4 Great iPhone Apps for Home Improvement

4 Great iPhone Apps for Home Improvement

Houzz- NSS Stone Fireplace Stone Veneer

You may find that like many iPhone enthusiasts you just can’t get enough of all those cool apps currently available for the iPhone. Additionally, if you’re a homeowner or a do-it-yourselfer then North Star Stone is here to share with you 4 fun and helpful iPhone apps that you might find useful for those around-the-house projects you find yourself facing in the near future. Even better – most of the apps we discuss can be downloaded for free! Keep reading to learn more about these useful tools that can all be accessed by the touch of an icon.


Houzz Interior Design Ideas by Houzz Inc.

Bring the beauty and expertise of Houzz.com to your iPhone or iPad. Houzz leads the world of home design assistance with its near endless database of over 7,000,000 photos. From stone to stucco, plants to pillows create a virtual idea book where you can save your favorite pictures and products. Intuitive and convenient, this invaluable app provides users with several ways to find what they are looking for. If you need a little help executing or narrowing down your design vision you can join the Houzz community where you can share advice, ideas and more. Even better, this app is free!

The Woodshop Widget by Grand Unified LLC.

If carpentry work plays a part in your home improvement plans then check out the Woodshop Widget. The Woodshop Widget offers users various utilities to make working with wood easier. For $3.99 users gain access to tools that help determine wood’s movement or if it may grow or shrink depending on certain environmental facts, another option helps convert decimal measurements into fractions or vice versa and even more useful is woodworkers can investigate various species of wood before selecting the right one for the job – the Woodshop Widget has information on 288! But it doesn’t end there; if your phone isn’t handy, the Woodshop Widget even has an online companion site and can be found at woodshopwidget.com.


The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius by Readers Digest

The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius just might become your go-to app when it comes to getting a little extra help around the house with those DIY projects. Need some advice on how to better clean your gutters or maybe you need a little help picking out the perfect paint? Have a plumbing or appliance question? No problem with the DIY Tip Genius! Can’t figure out how to keep your stone mulch clean? Then Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius has you covered – in addition to providing help with many other outdoor or landscaping tasks. You’ll also find useful videos. Download this app for free and gain access to free tips or you can download the full version for $4.99 where you will be able to access more information.


Stanley® Level by Black & Decker

Next time you have to hang a picture or ensure that mantel overlooking your stone fireplace is straight, just grab your iPhone and access the Stanley® Level app. Trusted for their quality products, Stanly® has joined the app craze. After a simple calibration your level is ready to use. You can even change the color of your level to fit your personality.  What makes this app even better is that it can be all yours for free!


We hope you find these apps make your future home projects easier if not much more fun to tackle. If beautifying your home with highly customizable stone veneer is on your home improvement or DIY radar, then take a moment to visit North Star Stone and see what we have to offer. Tell your home’s story by selecting the perfect stone for your home’s interior or exterior. To learn more about what many homeowners in the Chicagoland area have already discovered call: 847.996.6850 and speak to one of our custom stone veneer experts.

And don’t forget to follow us on Houzz!

3 Things to Consider Before Undertaking a DIY Project

3 Things to Consider Before Undertaking a DIY Project

Stone Exteriors Stone Veneer

With the internet and numerous DIY television shows telling us that do-it-yourself projects are not only simple but take practically no time to complete, it is hard not to jump on the bandwagon and find ourselves willing and eager to undertake many home improvement projects ourselves. Remodeling a bathroom, finishing a basement or breaking down a wall to create an open floor plan all seem so easy and straightforward when the guy on television does it, right? Well, before you take a sledgehammer to that decrepit bathroom floor you detest or hop in your car and head down to your local home improvement store, you may want to consider a few of the following…


Can you afford it?

Being able to afford your particular project is probably one of the biggest things to consider. After all, you need money to be able to buy the equipment and supplies to complete this endeavor. You may want to ask yourself, is this a project you can save up for, like swapping out unattractive light fixtures? Or will you need access to funds right away to address something that requires immediate attention like replacing rotting drywall? What you might think a project will cost could be a far cry from what you end up paying. Remember, not only will you need the materials to transform your particular space but you may also need to rent or buy the tools in which to carry out your project, both expenses can add up quickly.


Have you done your research?

Research will vary for every project and skill level, but you will want to make sure that you feel confident in being able to carry out your project from start to finish. Things you may want to investigate are:

  • Have you consulted with experts or talked to friends who have done a project like what you are planning?
  • Have you set up a contingency plan if something derails your project like an illness or running out of money to pay for it?
  • Do you know where to get your equipment and supplies?
  • Do you now where to access these materials if your main source runs out?


Set realistic expectations

Don’t expect that you are going to be able to do what the guys on television have done on your first try. We’re not saying you won’t be able to complete a beautiful project — but the folks on those shows are on them because they are very good at what they do and have created a reputation. Also, make sure to keep in mind that what appears to take a day on your favorite HGTV show could take you a week, two weeks or even a month to finish. If undertaking a project in a bathroom or kitchen be sure you have a backup plan for food storage and water usage. Many projects in these rooms require you to turn off electricity, water and remove appliances. For example, if you only have one bathroom and that is the room you are gutting for a new and improved bathing spa complete with beautiful stone accents, make sure you have somewhere to go when you need to go.


Next week we will continue with this topic when we discuss: 3 More Things to Consider Before Undertaking a DIY Project. If you are from the Chicagoland area and one of your DIY projects consists of adding stone to your home, call or visit the experts at North Star Stone at 847-996-6850. With years of experience stone is their passion. If you still have questions please visit our Exterior Stone FAQ page or contact us at info@northstarstone.biz