Construction apps and tech survival

Nikki Duke

As a woman builder, I advocate acquiring good-looking tools to make the process of developing building spaces more enjoyable for all relationships involved. I believe that merely seeing wood grain has a de-stressing effect on humans. I also believe that curves as opposed to angles or straight lines in design help us to relax. Shopping is a relaxer for many, so I’m sharing some of my favorite finds.

ColorSnap Visualizer:

This Sherwin-Williams app will let you take a favorite painting or item, upload the photo and show you what colors are in it and within the paint line. And with the iPad app or website, you can upload a picture of a room and it will show you what the walls will look like in different colors.

Samsung Gear VR:

Okay, so I don’t own one yet, but the Samsung Gear VR is a virtual reality headset that works with your smartphone. Using a 3-D walkthrough app, you can view immersive environments – it’s like standing inside a room with different scenarios.

Stanley Laser Distance Measurer:

All you have to do is put this on the wall and it shoots a laser and instantly tells you the exact distance to the other wall within a fraction of an inch.

The Best Brushes Horsehair Broom:

This beechwood and horsehair broom from The Best Brushes makes a great statement and is poised to get the job done. Better than a vacuum, this broom traps dirt in the bristles and while I picked it for looks, it’s very useful.

I say it’s okay to ooh and aah over pretty tools. I have a rule that when I see something that might be a great find, I buy it on the spot. For me, it’s easier to return it than to go back and find out supplies are out of stock. Ever notice how some favorite finds suddenly drop out of sight, sometimes forever? Did the company making the item get tired of reminding people to order? Is their marketing bag empty? Have the makers of the Items simply gone AWOL because they made their money and are relaxing? Or have they thrown in the towel because it takes work to get products out?

This led me to ponder numerous builder personalities that seem to have dropped off the grid (possibly, because they did not have the right tools – like my finds above?). For a long time, you couldn’t open the paper or a web article without hearing about the latest of some of the big builders’ exploits. Now, it seems, they have gone the way of many “stars” we love and know. Where is Nikole Curtis (famous rehabber), Mark Cuban or Ozzy, if we step across industries? Professionally iconic performance tools can define the “star,” whether you are a building star or movie star. This is why Madonna is so important in the world – she never goes away.

I have a theory about why this happens, the going away. I believe low-profiled persons are simply “re-tooling” – stepping back and taking time to shop. Be sure to shop local. You’d be amazed at what you can find these days in the local hardware store!

This edition of Tip of the Week was written by Nikki Duke of Creekside Homes. Duke was one of the youngest building industry leaders to ever build a home in the Clark County Parade of Homes.