Avoid DIY Renovation Headaches With These Apps

Avoid DIY Renovation Headaches With These Apps

Range Govindan
Jun 1, 2011

As anyone who's completing renovations on a fixer-upper will tell you, you can quickly get overwhelmed with the amount of things that need to be addressed before your place is finally the way you want it. The trick to staying on top of things is to schedule DIY renovations ahead of time, to ensure that one is completed before starting another. Here are some ideas on how to use scheduling tech to your benefit.

We're currently in the process of renovating a duplex that we bought near Chicago, and it's a daunting process since it's most definitely a fixer-upper and there are quite a few things that need to be taken care off, almost immediately, so that the place becomes home. While our place is currently livable, we are making it better so that we can sell it for a profit in a few years and it's always nice to live in a good-looking space. Since we are on a budget, all of our renovations are DIY.

It's a safe bet that you'll need to stagger your DIY renovations over the year, so that you don't start too many projects and end up in DIY hell. Luckily, if you're smart about it and take advantage of online deals, you can probably renovate your home cheaply, without spending too much money. As an example, we refinished our floors to a gleaming finish for a few hundred dollars which was a stark contrast to what they looked like before. But juggling and managing a variety of ongoing renovation projects can be difficult to keep track of, so we recommend utilizing all tools available to document, track and remind you of what needs to get done, when and for how much:

Renovation Budget Tracker: Keeping track of home renovation expenditures can sometimes feel like trying to remember a 12 digit number while standing next to someone reciting Pi to the 100th decimal. So why not keep track of costs as they come along using your iPhone? Track, budget and create alarms for payment/completion specific to your project.

Google Docs: By far, one of the easiest ways of managing DIY projects is to simply open a collaborative spreadsheet in Google Docs. They are easy to customize, edit, and let all of the participants know what you are thinking about doing.

Mark On Call: this apps has been around helping people renovate/plan for ages now, but it's still an extremely useful tool to lay everything out before purchasing and moving elements within your home. As we said back in 2009, "It's the next best thing to hiring a designer or having an assistant."

Microsoft Excel: Just like Google Docs, sharing an Excel file with your spouse or significant other allows you to share your ideas and what you want to work on next. Excel is easy to use and you can change or adjust quite a few things. Many people have been using MS Office for years, so even people less used to tech will know what to do with it.

Alarms for OS X: It's a nice and easy way to schedule your DIY renovations, that's non-intrusive so it doesn't seem to nag you as much as some of the other solutions. The app can sync itself with iCal, which makes it interesting. The app costs $15 after the demo has expired.

Google Calendar: Anyone with a Google account can set up free Google calendars, which are web-based, so they work on Apple and PC computers. Just like Google Docs, they allow many people to work on the same calendar, for optimal scheduling purposes.

iCal: iCal on OS X is a easy scheduling app that's present on almost all macs, and for people who don't have Excel or don't really want to use Google Docs, iCal works well. It makes sense if all of the people working on the renovations use macs. Otherwise, web-based apps would be more appropriate.

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