App Uses Artificial Intelligence to Fix your Home Improvement Mistakes

Fountain connects you to the home expert you need

DIY home improvement is no easy feat. However, for many homeowners, the blood, sweat, and (hopefully minimal) tears shed during a self-started project are preferred to the cost of hiring outside help—so much so that a reported 70% of home improvement work now includes DIY input.

What are DIY-ers to do when their projects hit a major snag? App Fountain wants to connect homeowners with expert advice via artificial intelligence—making expensive contractor visits avoidable for even the biggest home improvement plans.

Homeowners who have are unsure about their home or gardening projects can ask Fountain app a question in simple terms (no need to know the exact name of the “doohickey” or “thingamajig” you’re missing), and an artificial intelligence recognition system matches the inquiry to one of Fountain’s experts. Experts, who sign up to as independent contractors, are local plumbers, gardeners, contractors, and designers who often hold 10+ years experience.

Once connected, users can video chat with their expert, snap photos, annotate problems, share links, or draw on existing images to communicate issues. Experts can even tag along to the store—a messaging service shares real-time messages about exact brand, model, or part numbers needed.

Though Fountain is not the first to offer homeowners a video consulting service (Google Helpouts is a notable player in the space), the mobile platform and built-in technologies make Fountain a handier tool for DIYers, whose projects are far from the reach of laptops or webcams required for desktop services.

Fountain is currently available for free download in its iOS beta edition. Users are charged $5 a question, which guarantees 15 minutes for Gardening and Plumbing advice, 12 minutes for Appliance repair, or 10 minutes for Interior Design. Additional blocks of time are charged in $5 increments, compared to the $45-$65 average hourly fee for traditional home industry visits.