Newly built homes rarely require the level of vigilance and extensive repairs that older homes demand, but homeowners still need to stay on top of tasks to keep their home in excellent condition. Thankfully, there are apps to easily organize the information about your home’s systems and appliances, including any maintenance schedules, and to keep you on track with routine reminders and alerts. Instead of sifting through a box of paperwork when your garbage disposal needs a tweak, you can turn to an app to pinpoint the model number and quickly access the user manual. Apps can help you find service professionals and remind you to complete routine chores.
Among the array of apps for home management and maintenance, these 10 stand out for their usefulness:
Winner of the National Association of Home Builders’ “Game Changer” award in 2017, the Centriq app simplifies home maintenance and managing the products in your home, such as appliances and electronics. As soon as you move in, take a photo of the product label of each of your appliances and systems and upload them to Centriq. The app fetches the user manual, troubleshooting guides, a list of parts, how to videos and more. Even better, Centriq alerts homeowners to any product recalls or safety issues so you can immediately be notified if you need to repair or replace something in your home. The free app is available for Apple and Android devices.
Househappy offers a single place where you can store all of your information about your home’s products, appliances and systems. You can even store paint colors and home warranty information and sign up for email reminders to take care of tasks such as changing or cleaning your furnace filter and changing the batteries in your smoke detector. The app includes a concierge service you can contact by text, email, chat or phone call with questions or to request services from vetted contractors if you need help maintaining or repairing something in your home. The free app is available for Apple and Android devices.
HomeZada takes home management an extra step by adding financial tools to the app. In addition to keeping track of home maintenance tasks and storing the details about your appliances and systems in one place, HomeZada provides a digital inventory system for your personal items for homeowners insurance. The app helps you track your home equity when you enter your personal financial information, estimates your home’s current value and provides a three-year forecast of that value. The free app is available for Apple and Android devices.
The Sortly app provides a streamlined home inventory system complete with photos, serial numbers, receipts and warranties. The system can also be set up to send reminders for items you’ve loaned to someone and when a warranty expires. The information is valuable for insurance purposes as well as home maintenance. In addition, the app allows you to set up information for multiple properties in case you own an investment or vacation home. The app is free for a single user, with pricing plans for shared users, on both Android and Apple devices.
While most newly built homes come with some type of landscaping package, homeowners often want to personalize their outdoor space.iScape is a dream come true for the design challenged among us. Take a photo of your outdoor space and the app will help you plan potential improvements. You can experiment with different kinds of flowers, shrubs and furniture before you commit to buying them.iScape’s augmented reality gives you the chance to visualize and design the perfect outdoor retreat and buy what you need with in-app purchases. The free app is available only for Apple devices.
ADT customers can sync their security systems and other smart home features with the ADT Control app and use the ADT Go app to keep track of family members away from the house. The ADT Control app can be customized depending on your home’s systems and synced with Sonos and Alexa devices. The app provides the remote ability to arm or disarm your security system, receive alerts if a sensor’s status has changed, set the thermostat, turn on the lights and view live video from your security cameras. The ADT Go app provides location sharing for customers for free. For $9.99, the Go app can be set to provide personal emergency services away from home. Both apps are available for free on Apple and Android devices, although upgrades to the services provided may cost extra.
Described as “Uber for lawn care,” GreenPal makes it easy to find, schedule and pay for lawn mowing for your new home. You can use the app to list your lawn and get next-day lawn service from local professionals. Service providers bid on your project and get paid through the app, so homeowners don’t have to be on the property while their yard gets mowed. The free app is available for Apple and Android devices.
8. Happy Plant
The Happy Plant app provides one simple reminder, but one that’s important to many homeowners: water your plants. You can take a photo of your plant and set a schedule, and the app turns it into a fun game with reminders and videos that will help you keep your plants healthy. For now, the free app is available only for Apple products.
While not solely devoted to home maintenance, the HomeRoutines app provides a simplified way to keep track of your daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks. Many of those tasks relate to keeping your home clean and in good condition — from sweeping the floor to draining the water heater to having your chimney swept. The app also reminds you about organizational tasks such as checking on your homeowners insurance or even a reminder to pay your utility bills. The app can be set up by time or by areas of focus so it can provide multiple functions to keep a busy household running well. The app is available only for Apple devices and costs $4.99 per month.
10. DIY Tip Genius
When you move into a newly built home, you’re getting exactly what you want. After all, it was built for you. But homeowners often get the itch to personalize their homes with DIY projects from small tweaks to repainting and more. The Family Handyman magazine created the DIY Tip Genius app to provide thousands of tips for a variety of DIY projects, including a “Tip of the Day” and ideas for home projects for every skill level. The free app is available for Apple and Android devices.
Michele Lerner is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and author who has been writing about real estate, personal finance and business topics for more than two decades.