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Make home renovations easier with technology
Home renovation projects always look easier on television than in reality. Viewers may never see the teams of professionals brought in to do the real work.
This past week, my brother and I discovered that a surprise renovation project for our parents could have gone smoother if we had used a few home-renovation apps in the process. We decided to take the plunge and surprise our parents by updating their kitchen while they were out of town, and some basic apps could have made a difference in our results.
For example, if I had taken time to download the Bubble Level app (http://tinyurl.com/bubblelevelapp) to my smartphone, the blinds might have been hung level. Personally, I think the slight angle adds character to the kitchen.
The level app might also have helped us make sure the new cabinets we hung were in line with the other cabinets already on the wall. But no, we balanced the cabinet precariously on some old boxes and drilled the cabinets into the wall. Our theory is that the lower cabinets make it easier for my mother to reach the top shelf. My dad is not as convinced.
Another useful app would have been the Benjamin Moore Paint Color Matching app, which can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/bmcolorapp. This app allows you to take a picture with your phone, and then it matches the color on the wall with the closest Benjamin Moore paint color available. Sherwin Williams has a similar app called Color Snap, available at http://tinyurl.com/swcolorsnap. As it is, my mother has to wait for it to get dark so the old paint and the new paint match.
In the event that we decide to go back and paint the rest of the kitchen the same color, it would be very helpful to upload the new paint color to the MyLowe’s website. Here, users can store paint selections for future reference and upload photos of a room. They can then digitally “paint” the room various colors before committing to a color. Valspar also offers this feature; their version can be found at http://tinyurl.com/valsparvirtualpainter.
My brother would find the stain removal guide from the MSU Extension Service website quite handy, seeing as how he spilled an entire gallon of paint in the back of his truck in our great rush to get ready for the big reveal. Again, they never show these moments on Home and Garden Television.
If we had been feeling really froggy, or at least thought about it beforehand, we could have used apps such as Houzz, Dwell and the Home Depot app to help us design the room. The Home Depot calculator app will even estimate how many nails you will need before you go to the store.
As it is, I think we have strained my father’s good humor enough for one home improvement project. He wasn’t overly amused that we chose to move his 600-pound, cast iron, wood-burning stove. To be honest, I didn’t think it was a great idea either after the first attempt. But since he still has it, he might want to consider downloading a carbon monoxide app just to be safe.
All in all, the hard work was worth the expression on their faces when they saw it, but next time (if there is a next time) I will use technology to reduce the amount of sweat equity needed.