation. You can also save paint colors as favorites to keep track of your contenders.

Special features:
Connect the Project Color app to your Pinterest for paint recommendations based on your pins and boards. The app also includes guides by Home Depot on how to choose a paint color and how to prep your room for painting.

Explore fixtures with app for remodeling your home
Source: (Curtis Adams / Pexels)

Best app to explore fixtures, hardware, and appliances:

Apple App Store rating: 4.8/5 stars with more than 2,700 ratings

Google Play rating: 4.2/5 stars with 197 ratings

Pricing: Free

Why we recommend it:
The app allows you to superimpose fixtures, hardware, appliances, and select furnishings into your room using AR technology.

This comes in clutch when you’re remodeling kitchens and bathrooms since buyers judge a home’s condition by these rooms’ fixtures and appliances.

In fact, according to our Top Agent Insights Report for Q2 2020, installing new stainless steel appliances and a double oven are some of the best post-COVID home upgrades a homeowner can tackle as both promise a strong return on investment.

When you’ll need it:
Use the “In-Home Preview” feature to compare a range of products including appliances, range hoods, ceiling fans, lighting, tubs, faucets, vanities, medicine cabinets, cabinet hardware, and door handles in your space. This is especially handy for all the small, important details like choosing hardware finish and deciding between knobs or pulls.

Trial your favorite styles, then consider which finishes are most desirable in your neighborhood by looking at comparable listings or by speaking to a local real estate agent. Lance comments:

“In town in Atlanta, you can get away with a lot more modern. Out here in the burbs, people don’t love that. People want their hardwood floors, they don’t want high-end marble —  because I’ve had that listing that overdid it. Super modern is not super popular out here. It depends on the area.”

How to use it:
The app gets you started with a guided tour. When you’re ready to use the AR feature, select “In-Home Preview” and browse products by room or category. Once you see something you like, select “See in Room”; the app uses your camera to scan your room and place the product as prompted. Beyond previewing products, you can read reviews, save for later, and even purchase within the app.

Special features:
The app includes DIY articles for remodeling inspiration, including easy purchase product links so you can achieve the exact look. Another bonus, you can set up push notifications to receive order updates and exclusive product coupons.

Best app for landscape design: iScape

Apple App Store rating: 4.6/5 stars with more than 13,100 ratings

Google Play rating: iScape is only available for Apple at this time.

Pricing: The free demo version only includes one type of grass, mulch, and hardscape with a limited selection of plants. For unlimited access to thousands of iScape images and other features, you’ll pay $9.99 for the first month, then $19.99 a month.

Why we recommend it:
In one HomeLight survey, 94% of real estate agents agreed that that great curb appeal equals money in your bank account at closing. With the iScape app, you can whip your landscaping into shape by overlaying AR mulch, sod, plants, and hardscape onto your front yard. We love how easily this app creates realistic designs — plus, it’s fun to use!

When you’ll need it:
iScape is the perfect companion for planning hardscaping and landscaping for your front yard and backyard. Select appropriate plants for the light and soil conditions and layout the foliage for a balanced design. Spend a few hours perfecting your design and you can save thousands of dollars on hiring a professional landscape designer.

How to use it:
iScape is fairly intuitive to use. Start a new design by uploading a photo of your yard, or by the AR feature. When your yard’s loaded, draw and drag products and materials over the photo or live image, increasing and decreasing size as necessary.

Special features:
iScape provides product links so you can buy your favorite plants without leaving the app.

Apps for remodeling your home will help make the job easier
Source: (La Miko / Pexels)

Remodeling is tough — these great apps can help

According to the National Association of Realtors, U.S. homeowners spend $400 billion each year on renovations and repairs. Before you break out the sledgehammer, you’ll need to plan wisely to ensure the effort and money spent brings you joy in the near term and a strong return on investment when it’s time to sell.

So when in doubt, consult these apps for remodeling your home help save you time and money, especially during that planning phase.

Once you’ve played around with digital design options, cross-check your plans with an interior designer or a real estate agent before busting out the tool kit. They’ll provide insight into whether or not your remodel will resonate with buyers, so you can recoup your investment when it’s time to sell.

“Call a realtor. You are not wasting their time — that’s their job,” advises Lance, sharing she’ll happily advise a homeowner on their remodeling plans even if they don’t have immediate plans to sell.

Header Image Source: (Ian Panelo / Pexels)