The construction industry hasn't always been quick to adopt the latest technology, but that trend is changing. Increasingly, construction professionals are embracing innovations that offer improved workflow, better communication, smoother sales, and other benefits. To help professionals find those tools, earlier this year Builder published a list of mobile applications that help make life easier for builders and their home buyers. We've found more.
Like those on our previous list, these apps can be accessed by using a variety of mobile devices (Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry, depending on the platform used by the manufacturer) and many now offer a version specifically for the iPad.
These new entries offer an array of features, including estimating, conversion, calculation, as well as design visualization, installation how-tos, and much more. So take a look at our new collection. Chances are there’s an app in the bunch that can benefit you and your buyers.
Sto Corp. (Apple)
The Sto mobile app for iPhone gives you information and documentation on the manufacturer’s exterior siding systems and products, as well as a distributor locator function. It allows users to browse descriptions of EIFS, air barriers, stucco, and coatings, and view or download related specifications, details, and literature. Download this app.
Kitchen & Bath
The manufacturer’s Interactive app for iPad allows users to see and interact with products. Users can browse products and design spaces within the app, which includes image galleries and product information. Other features include a 360-degree virtual tour, QR scanning, and articles on a variety of topics. Download this app.
Udell Enterprises (Android)
Need to know how many cups are in a liter? How many centimeters are in a yard? Or how many square feet are in an acre and a half? Convertor has you covered. The Android smartphone app converts a variety of measurements, lengths, and weights in seconds. Simply tap in the numbers and they appear on the display. It’s available in two editions: a free Lite version with four of the most commonly used categories of measurement, and a Pro version with comprehensive category choices as well as calculator functionality. Download this app.
Lutron Electronics (Apple)
Designed for professionals, the Pleasance iPad app allows you to show buyers how life could be more pleasant with the manufacturer’s many dimmers and controls. The app gives pros the information and tools needed to specify and install Lutron residential light, shade, and temperature control solutions. It includes lifestyle, product, and color image galleries; marketing documents such as brochures and videos; and technical documents such as installation guides and CAD files. Download this app.
The FLOR app for iPad offers users a wide variety of design tools, allowing customers to view catalog photography and shop for floorcovering. Features include videos, design advice, and rug maps. It also features a "My Favorites" section that lets users create their own, customized design board by adding FLOR photos or snapshots from their personal image library. Download this app.
Designed for home improvement pros or serious DIYers, the NestPix app allows users to track their work and share it with the world. The app keeps your projects neatly organized with a clever gallery feature and a “community” section that allows contractors to discover the projects shared by professionals from around the world. Moreover, users can create project folders to organize photos, create galleries and collages, and share projects. Download this app.
Lumber Liquidators (Apple)
Floor Finder for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad allows users to browse the company’s catalog of hardwood, bamboo, cork, and laminate flooring. This new version includes a Room Designer and Visualizer feature, which allows consumers to see how a room will look. It also includes a Deals section, QR code reader, and Facebook integration. Download this app.
Trex (Apple, Android)
The Deck Color Visualizer app allows home builders and buyers to browse and select the company’s decking and railing products. Explore hundreds of color combinations on three high-resolution deck designs, capture favorite combinations with built-in email and photo-saving options, and peruse saved images. Buyers can also locate Trex dealers and contractors in their area. Download this app.
Developed for contractors, remodelers, and deck-building professionals, the manufacturer’s new app helps users determine the right Parallam Plus PSL beam size to use. The app can help contractors reduce the number of required columns, preserving views and under-deck space without sacrificing safety. It uses three common inputs to ensure proper beam application in less than 60 seconds and instantly emails calculations and building code documentation. Download this app
Versatex (Apple, Android, Blackberry)
The new mobile website and app of the trimboard manufacturer’s Contractor Handbook includes 10 new “how-to” installation videos. Downloaded via smartphone or online from the mobile website, the electronic handbook gives users access to installation tips, best practices, catalog information, and dealer locations. Download this app.
Windows & Doors
Milgard Windows & Doors (Apple)
This new iPad app allows consumers to learn about the manufacturer’s windows and doors through an interactive platform. Users will be able to browse through all of Milgard’s product brochures and view a video library that includes product, installation, testimonial, and how-to features. The app also has a built-in Twitter handle. Download this app.
Sherwin-Williams (Apple, Android, Blackberry)
The new ColorSnap Studio combines all the best of the paint company’s color inspiration tools—such as the ColorSnap smartphone app, online Color Visualizer, and Explore Color functionality—into one app. Users can access the same functionalities offered in the ColorSnap smartphone app, but they can also use the Color Visualizer tool to experiment with thousands of color combinations. They can paint a scene, upload their own photos, and calculate paint needs, among many other tasks. Download this app.