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First Look: Yellow/home

Yellow/home is an app that creates a customised maintenance schedule for your property, and links you to the experts for anything beyond your abilities.

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After downloading the app and entering your address, it automatically generates a maintenance plan based on information from your local council. The to-do list includes everything from cleaning your gutters, to inspecting your cladding, to giving your freezer a tune-up. We found it ran smoothly on a range of Android and Apple devices, and has a clear and easy-to-navigate user interface.

Click on a task, such as “Inspect the foundation walls”, and you’re presented with background information on why the task is important and instructions on doing the job yourself. It also shows the date the task should ideally be done by, when it was last completed, and how often the job needs repeating, all of which are user-adjustable .

The amount of options and information, based on research by building science experts, impressed us. But it’s not perfect. For example, the first task for one of our test properties, an inner-city apartment halfway up a nine-storey building, was “inspect and clear your gutters and downpipes”. However, glitches like that are easily fixed as the checklist is customisable.

While the app has all the home maintenance jobs you’d expect, it also includes a range of more specialist tasks, such as inspecting and cleaning your chimney and flue. These optional extras include the same level of background and DIY detail as the default tasks.

If you’re not inclined or lack the ability to complete the task, scroll down and you’re presented with contact details for any suitable local businesses.

This is the first offering from YellowLabs, an incubator set up by Yellow Holdings, with the aim of bringing the Yellow Pages into the 21st century.

YellowLabs told us more functionality’s coming soon, starting this week with being able to review businesses, which would mean it can be used as a kind of Yelp/TripAdvisor for tradies.

Overall, while it still has some minor kinks, we were impressed with Yellow/home. We recommend this app for property owners and tenants wanting to get smart about home maintenance.

Download for Android here.

Download for Apple here.

Apple compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Android compatibility: Android 4.1 and up.

First Looks are trials of new or interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons.

By George Block.

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