The main purpose of spending time remodeling a home or working in the garden is to be one with the land or fulfill the primal urge to build. But that isn’t to say modern technology can’t help in these endeavors. In fact, the apps that make up such a big part of the mobile revolution can even help home-and-garden enthusiasts with their day-to-day needs. Also see best iPhone apps for travelers.

Some old-schoolers may scoff at the notion of a smartphone being as useful a tool as a spade or hammer, and this is a shame. The World Wide Web is filled with useful data, ideas, tips and tricks on how best to maintain a home or cultivate land. All mobile applications have done is harness this information in a creative framework and put it in the palm of the homeowner’s hand.

To this end, here are some of the best and most useful mobile apps on the market feared towards home improvement enthusiasts.

Color Snap/Ben Color Capture – iPhone, free

These two iPhone apps (by Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore, respectively) are ideal for those tired of sifting through endless paint swatches in order to find that perfect hue. These apps allow the user to simply snap a photo of a wall or other area featuring a paint job they like and the app then displays the company’s closest match.

HandyMan Sidekick – iPhone, $1.99

Surplus product is an unfortunate reality of many a home improvement task. Whether it’s extra cans of paint or too much wallpaper, these extras can add up to be a significant waste of money. The HandyMan Sidekick app by Home Depot takes the guesswork out of product quantity by allowing the user to input the room’s dimensions including doors and windows. The app then tells the user exactly how many rolls of wallpaper or gallons of paint to purchase. HandyMan Sidekick will also work with certain gardening or flooring projects.

Home Sizer – iPhone, $2.99

Anyone who ahs ever built a home from scratch or attempted to add an extension to an existing home is all too familiar with the headaches and hurdles inherent in the process. This app covers everything from mapping out square footage to calculating construction and mortgage costs and even modifying loan terms. Those who need an exact-figure estimate of what a building project will cost them would do well to consider this app.

I.S. Wood – iPhone, $2.99

While many career builders may have a near encyclopedic knowledge of the various types of wood on hand at building supply warehouses, the rest of us are often at a loss. This app provides lumber guides that detail the durability and cost of various types of wood.

iHandy Carpenter – iPhone, $1.99

iHandy Carpenter functions more like a multi-use tool than a regular mobile application. It contains a digital plumb bob, bubble level, ruler and protractor, which can be used for almost any DIY project.

This is just a sampling of some useful home improvement apps on the market for iPhone. Indeed many other comparable mobile apps are available for professional and amateur handymen alike. And if the past is any indicator, new and ever more efficient apps are coming soon that will continue to help home and garden enthusiasts complete projects more quickly and efficiently.

Jason Smith writes for Australian Outdoor Living (AOL), a home improvement business based in Adelaide. AOL specialises in cafe blinds, roller shutters, pergolas and artificial lawn.