Like every other business sector, the commercial construction and residential home building industries have embraced the smartphone app as a valuable productivity tool for the jobsite. The only problem is that there are thousands of apps to choose from and it’s hard to know which apps are useful, functional, and cost-effective. Here are four affordable apps that could drastically improve working at your jobsite.
Improperly placed ladders can cause injury and property damage, but setting ladders correctly is often a tricky task, especially for extension ladders. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health launched the Ladder Safety app to address this issue. Simply place your smartphone of tablet against the ladder and the app will indicate whether the ladder is properly set at the ideal angle of 77.5 degrees—if it isn’t, the app provides visual feedback to help align the ladder. Ladder safety has never been this easy. Available as a free download from the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Going to work at a new jobsite can be a bit of a pain if it’s in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Finding parking, an ATM, the cheapest gas station, a good coffee shop, the nearest construction supply store and great lunch options can take a lot of trial-and-error. The AroundMe app solves your problem by helping to quickly find out what is nearby. The map includes location, listing information and routes, and allows you to email, text, or Facebook the information so friends can meet you there. Available from the iTunes and Google Play stores.
It’s awfully difficult to schedule a meeting between the different stakeholders of a construction project. GoToMeeting solves that issue. This app allows everyone involved in a project to collaborate in real-time, regardless of where they are. Users can schedule, host, and join meetings, view slide presentations, and create spreadsheets and mockups all from their smartphone or tablet. Available from the iTunes and Google Play stores.
An ultra-fast blueprint viewer for Android and iOS, PlanGrid allows builders to mark-up and store project designs and forward them directly to their work crew members’ phones. PlanGrid can be used off-line, progress photos can be pinned to the blueprints, detail callouts are automatically hyperlinked, all markups and notes instantly sync across all platforms, and there is a searchable, automatic rolling issues log. It can also be used to create, maintain, and share punchlists. Available in a variety of price plans including a free version, PlanGrid can be downloaded and installed from the Google Play and iTunes stores.