“It’s a quick and easy Saturday afternoon project!” We’ve all stood in the middle of our favorite home improvement store reciting that same line. Ty Pennington, Mike Holmes, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor—they know how to make the most elaborate home improvement projects look as simple as tightening a bolt. Often the challenging part of the project is picking the perfect color of paint, or deciding between hardwood and tile flooring. But just as soon as those decisions are settled we’re faced with deciding how many feet of flooring to purchase for the kitchen or how many gallons of coral paint are needed for the north wall of the living room. But you don’t have to let a little bit of tricky math cut into your project time. Wolfram|Alpha has a number of math tools that come in handy for many common home improvement projects.
You can make quick computations and conversions from Wolfram|Alpha’s website or from the Wolfram|Alpha app for iPhone or iPad while standing in the flooring department. Wondering how many 8 x 8 square inch tiles you’ll need to cover a 12 x 14 square foot kitchen? Compute it with Wolfram|Alpha by entering “(12*14) square feet / (8*8) square inches”:
Thinking about livening up the living room with a splash of color? Query the name of your favorite hue and Wolfram|Alpha will give you a color swatch, properties, and a breakdown of related colors
Wondering how many gallons of paint you’d need per coat on a wall that’s 90 square feet?
Need a quick reference guide for choosing the right drill bit for a screw? Wolfram|Alpha provides a number of properties for threaded fasteners such as wires, screws, and bolts.
Does that old tire swing in the backyard need some work? Wolfram|Alpha can help you to determine the proper replacement rope based on factors such as the required safe load, shock load absorption, surface abrasion, and rot and mildew resistances for four types of rope (manila, sisal, polyester, and nylon).
These are just a handful of examples of how Wolfram|Alpha can be a great tool when tackling home improvement projects. We invite you to visit the Examples page to explore Wolfram|Alpha by topic area. So what’s on your home improvement project list? We’d love to hear how Wolfram|Alpha came in handy for you.